Written by: Kaley Green, Business Development Manager, Fogler, Rubinoff LLP
The LMA Leadership Award honours a senior marketing professional who has made extraordinary contributions to their firm, the legal profession, and the community at large.
It was our honour and pleasure to present Alison Jeffrey, Senior Adviser, Strategic Initiatives & Client Development at Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP with the 2017 Leadership Award.
Alison has been a pioneer for legal marketing since she began her role in 1994. Here are just a few highlights:
- First female CMO at major firm in Canada;
- First CMO to join Executive Committee of major law firms in Canada; and
- First CMO to implement a formal client feedback program (in 2006).
Alison started her career at Blakes 22 years ago as the Chief Marketing and Client Relations Officer, when legal marketing was in its infancy and the concept of brand or business development was not part of the vernacular.
Over the years, Alison gained the trust of her lawyers and has continually challenged the status quo at Blakes. She was instrumental in building the Blakes brand and the firm’s industry-leading marketing and business development team, who she inspires daily to apply creativity, innovation and a client perspective to everything they do.
In her role and as a member of the Executive Committee at Blakes, Alison has become a trusted ally to firm leadership, women across the firm, as well as clients. She has designed and led several successful national initiatives to help women advance in business and law, including Preparing for Rain targeting Associates at Blakes, Stepping Up: Preparing to Be a GC for promising women at in-house legal departments, and Women on Boards, helping women in-house counsel prepare for joining boards in Canada. As one general counsel noted:
“Alison has been a driving force behind a fantastic program, Stepping Up. It is clear to me that Alison's energy, enthusiasm and tenacity were absolutely foundational in the success of Stepping Up. Alison is the one who works tirelessly to shine a spotlight on the talents and potential of other women. She is always eager to learn more, dive into more research and roll up her sleeves to have a thoughtful yet results-driven outcome. And through it all, she is a pleasure to work with.”
Alison considers one of her most important achievements to be successfully mentoring lawyers and staff and has taken a particular interest in coaching young women to help them reach their full potential. According to one of her partners:
“She is consistently a source of innovative ideas, creative solutions, and excellent pearls of wisdom, continuously making great contributions to the success of the firm as a whole, and the individual careers of many of its partners, associates, and clients. I have learned, and continue to learn, tremendously from her, and know that I, along with anyone else she has worked with, mentored, or coached through the years, are better lawyers, better people, and have achieved better successes in our careers, for having worked with her.”
The LMA would like to, once again, thank Alison for her contribution to the profession and congratulate her on this stellar recognition!