Experience of the DASLS Awards
When the inaugural DASLS Awards were announced, we were determined to support them; The Family Law Company has long recognised the importance of having a local Law Society representing our profession in the south west.
Amongst all employees, whatever their role, there is a strong belief in The Family Law Company (TFLC) and the service it provides to clients in need of guidance in this area of law. It therefore felt important to seek recognition for the hard work that everyone at TFLC commits to in this often difficult and demanding area of law.
Jane Chanot’s team works at the grittier end of family law, in particular child abduction, domestic abuse and honour based violence. We believed the team deserved to have their work acknowledged, and should therefore enter the Team of the Year category. The process enabled us to stop and reflect on the importance of the work they carry out, and the commitment of everyone in the team.
TFLC’s overarching ethos is to find workable solutions that help families to overcome problems with the least stress possible, and the submission looked at the work of the team over the past year including specific initiatives undertaken in the Exeter and Plymouth branches requiring innovative ways of working. It also highlighted smaller – but equally important – initiatives implemented by individuals, such as learning sign language to offer the deaf community a better service.
The ability of the team to handle difficult cases, both in this country and overseas, was another important element of the submission. A lot of what this team does is based around protecting individuals, including children, and it can be very challenging work. However, this is a strong team and a cohesive one. Often the information they handle is so sensitive that no-one else in the company can know about it. Consequently, they are highly supportive of each other, and work together to constantly learn about the wider aspects of CA, HBV and DA.
After it was written, we realised this was a strong submission, but we were still absolutely thrilled to learn that the team had made the shortlist. Just to be shortlisted was recognition in itself, and affirming for the team and for our clients.
On the awards evening the team was very relaxed; even with a strong submission they didn’t expect to win. Jane says they were thoroughly enjoying the company of others on the table, none of whom had won their categories but were being photographed by the official photographer with their finalist certificates. When The Family Law Company was announced as the Team of the Year, it took a moment or two to sink in before she said, with some surprise: “Oh my goodness, that’s us!”
Jane is clear that the award is a tribute to everyone in the company. She told The Family Law Company’s Accounts Manager Jenny: “This is for you!” as she believes her input and support in administering client matters is equally as important as the work of the team ‘at the coalface’.
The company gathered at Balliol House to celebrate the unexpected win, and to admire the award. It is beautifully made and takes pride of place in The Family Law Company’s reception area, where it is much commented on.
All in all, we felt honoured to be a part of the awards and for this particular team to receive the recognition of the judges and their peers was a supremely positive experience. Congratulations to everyone who succeeded in being nominated and receiving awards. We also wish every success to DASLs for the next awards and thank them for encouraging and supporting the profession as they do!