I am frankly quite amazed that Abney Garsden McDonald are in the finals of the Law Society Excellence Awards 2011 - see this link - http://services.lawsociety.org.uk/events/awards/excellence/shortlist-2011. We have been shortlisted for Client Service, Innovation, and Environmental Responsibility in the firm awards, and I have been shortlisted for Solicitor of the Year (Private Client). You can also read our press release.
When you think that there are 118,000 solicitors with practising certificates, it is an unbelievable achievement and makes me feel quite proud. Whether or not we actually win anything, is another thing all together. If I were a cynic, and I am, then all these awards are simply methods of selling tickets for a big bun fight on 18th October at a hall called Old Billingsgate in London. At £225 + VAT each they are not cheap. Mind you it does include a free glass of champagne and half a bottle of wine each, so no complaints there.
When you think about it though, everyone wins don't they? The 3rd parties who are trying to sell to us ,sponsor awards, and get publicity. If you are shortlisted, as we are, it is good publicity even if you don't win, and if you win, well the world is your lobster as the saying doesn't go. If you work for a firm who are shortlisted, it is nice day out in London, and a free day away from work. So who is complaining? I am because it will cost me about £2,500, but there again, I probably should be on "Grumpy Old Men"
Why did we get shortlisted? Well we went paperless in September 2010 and are saving trees, which is where the Environment bit comes in. We do child abuse compensation cases, which require a very special approach to the client, who need very careful handling, which is the client service bit. I designed a special case management system to deal with our abuse cases, and run group actions, which is where the innovation comes in.
Why am I nominated for Solicitor of the Year? Good question. Well probably for the same reason that I am still sitting here after the office has closed writing this blog, when I should be at home with my family. But there again, they are used to it by now. I get it from my grandfather, who used to drum into me when I was a little boy. "Peter, if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing properly." May you rest in peace Grandad. I just wish, I could make a balls of things sometimes.
So, we are all trooping down to London on 18th October, so wish us luck. If we don't have to buy lots of bubbly, then we didn't do well. If I get sozzled then it was a successful evening. Shame I am not really a drinker, but that is probably my father's fault, because Grandad did like his whiskey......