How to win a law firm award: LexRex top tips for winning legal awards

Champagne bottle and glasses on legal awards night

How to win a law firm award? LexRex MD and founder Victoria Moffatt’s top tips for winning legal awards Awards season is very much upon us and if you have ‘win an award’ on your to do list, but you’re not quite sure what to do next, read on for our top tips for bagging a gong. Only enter ethical and fairly-judged awards This is a bit of a crusade for me – I actively dislike awards that are either pay-to-play or that boil down to popularity contests. They give properly judged and considered awards a bad name and are, quite simply, a bad idea. If you genuinely think your work is good enough to be celebrated, do it the courtesy of entering it into a proper set of awards. Don’t fall in with a bad awards crowd – in my opinion, if you enter this type of award, you undermine the quality of what you do and put your reputation at risk. People are not daft and they can work out that this type of award is poor quality at best and a scam at worst. Research the categories and check out the previous winners. This is an obvious step but one that is often over-looked. It’s likely that you will be eligible for several different categories – firm-wide (Firm of the Year), team or specialism (Employment Team of the Year) or on a personal basis (Partner of the Year). But which are you most likely to be shortlisted for or win? The best way to try and gauge this is by looking at two things initially; the criteria for each submission and the previous winners. If the categories have previously been won by firms, teams or individuals that have some similarities with your practice, team or you individually (in terms of experience, profile and achievements – for example), then you may stand a good chance. However, if they are nothing like you and their achievements are greater than yours, perhaps consider a different category. Consider your achievements against those of other potential entrants. This is a bit tricky, but if you know that your competitors always submit AND they have had a particularly strong year – for example, high profile litigation, merger, very strong financials; then again just stop to consider how your own achievements measure up. Read and understand the requirements for each submission. This is an obvious one and it always feels a bit like I’m advising students to read the exam question. However, experience has taught me that it’s sensible to have this conversation early in the process. Ensure that you meet the requirements for the submission you are considering preparing, and that you can meet the deadline. Check in advance the format required for the submission – is it a written submission, do you need to complete an online form, is there a registration process and / or is there a cost for which you will need prior sign-off?   Also consider additional steps you may need to take – does the submission requires onerous supporting information, a video or client testimonials? And are these things that you can easily supply, and if so, will they be of a good enough quality? “If you genuinely think your work is good enough to be celebrated, do it the courtesy of entering it into a proper set of awards. Don’t fall in with a bad awards crowd.” Mark up the criteria and ensure you meet 80% of them. Another simple piece of advice and again one that feels a little bit like exam advice. In addition to checking that the entrant meets most of the criteria, I go a step further and print them, then handwrite in bullets the key supporting information I want to include for each criterion heading. Doing this helps to focus the mind on the previous year’s successes, but also helps to ensure that judges can literally tick the answers off against their criteria list. Stick to the word count. Again, this sounds likely noddy advice, but experience shows that it’s still good advice. Word counts are typically limited to 750 – 1000 per submission, so don’t waste your words. Ensure that anything you mention is relevant to the criteria and nothing else. A strong submission is a clear and focussed one. Provide what you’re asked to provide. Submission calls for testimonials? Include them. A video? Record one. ‘Up to 3 pages of supporting evidence’, for example, can be more tricky – but again refer back to the individual criteria and ask yourself what evidence you can provide to meet these whilst also tying in with what you’ve written. Treat a shortlisting like a win. Being shortlisted is a huge achievement, and we always advise clients to celebrate as though they have won. This goes for any PR activity as well – don’t waste the opportunity to shout about being shortlisted, because if you don’t win – that chance can never be recouped. Further, a shortlisting is a win, and by that point, you’ve done absolutely everything you can. So you may as well bask in the glory. And if you do win, shout even more loudly! What do we mean by ‘shouting loudly’? Get your socials in order – great imagery, quotes from judges if any are available, video content. These are just a few examples of content you could create. You can also tag your fellow shortlisted firms / teams / individuals / the organisers in order to start to generate likes, comments and shares. Blog and newsletter content – share the good news internally and externally. Email signatures – use the official logos (review the usage policy first to see what you’re permitted to do) Consider whether you can use the result in signage – perhaps as decals in a prominent window or door. Celebrate internally – print and display posters or create something a bit daft in celebration, or even something as simple as celebratory cakes. Whatever

Does PR support HR?

Person reading a news paper

Courtesy of Barclays, on Thursday 19th January in Manchester and Wednesday 22nd February in Liverpool, I’ll be speaking to lawyers about why I think strong and effective PR can support the HR function in its role, specifically when it comes to recruitment and retention. These events run monthly, each time with a different specialist in the legal sector. They are great – so drop me a line if you’d like to know more. Having been an employment lawyer in a previous life, I’m comfortable in my knowledge of the needs, requirements, likes and dislikes of a typical HR manager. LexisNexis’ 2022 Bellwether Report found that the top challenge for small law firms last year was attracting and retaining good lawyers. With the rise of the consultancy model and freelance lawyers, there is a definite challenge for law firms who want to attract and retain talent at the career point between associate and partner. For individuals who can drive their own business, there’s a clear opportunity to make more money and avoid having to invest in a model with potentially limited opportunities, the requirement to share profits with poorly performing partners and the potential to end up in business with people you dislike. But for now – back to PR. I know when I looked for lawyer jobs (a long time ago admittedly), one of the first things I’d do if I spotted a role I thought I might apply for was Google the firm and see what came up. This search would sometimes point me to a website, but just as often to press coverage – typically ‘good news’ announcements about new starters, new offices and CSR initiatives. I would sometimes see lawyers speaking in the press or on the news about their areas of expertise. At that time lawyers didn’t really use LinkedIn, so I definitely didn’t tend to go there. Twitter existed but again there weren’t that many lawyers on there (and I knew them all anyway). Facebook was a definite ‘no-no’. Times have changed. What hasn’t though is candidates continuing to use Search to carry out desk research on firms. In addition to Google, they look at the firm’s social media channels and those of their potential colleagues and managers. They almost certainly also check out places like Roll on Friday and GlassDoor to see what current and former employees have to say and whether there have been any cringeworthy stories (we’ve all seen them). A more detailed search might take them into Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 territory, along with other kitemarks such as the Investor in People scheme and The Times Best Law Firms.  As a more junior lawyer I was drawn to the individuals and firms that had the media coverage, the kitemarks and other indicators of quality and success. My feeling was that I wanted to be in a firm that was proud of its achievements and which employed real experts who were trusted – by the media and recognised as industry experts. Already you can see how having a good profile in the media, in legal directories and online could help your firm to attract new talent. If nothing else consider this – if a potential employee can’t find you online or isn’t impressed by what they see, what does this mean for potential clients doing the same research? Be truthful and mislead at your peril Before I continue, I need to include a disclaimer here: your PR and culture must be aligned and you must tell the truth. Repeat: your PR activity and culture must be aligned and you must tell the truth. Why? If you decide to start pushing out positive news stories that don’t align with either the client experience or the experience of your team, or yet worse you don’t tell the truth; you will create problems for now and the longer term. Why? To be successful, PR activity has to both reflect the truth and be truthful. What I mean by this is that it must both reflect reality, i.e. the situation on the ground and it must go no further than the truth. The above might sound strange coming from a ‘spin doctor’ (please don’t ever call me a spin doctor, it’s almost as bad as ‘PR girl’) but in actual fact, there’s a lot of common sense to be applied when it comes to good PR practice. It can be easy to think that PR is all about fluff and inflating the truth or spinning yarns but actually it’s not. Ethical PR and the type of work that we do (I’m chartered by the CIPR) is, yes, about influencing and encouraging people to, for example, join your firm or instruct you, but it can and should only emphasise or reflect the truth. If it lies or seeks to distort or inflate, then you start to stray into unethical practice. Everybody should avoid unethical practice, and law firms must be particularly careful to deal properly, fairly, ethically and truthfully in the messaging it uses to promote itself. In essence then, PR must reflect reality. If it doesn’t, and people find out that the truth is something else entirely, you do two things. The first is that you make the person who believed your spin feel stupid. Nobody ever likes or wants to feel stupid, it is a truly horrible feeling. Accordingly, whoever has discovered your cover up will hate you for creating these feelings for them and will almost certainly go out of their way to tell everybody how terrible you are. Imagine this person is an employee, or worse a former employee, and you can imagine the damage being done to your firm’s brand. Secondly you lose trust. Trust is so important for all businesses, but particularly law firms – you are trusted by people to handle divorce and other relationship challenges, you administer estates and draft wills. You manage redundances for people who own businesses, and settlement agreements for those being relieved

LexRex is 10: a 5 minute journey through a decade of my legal PR business


My legal PR business LexRex Communications is ten. Which feels crazy, because surely it’s only five minutes since I flounced (ok not really) out of my final law firm fee earning role and straight into the pub which I’m fairly sure kickstarted, or perhaps simply marked the start of quite a significant quarter-life crisis. How was LexRex created? So what happened then? Well, I knew that fee earning in a law firm was no longer for me. After quite a few years of betablockers to try to calm my pretty-extreme-with-hindsight, work-related anxiety and literal sleepless nights before any type of court hearing, I had finally realised that whilst I loved the law and its application a) I worried too much about losing / letting down my clients to be a good litigator and b) non-contentious stuff was so boring to me that I’d rather sit in the post room with the juniors than do it. #Awkward. Anyway, I remembered that a couple of my (admittedly privately educated, which I am certainly not) roommates from university had talked about ‘going into PR’. And I (quite naively) thought, yeah ok – that always did sound like it would be fun. And that was it. I ‘went into PR’. I did a six-month work experience stint (for free lol and I was probably the world’s oldest work experience girl) at a Manchester agency that had a top 100 law firm on its books, moved to an account manager role there for a little while, then got a second actual paid job in PR at arguably the North’s leading PR agency. But reader, alas – agency life wasn’t for me. Too many, err, let’s say ‘personalities’. It was a bit of a doomed project; I now see with hindsight. At the same time that I was in agency-land, I was frantically upskilling into PR via a distance learning course and hoovering up knowledge about strategic PR, ethical PR, industry best practice and the academic fundamentals that underlie the practice. As an aside – and it continues to astonish me – incredibly few PRs have undertaken formal PR training. For the record, I’m a proud Chartered PR professional and enjoy the CPD that comes with that external kitemark. At this point, it has to be said, my options were pretty limited. I didn’t want to be a lawyer in a law firm, I didn’t want to work in delivery at an agency. I tried but failed to get an in-house PR job (they are really rare and you need broader marketing skills, which I didn’t have at that time). Also – another point of realisation was that I really, really hated being told what to do. Which can be a problem when you have a job or indeed a boss. So that’s how LexRex was born. The name is from Latin and very roughly translates as ‘The law is King’ or ‘The law of the King’. Which I always thought was quite clever. It’s very rare that people ask though – so I guess they are either cleverer than me, or they assume it’s a meaningless name. Has anything changed in legal PR over the past 10 years? A lot has changed and nothing has changed. When I started in PR, the decline in print media was already in full swing and that has played out to an extent. In the end though, the media hasn’t really lost any of its power, it’s just that we now consume our content in different ways to how we used to. A good, strong story continues to sell. There are still 8 ‘engaging elements’ that tend to exist in all news stories – these include things like weirdness, emotion, proximity, geography to name a few. Lawyers continue to be at the forefront of the news, every single day. Lawyers continue to be maligned in the press (just look at the barristers’ strike for evidence of that). Lawyers continue to astonish me with their intelligence, dedication to their clients and for, on the whole, being jolly nice people to work with. Social media has changed. Twitter was ‘big’ when I was transitioning out of law and into PR. Instagram wasn’t even a ‘thing’ let alone a ‘big’ thing. LinkedIn has continued to grow as (I) predicted and is now the platform of choice for many if not most lawyers to raise their professional profiles and that of their teams and firm. Broadcast coverage is still really bloody hard to secure, and some journalists continue to be tricky to deal with (sorry guys but it’s true). One very good change though is that lawyers no longer seem to ask me to put out press releases to announce their new websites. And that’s a very good thing. Have you learned anything during the past 10 years? Yes, many hard lessons have been learnt at the coalface of running a business. It turns that having a business AND a baby, is really hard work. Who knew that having a baby with allergies and a corresponding aversion to sleep, a toddler AND a business would be nigh on impossible? Seriously, why did nobody warn me…? It remains impossible to ‘have it all’. But with lots of planning, support with childcare and life admin, it’s possible to have a decent time of it and avoid feeling too guilty too often. But honestly, with really young kids – if you want to do the whole part-time nursery thing (which I did), you just gotta stick it out until they get older. Oh and school is a bummer because – 3.15pm finishing time + holidays. Again, it’s an ongoing juggle but support on that front; whether paid, from a co-parent, friends, relatives – however you get it – is really, really helpful. Cash. When they say cash is king – they mean it. Cash really is king. You can the world’s most profitable business, but if you run out of cash, you are quite literally

Media relations is dead? Long live media relations…

Woman reading a newspaper

Media relations typically form an essential cornerstone in any PR project or retainer. Historically, agencies have put their clients into the media spotlight to promote, raise profile, respond to negative publicity, repair reputations and create thought leaders and indeed thought leadership. Done well, media relations can be extremely powerful; enabling lawyers and indeed the broader firm to broadcast their key messages to their target audiences and often beyond. Strategy-led media relations is a tactic used to support a broader set of business goals, themselves driven by the firm’s business strategy; and is usually therefore just one tactic amongst a range of other effective and measurable tactics aimed at achieving or exceeding the said goals in order to deliver the strategy. But over the course of the past decade (and probably earlier) media relations and the media has been changing. As social media has grown as a news source (albeit an unregulated and often factually incorrect one), some traditional media sources have contracted. The printed newspaper is the most obvious casualty, with readership figures for the National publications tending to have halved over the previous decade, for example: The Sun – readership figures: 3,006,565 in 2010; 1,410,896 in 2019. The Daily Telegraph – readership figures: 691,128 in 2010; 360,345 in 2019.

Top PR Tips for Lawyers: How to become a media relations expert

Man standing in a TV new studio

How to become a media expert – if only the answer to that question was easy. Well, in some ways, it is. The route to becoming a media expert isn’t particularly complicated, and it’s certainly not some magical dark PR art. It is quite simply a combination of some or all of the following: 1. Spotting the real story 2. Opportunity 3. Confidence 4. Resilience 5. Relationships I’ll examine the five elements here: 1. Spotting the real story Sometimes a story breaks, and it’s easy for everyone to see what the story is. However, sometimes the skill lies in getting underneath its skin, to examine how the headline might provide opportunities to talk about many other aspects, almost like an orange separating into segments. For example – COVID19 (sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t go there) COVID is the headline story (still). However, the segments or secondary stories include – employment law: can employers force employees to get vaccinated? Immigration law: can countries close borders to their own citizens and can children with parents living in different countries travel for contact? Medical negligence: can cancer patients sue the NHS for delayed treatment or diagnosis resulting in a more serious prognosis than would normally be expected. The list goes on. Anybody with an ability to segment a story, and work out where their narrative or angle fits in, is already miles ahead of the competition. Go and look at the news today, and see what your story is. 2. Opportunity Sometimes opportunity just comes knocking. It certainly did for Ayesha Vardag when she represented Karin Radmacher in her divorce back in 2010. Ms Vardag now carries the tag of ‘Britain’s most expensive divorce lawyer’ and is often in the press (albeit ‘cardigan-gate’ perhaps undermined the adage that any press is always good press). Why? She got a great client, won an impressive case, and capitalised upon that success to create a powerful media brand. See also, Nick Freeman AKA Mr Loophole; former driving offences solicitor to a certain Mr Beckham; and Fiona Shackleton, divorce lawyer to Paul McCartney (and recipient of a jug of water over her head courtesy of an angry Heather Mills-McCartney back in 2008). You could rename this section ‘luck’ and still be correct. That said, many people have amazing opportunities to PR-themselves with these sorts of matters, but let the chance pass. Don’t be that person. 3. Confidence You must have confidence to become a media expert. Arrogance doesn’t  usually go down too well with journalists, but equally, you need to be able to discuss your area of expertise in a confident, clear and accessible way. If confidence is something you struggle with, our top tips for handling imposter syndrome are worthwhile checking out. 4. Resilience If you don’t have a multi-million pound divorce to manage or footballers who keep you on speed dial, what’s to be done? There are still many, many opportunities to build a media profile. Keep up with the news agenda, look out for media opportunities, and don’t be afraid to push your expertise. Also, start small and don’t be snobby about the trade or regional press (for example). It is pretty rare to get straight onto the TV or radio (if that’s your aim), without putting significant effort first with smaller publications, and getting a name for yourself as an expert in your field. Also, remember that the media isn’t there to make you famous. It’s to report on whatever events are happening on any particular day in question. You will be ignored, turned down and sent away with a flea in your ear… Don’t take it personally, it happens to everyone – particularly the flacks (as the hacks like to call us). 5. Relationships If you are able to secure opportunities, be nice! Keep in touch with the journalist / editor / producer you’ve dealt with. Be available, be helpful and be polite. We all know that it’s relationships that really make the world go around, so guard and nurture them. You never know where the editor of a tiny one-man-band publication will end up. Victoria Moffatt is the founder and managing director of LexRex Communications, and a former solicitor. To find out more about our services, please visit: You can also contact us on 0161 393 6121 or email us on Connect with Victoria on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

Presenting yourself on video calls, meetings and broadcast interviews from home

Robert Kelly interrupted by family mid broadcast interview

Now that face to face meetings are out for the foreseeable future, how confident are you about your ability to present your best self via video whether it’s calls, meetings or broadcast interviews? Expert tips from ex-BBC media trainer and PR expert. We are faced with working very differently whilst juggling uncertainty and family needs whilst working from home during constant changes with very little time to prepare. For many, dialling into video calls was an infrequent occurrence taking place in one of the office meeting rooms. Being ready for regular video calls, meetings and potentially broadcast interviews whilst working from home can be stressful and hard to manage when you’re not confident or prepared. However, some straight-forward tips, preparation and practice can get you ready and confident. One-hour webinar for lawyers We are planning a one-hour webinar for lawyers with an ex-BBC media trainer to do just this. It will cover: 1. How to come across well on camera 2. What to wear and some appearance basics 3. How to set up your workspace to look as professional as your usual office 3. Video etiquette and some important ‘don’ts’ As ever with LexRex Communications training, the webinar will be expert, hands on steps with real time advice and practice during the session – yes we WILL turn the camera onto each delegate. At the end of the session you will come away with: 1. Confidence in your ability to run video calls professionally 2. A video-call ready space in your home office 3. Knowledge that will enable you to look and sound great on screen Limited to 5 Places Get in touch to reserve as soon as possible as we are limiting spaces to just 5 places. The webinar will operate under Chatham House rules. As with all LexRex training we provide a safe professional space to get specific advices relevant to you and your practice area. The session will be run by our MD Victoria Moffatt and our regular ex-BBC media trainer Fiona, and guarantees to be expert tailored advice. Our joint media training sessions get 100% recommendation rate and fantastic feedback. Get in touch directly with us here at LexRex Communications via email or call 0161 393 6121  

Communicating during change and crisis: PR Advice for Law Firms

Phone off the o

Last week LexRex Communications MD Victoria was on the phone to clients to reassure them that, even with the anticipated school closures, the team would be continuing to support and to check-in on their plans with regards to what they should be saying to their clients; in particular how to reassure, provide information and update on service delivery during the coronavirus outbreak. Most of our clients have in place disaster plans that cover exactly this sort of thing. But we recognise that the current situation isn’t necessarily something that everybody would have prepared for. Accordingly here are some top tips from Victoria for approaching communications with your clients as the UK to adapt to the daily changes and uncertainty caused by the epidemic. 1. Stay up to date with government advice. It’s important to know exactly what the official advice is, and to follow it. 2. Review your disaster plans, including the communications elements of these. Try to keep these up to date as the official advice changes. 3. Communicate with staff. It’s really important to maintain an ongoing dialogue with teams and where possible provide reassurance. 4. Communicate with clients. How you do this will depend on your existing relationships with clients, the services you provide and how your firm works. Communicating may look like fee earners picking up the phone for a reassuring chat, could be a holding statement on your website, a statement via social media, an email, even a letter. Ultimately you need to consider what will work best for your clients. 5. Recognise that this is a developing situation and that you cannot control it. Also, remember that people like to feel looked after, and your communications should aim to be reassuring, realistic and informative. The situation is evolving constantly and the team here at LexRex Communications are on hand if you would like particular advice on any of the above.

A year to remember – LexRex does 2019

2019 highlights merry christmas

As the festive season draws near we’re pretty amazed by the year that we’ve had – celebrating 7 years in business, new team members and record breaking year of PR coverage for our clients and more. We’re looking forward to an exciting 2020 and in true PR style we couldn’t leave 2019 without sharing some of our highlights. 7 years in business LexRex Communication celebrated seven years in business this year and it has been fantastic to look back over the growth of the business with such fantastic clients and some pretty impressive milestones achieved. We celebrated and the LexRex family came together at Grand Pacific on Thursday 10 October to raise a glass and of course a selfie frame. Founded In 2012 by Managing Director and founder, Victoria Moffatt we are the only specialist legal communications agency outside of London, and over the past 7 years LexRex has built a roster of specialist and award-winning law firms. That is certainly a highlight worth celebrating. Amazing new clients We continued to expand our reach across the boutique law firm market this year with new clients, firstly we were appointed by Court of Protection specialist Hugh Jones Solicitors early this year. Hugh Jones Solicitors is the biggest firm of independent Court of Protection solicitors in the country and throughout this year we have landed some fantastic coverage across specialist press, with comments and interviews. We were also delighted to welcome our new client, employment law experts Robinson Ralph last month and landed employment solicitor and founder, Simon Robinson an interview on BBC Radio Stoke to comment on the latest employment law issues in the national news – not a bad way to welcome a client on board. Launch of a new legal sector event series For some time we have wanted to do series of events that could add value to our clients and others in the northern legal market; this year we hosted our first panel event with Chambers and Partners. We invited the Chambers and Partners Guide editors up to Manchester to share their insights into how the Guides are prepared, the rankings decided and how law firms can create submissions that stand out from the crowd. Not only was it of huge value to attendees, we will be creating video content and expert guides to roll out in the new year. Specialist media training We delivered expert media training and created the next round of legal PR superstars. Whether it is challenging questions on the court steps at the right hand of a key client or an interview on a breaking news topic on the breakfast TV couch, we have created specialist Media Training for Lawyers and have delivered it throughout this year to some amazing candidates. It is a course that is in demand and we’re lining up dates for 2020 as we speak.     Growing the team We welcomed new team members into the LexRex family this year, expanding the reach of our talented PR expertise. PR specialist Sophie Chadwick and marketing specialist Sarah Wilde joined us this year and we have hosted our strategy days as a team throughout the year enabling us to build even more value for our clients and the northern legal market. We continue to scale the business and we are proud to grow a specialist team of PR, media, communications marketing and social media experts that can deliver outstanding results for the legal sector. We also have exciting plans for expansion in 2020 so watch this space, Award worthy PR coverage We delivered record breaking and award-worthy coverage. Over the summer we created the Pet-nups media campaign with Maguire Family Law and, amongst national press and radio coverage including The Guardian, The BBC and The New York Post, we even saw the campaign feature on BBC’s long-standing panel show, Have I Got News For You. As we head into 2020, not only is the press interest in this still buzzing, we also saw the campaign shortlisted for a prestigious Chartered Institute of PR Award. As the year draws to a close we saw a record-breaking volume of coverage over the past couple of months and throughout the year we seen media highlights in The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Marie Claire, LadBible. The Mirror, BBC, Fox News and The New York Post to name but a few.   Here’s to even more amazing media highlights and headline grabbing press for LexRex clients in 2020.

Our morning In Conversation with Chambers and Partners

In conversation with panel event

We have been threatening a series of events for the legal sector for quite a while now, and earlier in the year we actually started planning how these might look, and the value they could deliver to our clients and others in northern legal market. As the only specialist legal communications agency outside of London, we decided to invite the Chambers and Partners Guide editors up to Manchester to share their insights into how the Guides are prepared, the rankings decided and how law firms can create submissions that stand out from the crowd. The panel interview was hosted by our very own Victoria Moffatt, welcoming Chambers Guide and Chambers High Net Worth Guide editors to share insights, tips and know-how. The event took place on 3rd December at the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub and we were delighted to welcome clients and contacts from across the region’s legal sector. Split into two sections, our questions covered the actual submissions process and content and the handling of referees and data, before moving on to cover Chambers’ place in law firms’ marketing strategies and the value it brings to listed teams and individuals. “Excellent guests – really useful to get a real insight into the subject matter.” Our top three takeaways from the event were: 1. Be really clear about what makes a work highlight: When including new work highlights it isn’t necessarily the deal’s value that makes it interesting to the research team. If you are a team that handles mostly mid-market deals – include these as they showcase where your true expertise lies. And if, say, you have only handled one high-value deal, that is also absolutely fine to include. Be honest though – the research team will see through any attempts to inflate or overstate your expertise or specialisms. 2. Showcase your team not your hierarchy: Make sure Chambers get feel for your team and who is actually doing the majority of work on the matter. The editors don’t want to see just lead partner on every highlight when others in team really drove the work. 3. Keep communicating with your referees: Manage the communications with your referees and keep them engaged. It is sometimes difficult do avoid referrer fatigue however, where you have certain clients that you need to put forward for several submissions, explain the process to them and keep them up to date on who will be getting in touch and when. This will help to keep clients engaged. Because we want our events to be inclusive, we also filmed the panel session; and will be creating a video summary and an event report sharing the highlights and key points of the discussion. If you’re on our mailing list, we’ll be in  touch to let you know how to get your hands on both the video and the report.  If you’re not on the mailing list, please do add your name now by emailing The feedback we received from the event showed there’s a real desire for practical, hands-on support for getting the directory submissions process right. For that reason, we are currently working on an exclusive LexRex guide to creating stand-out directory submissions. Please email to pre-register your interest. Of course, we can also just pick up the process for you in its entirety. If that’s something you’d like to discuss – drop us a line on Chambers and Partners has been the leading source of legal market intelligence for over 30 years. Their 85 experienced researchers annually rank law firms and solicitors in the UK, providing a wealth of localised knowledge and trusted market insight. With the latest figures standing at over 10,000 individual UK solicitors and over 5,000 law firm departments ranked each year – just what can firms do to ensure their submissions get noticed? And how is the market currently using the Chambers and Partners Guide? Meet the panel: Steven Preston Deputy Editor UK Guide (currently Acting Editor) Steven became a Deputy Editor on the UK Guide having started at the company as a researcher. He studied undergraduate Law at UCL followed by a Masters in Human Rights Law at the same university. Simon Christian Editor HNW Guide Simon was a researcher and later a deputy editor on the Chambers UK team, before becoming editor of the Chambers High Net Worth guide. He has an LLB in Laws from University College London. He also studied for the BPTC at City Law School and was called to the Bar at Middle Temple. Lydia Burt Deputy Editor UK Guide Lydia started at Chambers as a researcher on the UK and USA guides, before being promoted to Deputy Editor on the UK Guide. She graduated from the University of East Anglia with a BA in American and English Literature, before studying for an MA in Film Studies at UCL. Victoria Moffatt Managing Director LexRex Communications LexRex a specialist PR and  communications  consultancy serving the UK legal sector. Victoria was previously a practising solicitor and has many years’ experience of working with Top 100, multi-disciplinary and niche law firms; both in practice and during her communications career. Future events and panel guests This event is the first in a series where we plan to bring you access to sector experts and promote discussion and knowledge sharing across the UK’s northern legal market. If you would like suggest topics or legal thought leaders that you would like to see on one of our panels contact us on Lex Rex Communications is a boutique PR and communications consultancy for the legal services industry with unique expert knowledge and understanding of the legal marketplace. Founded by Victoria Moffatt; an former lawyer with several years’ experience in high-street and commercial firms, followed by time at two of the UK’s leading PR agencies, LexRex is the only specialist legal communications agency outside of London, having built a roster of specialist and award-winning law firms.

Should we DIY our PR? Advice for law firms…

DIY Black and white tools on a wall

Should we DIY our PR? Advice for law firms… Honestly, I’m not going to lie to you – I WON’T tell you that DIY PR for your law firm isn’t for you. Why not? Well because for some firms, it makes sense to DIY their comms, at least in the short term. So what are the benefits of DIYing your PR? 1. Cost – sort of Certainly doing your PR in-house or by yourself will not require you to spend any cold, hard cash. So for the start-up law firm, it may make sense. However, don’t forget that the time you spend working out your key messages and target audiences, creating a strategy, pitching to journalists, creating angles, carrying out research, and drafting comments, features, and curating / creating content across your social channels, and engaging; is all time that could be spend (probably more immediately profitably) fee-earning or undertaking business development activities. Key take-away: PR hours tend to be cheaper than lawyer hours, and we’re generally better at the strategic and delivery side of things   2. Creating and owning your relationships There’s something to this. Relationships are powerful things, and are very necessary for PR. So yes, building relationships with journalists is a GOOD IDEA. However, you’ll need to create a strong network of journalist relationships to ensure that your coverage isn’t heavily skewed into one or two publications, tv or radio shows (repeat performances are good of course, but you don’t want to miss out on other areas to showcase your expertise to your target audiences). Key take-away: building relationships with journalists is never wasted time, but keep the net wide 3. Making use of slack time Again, a reasonable reasoning for DIY PR is the logic that it can be used to fill otherwise ‘dead’ time. This is a sensible proposition, as long as this PR time is properly carved out and utilised. Don’t let it become the never-reached or actioned item on the ‘to-do’ list, or everybody loses. Key take-away: ensure you prioritise PR 4. How difficult can it be? Yep, fair enough. It isn’t a dark art and you can quickly learn to ‘do’ media relations and other elements of PR; in the same way that you can do your own accounts, serve your own papers, create your own logo and make your own tea. But didn’t you go into the law to practice it? On a slightly left-field note, the personality type of an analytical, problem-solving lawyer doesn’t typically display the same strengths or features as that of a typical a PR. So whilst you can certainly do it, don’t count on enjoying it… Key take-away: remember your strengths In conclusion: DIY PR for your law firm is certainly something you can do. However, before you commit to it, remember that outsourcing is a great way to free up your own time to work upon, rather than in, your fledgling law firm. And if you are thinking about PR at the moment, our handy guide on choosing the most appropriate PR agency may be helpful. If you’d like to know about how PR can support your law firm, please get in touch on About LexRex LexRex Communications is a boutique PR agency serving the legal services market. Working in partnership with boutique law firms and businesses that serve the legal profession, our team is passionate about the law and its practice. Managing director and founder of LexRex Communications Ltd, Victoria Moffatt is a former solicitor turned legal PR specialist. She practised in South Yorkshire and Leeds over the course of her 6 year legal career. Victoria honed her PR skills at some of the UK’s leading and award-winning PR agencies in Manchester; working across a variety of prestigious law firm accounts including regional big-hitters and Top 100 firms. Driven by great communications and measurable results, Victoria loves creating and implementing bespoke campaigns. Her strengths include understanding exactly what clients want to achieve, and creating strategies that meet their objectives. LexRex is singularly focused on helping the legal services industry stay in the news, for the right reasons. To find out more about our services, please visit: You can also contact us on 0161 393 6121 or email us on Connect with Victoria on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn Check out our social channels: Twitter  LinkedIn  

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