My tips for a good entry are demonstrating the real value add to the end client, beyond mere “satisfaction”.
I’m impressed by depth of collaboration across and between diverse teams.
Jeremy Barton, General Counsel, KPMG
What makes a good entry - going beyond the headlines to explain how the team operated, and the challenges faced – giving judges personal insights and evidence on which to compare submissions.
What I am impressed by – evidence of innovation and broader impact – insights as to why a deal, a case, or a programme is new and forward thinking and the impact it will / has had.
Laura Durrant, Managing Partner, Equitura
A good entry is one which shows not only excellence, which should be a given, but something exceptional. This could be a legal innovation, it could be applying established legal skills to a novel problem, or it could be dealing with the sheer weight of a major issue. Innovation could apply to the transaction or to the client relationship – for example, a different method of billing, or of working practices with a client. It could involve new technology or a novel solution to a long standing problem.
“In my role as Chair of the City of London Law Society, I am privileged to witness the hugely impactful and varied contributions of UK law firms on a day-to-day basis. The British Legal Awards celebrate these achievements and showcase the strength and depth of our legal profession. After many years of judging the awards, I never fail to be amazed at the talent, innovation and dedication presented to the panel and have no doubt, particularly after the last year, that we will be celebrating the best that the legal profession has to offer.”
Edward Sparrow, Chair, City of London Law Society
“Entering the British Legal Awards is a brilliant opportunity for you to showcase yourself and your talented team and the exciting and innovative projects you have delivered over the past year, which knowledge sharing can only help to benefit the wider legal profession. In addition, it will enhance your reputation and promote not just your legal team, but your organisation as standout. Simply being shortlisted is a huge achievement in itself.”
Lesley Wan, General Counsel, FBN Bank U.K.
"This is a special event for those law firms and attendant sectors to showcase their particular expertise . Given the challenging environment all have worked in we as judges will be looking for ways in which law firms have managed to implement strategies that have been client focused and also been delivering outstanding legal services over the past year."
Ian Moyler, Consultant, Former Senior Clerk, IDM Consulting
"I think teams should apply because there is so much incredibly innovative, meaningful and impactful work going on in the legal profession so people should shout about it and recognize and celebrate the hard work and successes of a team/individual. I’ve judged the past few years and we always look for entries which are a cut above the norm – e.g. what have you done that is truly different and makes you stand out from your peers?"
Caroline Kenny, Associate General Counsel, Facebook
"I have been judging now for around ten years. Having spent my career at one firm, Linkaters, and obviously being familiar with the quality of the work of that firm, as a judge seeing the work on which the whole UK profession advises has been a consistent eye opener. Providing high quality legal advice on complex transactions and cases is what sets the London legal market apart from other markets. The British Legal Awards are an annual opportunity to celebrate this and, in particular, the most notable work demonstrating innovation, complexity, commercial intelligence, project management and teamwork and for the firms who advise to receive recognition for their achievements and contribution to the success of the British legal market and the UK economy."
Nick Eastwell, Consultant, Kinstellar
"The UK is a premier global legal hub providing leading edge legal services not only within its borders but also to the rest of the world. Showcasing their talent at these awards enables our great lawyers to let a global audience see how outstanding they are."
Helen Dodds, International Lawyer, NED
"The British Legal Awards are an opportunity to showcase the amazing innovation and creativity that legal teams across the industry demonstrate every day."
Sarah Binder, Chief Legal Officer, Lime
"I love judging the BLA to see all the interesting ways firms are helping clients and improving the entrepreneurial success of the firm. When I read an entry I always look for the evidence: everyone can they are the best lawyer or team or the deal was the most innovative or this new diversity and inclusion initiative is brilliant. But what is the evidence? Clients provide great testimonials, what about your peers or leaders in you area of law? On diversity and inclusion the evidence is easy - just give us the numbers. How has the % of female or black heritage colleagues changed over the last three years."
Oonagh Harpur, Independent Non Executive, KPMG
"Winning one of the British Legal Awards will enhance any firm’s reputation. So a rigorous assessment of entries is vital. Apart from complying with an award’s criteria, a successful entrant will have demonstrated that special flair and expertise which only current and future world leading lawyers exhibit."
Janet Gaymer, Employment Lawyer, The Janet Gaymer Consultancy
"Why entering awards are beneficial- awards present opportunities to showcase the firm or individuals who have made notable contributions within the legal sector. A successful awards can be used as a platform to boost reputation and a great tool for recruitment campaigns for firms or individual career progression. What I look for in a submission - the preparatory efforts that have gone into the submission usually evident in the presentation and content that is evidence based."
Lara Oyesanya, General Counsel & Chief Risk Officer, Contis
"A good entry should describe rather than embellish, detail rather embroider and define rather than exaggerate. Good entries combine style and substance: they don’t try too hard or get lost in hyperbole. Instead, they are characterised by simplicity, clarity, and the notable absence of clichés. Some deals or disputes are groundbreaking, transformative or unique, but it's best to avoid using such adjectives unless they are justified by supporting evidence. Just be clear and concise, letting the achievements speak for themselves.
Many of the entries submitted are impressive, but the best are often the simplest. They differentiate themselves from the competition by showing how and where genuine value has been delivered for the client. To illustrate this, client testimonials can be compelling, particularly when they provide strong independent evidence of what has been achieved."
Dominic Carman, Freelance Journalist & Writer