I am the marketing and business development manager at 5SAH. I work in tandem with the Chambers Director, Dave Scothern, Management Committee, heads of practice teams and the clerking teams to promote the work of Chambers. My job is to encourage barristers to talk about the law and cases in articles, seminars and external events. It involves a lot of team work and mentoring and on occasions cajoling to involve everyone from the most senior QC to the pupils and junior tenants.
My role at 5SAH is varied, fun and often project-based. It can involve working to tight-deadlines and each day can differ one day to the next. We will plan for the year for each practice area and the direction we would like the work and members to go in.
5SAH is part of my history as I was a practising barrister here for 5 years from Pupil to Tenant. I spent 5 years away from chambers working in-house and in private practice in the world of Professional Discipline. After 5 years I wanted to diversify my role within the legal profession and the marketing and business development role at 5SAH seemed a perfect fit and I have never looked back.
Social Media & Legal Directories
I was lucky in one sense, as 5SAH had never had anyone doing my role before so I could shape my role and build it up in new ways. When I started, we were launching our new website. It was straight in at the deep end of writing a lot of the content for each practice area and putting together barrister profiles. We also stepped into the world of social media. Linkedin and Twitter became our tools to let our clients, prospective clients and the legal world know what we were up to. At the time, this felt quite new and not a lot of chambers were doing this. This has changed and Linkedin is no longer the cv library it once was, it is a platform to connect with other professionals and showcase the work of Chambers. Twitter can feel a little random at times, however, it has a reach that can sometimes lead to a great piece of work or connection and it gets our message out there.
A large part of my role at 5SAH is coordinating and writing our submissions to the legal directories. This is one of my major roles during December and the Spring, to co-ordinate our members and practice area leads in terms of our submissions. This is no small task and as a result we now have over a third of our members ranked in either Chambers & Partners or the Legal 500. It is rewarding to see the fruits of your labour turn into rankings for the set and for individual members. The guidance I provide on how to write a submission and the editing can make a difference to the results. There is no better feeling than having worked on submissions with a member, to see them successfully ranked.
Events and Articles
At 5SAH, our barristers are committed to writing articles and news items that are current and reflect the cutting-edge legal trends, judgments and new legislation which will impact our legal landscape. When I started, I wanted to build up consistent and quality content for our clients and followers. Our members were used to providing articles; however we didn’t have a consistent output or indeed a consistent approach to our marketing of it and branding. This has come together over time and we have created our own distinctive brand and content. We regularly post articles and news features now from a wide range of practice areas. I also implemented regular newsletters and updates from certain teams to regularly engage with the legal profession and future legal profession is important to 5SAH.
We organise seminars and events from our various practice areas and one of the highlights, is our 5SAH Autumn Series of lectures. This involves putting on four lectures every Thursday evening in October followed by drinks, nibbles and conversation with those that presented the lecture and the attendees. It is always a great chance to catch up with those that instruct your members or strike up a new professional relationship with other members of the profession.
Social Media Policy
Several of our members often feature in the national news, TV and Radio and press and this has always been encouraged by 5SAH. Our Social Media policy is a common-sense guide for our membership to follow the core-values of chambers. We encourage freedom of speech and we love our members talking on particular topics which will often involve an element of controversy, to promote values of diversity and change in the right way.
The Role of Marketing and BD in chambers
At the time that I started 5 years ago, having a marketing and business development manager was not common-place for a chambers, however, over the years I have seen more chambers recruit into this role and see the value from it. I am now part of a network of marketing professionals from other chambers where we can all email each other for advice and bounce ideas off each other.
Adapting to a new way of working
In terms of marketing and business development we have had to adapt quickly to new ways of connecting with our clients and future clients. One day I was in a planning meeting for the year ahead, looking at the plan for Business Crime over the next 12 months. The next day, we were in lockdown and wondering how we would work and carry on.
I am busier than ever. As we all reacted to the new Covid-19 legislation and measures being brought in. My role became reactionary and responding to the needs of our members to get comment out on brand-new legislation and measures, of the like that we had never seen or experienced before. We adapted quickly by getting up to speed with video calling for our teams and meetings internally and externally we have adapted by hosting webinars for our clients and producing video content as coffees and drinks catch ups are not possible. We now have a YouTube channel to host all of our video content and I hope that our video library will continue to grow.
I have learnt new skills and surprised myself at how I can adapt to change. I have even more love for 5SAH and its members, staff, and director. They have dealt with our new ways of working sensitively but have also had to act with speed. We have drawn together, from our many WhatsApp groups that keep us all connected, to our virtual ‘pub quiz’ master Sarah Fairbairn, who hosts and writes quizzes for the membership and staff and for client groups most weeks – thank you!
Not business as usual
My role has become more vital than ever now that we are functioning in a remote world. Technology and innovation have been key to my role and the effective running of chambers and to court centres, however kindness and smiling have also featured. Social media use has gone up, as has the use of video meeting platforms such as zoom. Here’s to staying connected in this time and if I have a small part to play in that role, which allows new ways to connect with our colleagues, friends, clients and followers, it makes my role worth-while. We will continue to strive for new ways to connect, until we can all meet in person again.
Tessa Nejranowski has worked for 5SAH since July 2015 as the marketing and business development manager. She works directly with the Chambers Director in relation to marketing and business development opportunities. Tessa qualified as a barrister in 2005, joining 5SAH as a member from pupillage in 2007 and practised at 5SAH until 2011. Tessa has worked with Regulators and has also practised at Capsticks in their inquests team and within Kingsley Napley’s regulatory team. Working within a law firm structure Tessa developed an interest and flair for marketing, project management and business development. She is now uniquely placed to combine this experience and her time in practice within her role to the benefit