Anne Renshaw is celebrating raising over £1,000 for Disability Challengers, a charity for disabled children and young people and their families in Surrey and Hampshire. After doing her first ever triathlon to raise funds for them six years ago Anne has done various fundraising efforts (including a 14km swim in the Thames) culminating in her biggest challenge to date, a half ironman distance triathlon. She undertook the 1.8km swim, 90km bike and half marathon in the Cotswolds in August and managed to cross the finish line in 8 hours and 13 minutes. Training for and completing such a feat is gruelling enough but Anne was also hampered by being hit by a car whilst cycling in Mallorca in February and is still having treatment for damage sustained to her legs, so training for the race was difficult to say the least.
Anne (founder of Flamme Rouge Consulting based in Leatherhead) said “not finishing wasn’t an option. I’d had huge support in financial and other terms from friends, family and the local business community in the run up to the race and I couldn’t let them, or Challengers, down. The race was immensely tough, I had to walk the whole half marathon due to pain in my legs which was hard mentally as well as physically, but it was absolutely worth it to raise much needed funds for the amazing charity and the children and families that they support. The feeling of achievement when I crossed the finish line was completely overwhelming and to then smash my fundraising target was the most amazing feeling”.
As part of her fundraising Anne also walked up and down Guildford High Street in her wetsuit, and hosted a business meeting for a morning dressed in the same outfit. “This was probably the most challenging bit for me – it was hot, sweaty and hugely embarrassing – but when it’s for charity you just get out there, have fun and make people smile – and raise money while you’re doing it, Everyone I know thinks I’m very outgoing, but actually I’m very shy – so to walk in public wearing neoprene, flippers and a snorkel took me WAY outside of my comfort zone”.
Anne has her eye on another event in the next year to raise much needed funds for this amazing charity, particularly after their recent fire which has led to an even greater need for fundraising, so watch this space! If you would like to support Anne’s efforts you can find her JustGiving page here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/anne-renshaw-cotswolds .
Released as Press Release on 14 September 2017
It’s that time of year again when you start thinking about preparing your Legal 500 and Chambers entries. Suddenly cleaning the office oven seems like the most appealing thing you can do with your day JUST to avoid filling in the reams and reams of seemingly useless information.
At many law firms I’ve worked with if you mention Legal 500 or Chambers then you stood quite a good chance of being flung through the nearest open window – or even a closed one if an open one wasn’t an option. So why do people hate them so much and are their fears and loathing valid?
In this series of blogs I’m going to uncover some of the (as I see them) myths around directory submissions and shine a new and hopefully more positive light on the preparation of these submissions and how you can get the most out of the process as an individual and as a firm.
Let’s start with the most uttered phrase in any law firm…. “they take forever to prepare and it’s a complete waste of everyone’s time”…
Ahem – NO! Let’s look at this statement in two parts.
“They take forever to prepare” – only if you leave it until the last minute and you’re scrabbling around for information with days to go, panicking, getting everyone including the managing partner involved and you’re madly scanning through hundreds of client files trying to find cases that match the area you’re submitting under. Never mind e-mailing and calling clients (who are NEVER available) to ask for their permission to be a referee.
Solution – prepare for these submissions ALL YEAR ROUND! It’s easy to set up a spreadsheet (or any kind of document which you can use) to collate the key information that you need for these submissions – they rarely change significantly in what they’re looking for from one year to the next. Set up a sheet which has cells for each of the areas that the directories look for information under sections such as case studies and fill them in AS YOU GO ALONG! If you finish an interesting case that you think would be a great example write it up when you finish it! Get a quote from the client, get the permission to use the case study (even if anonymised), get their permission to name them in any client lists and ask them if they would be a reference. Share these documents with your teams and set up one per submission area. It takes 10-15 minutes after each case finishes which is nothing when you’re in the throes of post case success! It really doesn’t have to take up days or weeks of time.
“It’s a complete waste of time” – what implementing the process above also does is give you a bank of case studies, testimonials and referees to use in documents such as credential/pitch documents and to put on marketing collateral – all year round. Share the document with people – make it a live document that people can refer to for information rather than just keep it secret to populate the (now hopefully not so) dreaded forms when they’re released.
So hang on a minute, these submissions are suddenly generating easy to access information for other areas of the business? Well who knew? It doesn’t just have to be about preparing the submissions, if you’re clever you can use the information you collate in a myriad of different ways to benefit the firm.
Hopefully this has made you feel slightly more positive about the whole experience of why you should embrace directory submissions rather than procrastinate eternally over completing them. Go on, show of hands as to who has considered cleaning the office oven rather than filling “their bit” in?
Next time I’ll cover how to put together an effective process and increase buy in throughout the firm. But if you can’t wait until then feel free to contact me for a chat about it – and of course I’m always here to help and happy to come and visit you to discuss how I can help you implement some of these ideas in your firm. Go forth and be a directory entry WINNER!