This is the fourth of five articles about ILTA 2012. Whatever may happen at other awards dinners, this one celebrates the people who lead by an example in an industry which needs them.
ILTA ends with a big dinner, with a comedian and awards. Between you and me, those elements usually add up to an event which I would cross the Atlantic to avoid. For the ILTA Peer Awards dinner, however, I am always prepared to stay an extra night when I could be asleep on an aeroplane heading home.
The draw is not generally the food or the comedian, though both were good. I go to support the principle that ILTA is a peer-driven organisation which encourages those who have the expertise to share it with others, and I am prepared to sit through the sonorous intonations of the announcer on the grandiloquent linking videos to see individuals, firms and companies singled out for taking a lead. The UK was up there – Bond Pearce was shortlisted for a couple of awards and Vince Neicho of Allen & Overy was in the top three for Litigation and Practice Support Champion, an award which went to Paige Hunt Wojcik of Perkins Cole.
Why should I care? It is not really for the sake of the individuals (except for Vince, of course, for whom for whom I was standing proxy if he had won) but because we need a new kind of person in law firms and in corporations, someone who does more than mind the “lights which blink” (a neat expression used by Gartner’s Debra Logan), who views the fee earners as more than a nuisance, and who will be willing to push the organisation towards the efficiencies which technology can bring.
At some of these awards ceremonies, the prizes always seem to go to the company which bought the biggest table and sponsored the most awards. The ILTA Awards really mean something.
In addition to the photographs scattered through these articles, I have put up three sets of photographs showing this year’s venue, some scenes from the exhibition hall and the Peer Awards dinner. These do not aspire to be works of art, but merely aim to give some idea of what it is likely to be at an ILTA conference.