Scott & Co Scottish Legal Awards: Forging priceless links with local community

Attendees from Scott & Co Legal Awards in 2013. Picture: Jane Barlow
Attendees from Scott & Co Legal Awards in 2013. Picture: Jane Barlow
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RISING confidence within Scotland’s independent law firms has been good news for local communities as more businesses seek to increase their activities engaging partners and staff in the art of giving.

Communities are everyone’s responsibility and following the recent judging of the Scott & Co Scottish Legal Awards, organisers have noted rising interest in the number of teams competing for the coveted title of Community Contribution Award for 2016.

The category, sponsored by Frasia Wright Associates, sees five companies in the finals: last year’s big winners Digby Brown; DWF; Lindsays; Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace; and RBS Legal with a wide range of charitable initiatives including sports challenges, major events and old-fashioned fundraising.

Frasia Wright, the legal recruitment specialist and one of this year’s judging panel, said: “The firms are all doing great work in their communities and the staff engagement in delivering this contribution was incredible.

“In our role as recruiters, we see the direct impact on staff motivation, loyalty and pride to be in a firm with this commitment – and this can only be a good thing for staff retention.”

Tyrone Jones, director of corporate social responsibility and engagement at DWF, said: “Engaging with our local communities has a significant impact on our people. It improves morale, supports personal skill development and increases their connection with the local communities.”

Alasdair Cummings, managing partner at Lindsays and awards finalist in 2016, said: “We wanted our 200th anniversary in 2015 to benefit the communities that have supported us over the last two centuries. With that in mind we launched Lindsays200 in January 2015. The objective was simple: we wanted to support local charities and community projects by enabling our people to invest time during the working day in causes which matter personally to them. Over the course of the year, our people have worked with 20 different organisations and delivered 28 projects within their local communities.”

Engagement at a local level is an approach backed up by Digby Brown, the current community champion winners, which this year launched a new CSR strategy which focuses on the firm’s seven-strong local office network.

Meanwhile in Aberdeen, finalists Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace sees efforts made by staff a key way of saying thank you to local businesses for their support. Heather Stephen, partner and head of the charity committee at the firm, said: “Through community-driven initiatives, we have an opportunity to give back to the community which supports us as a local business.”

With such a generous display of giving on show this year, choosing a winner can’t be easy. Frasia Wright now knows the effort involved to find the winners. She concluded: “I was impressed by the robust process and the willingness by all of us to undertake in-depth research and so allowing informed decisions that will stand up to scrutiny.”

• The 14th annual Scott + Co Scottish Legal Awards ceremony takes place on 24 March at the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms. Limited places remain; contact Pippa@kdmedia.co.uk or 0131 337 6322. Book online at: www.thelegalawards.com