As a firm with our heart in the South West region, The Family Law Company was keen to enter the 2017 DASLS Awards. These are local awards in our industry and we felt the categories were very relevant to our company. Not all awards have as much relevance to our business, and our judgement was that winning a DASLS award would mean something to our staff, clients, and our peers.
At the first awards, we won the Team of the Year, so we were aware that a DASLS award provides excellent recognition, particularly for staff who are doing well. We received excellent publicity and being involved in the event helped to raise awareness of what The Family Law Company does. The award provided a real boost for everyone, so we were inspired to enter more categories this year.
This time round, we opted to enter four categories, including Solicitor of the Year with Grace Bradley. We chose Grace as she has been frequently recognised by counsel and clients for her remarkable commitment and dedication, handling gruelling cases involving Honour Based Violence, Domestic Violence and Child Abduction in England and overseas. She successfully juggles her career and family life, and still finds time to volunteer at a Child Contact Centre in Exeter.
For Leader/Law Manager of the Year we put forward Business Development Director, Rachel Buckley. Rachel is pivotal to the ongoing success of The Family Law Company, and this was her tenth year with the firm. As a bubbly and outgoing leader who directs, manages, inspires and rewards using creative methods, we thought hers would be an outstanding submission.
Our entry for Support Team Member of the Year had to be Gemma Sparks. Gemma is a Chartered Legal Executive, and she uses her own personal experiences to bring a unique and unmatchable understanding of family law issues. Gemma has trained in British Sign Language and was pivotal in setting up a free legal clinic at Cranbrook.
Our final entry was for Law Firm, 1 – 10 Partners, where we were keen to highlight our specialist work within family law, our company culture and CSR.
To put our submissions together, we interviewed the three individuals chosen to represent us, as well as Partners and Managers for our Law Firm submission. We felt there needed to be a story to be told to make a submission stand out.
Many of the positive points about employees and the company became clear as we talked to people. We took some time to research, including cases, testimonials and relevant press articles and news stories.
We were delighted to be shortlisted in all four categories we entered and to go along to the awards night at Sandy Park to be a part of the celebrations. The event itself was superbly organised and well attended, with hundreds of people from the legal world having the chance to chat and network. Joshua Rozenberg, as host, was very entertaining. There were some lovely touches during the evening, including special macarons, a photobooth and a live band.
Our experience was made all the more exciting when we won three of the four awards we had entered. We may have been a little loud when the announcements were made, but nobody seemed to mind.
The Family Law Company wouldn’t hesitate to enter the awards again. The publicity was superbly handled, with two supplements, one before and one after the awards, giving lots of PR for those shortlisted and those who ultimately won. Taking part in the awards affirmed our status within the legal community, putting us together with so many other great Devon and Somerset law firms involved in the event. The feedback has been tremendous, with clients coming into our offices to congratulate us on our success. Everyone in the company was thrilled with the success, and our awards are proudly on display.