The Panel of Judges met yesterday to decide the winners of this year’s STEP Private Client Awards.
Yesterday’s meeting was the culmination of a process that began in April when nominations closed and expert panels started sifting through well over 200 entries from 17 different jurisdictions to produce a shortlist of finalists in each category. At yesterday’s meeting we looked in detail at the shortlists and identified the winners.
After a meeting lasting several hours many of the judges expressed themselves exhausted, but impressed at the depth and detail of the discussion that had gone into the judging process. Several of the categories under consideration were very hard fought, with submissions that split the judges’ opinions in terms of who should win – a situation that was only resolved after much discussion. The net result was that in spite of very able chairing from Paul Stibbard TEP, the Chair of the Judging Panel, the meeting actually went on rather longer than originally planned.
Congratulations are due to all those under consideration yesterday – just making the shortlist is a notable achievement given how stiff the competition is in many categories. Particular plaudits are nevertheless due to the 16 winners chosen yesterday to be announced at the awards ceremony on 8 September.
To those not winning an award and wondering what the secret of success is, yesterday’s discussion demonstrated yet again that the key item the judges consider is the quality of the submission. It needs to be focussed on the criteria laid out and go beyond bland statements about ‘client focus’ or ‘professionalism’ and offer hard evidence of progress and achievement over the past year. Our judges are all very experienced industry professionals and rightly therefore set high standards. STEP thanks them for their efforts yesterday and we look forward to a great night at the sell-out awards ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, London on 8 September.
George Hodgson is STEP Deputy Chief Executive