Entry kit

The STEP Private Client Awards are open to both STEP members and non-members and entries are encouraged from all over the world and from the whole of the diverse private client community. Entries for the STEP Private Client Awards 2021/22 are open until 23 April 2021.

To enter:

  • Review the category(s) your firm will enter. Multiple entries by different offices, teams or regions within the same firm for the same category are not precluded. However, such entries will need to clearly explain why multiple entries are appropriate: experience shows that multiple entries from the same firm can count against that firm.
  • If you are entering multiple categories, please use the ‘Add a Submission’ function during the online entry process. If you wish to submit multiple entries at separate times each entry will need to have a different contact email address.
  • Your entry will be judged using the criteria stated under that category, with each criteria point carrying an equal weighting. It is therefore essential that you address all criteria to ensure points are not lost. The Investment Team of the Year category carries a weighting of 60% for part A and 40% for part B.
  • The Awards are intended to highlight those that have achieved particular success over the past year (1 May 2020–23 April 2021), so examples and commentary should specifically relate to that time period.
  • Download and use the ‘Submission Template’ provided for each individual category. Entrants who do not use the submission template provided for each category will not be accepted. The entry must be saved as a plain text word document (.doc or.docx only). PDF documents or documents containing images, charts, graphs or coloured text will not be accepted unless it is for the Investment of the Year category. 
  • Please ensure you enter the following information as outlined on the submission template:
    • 1. Name of the Company/Invidivual entering the Award 
    • 2. Country of the Company/Individual entering the Award                                          
    • 3. Word Count (Excluding criteria headers)
  • For the Accountancy Team and Trust Company of the Year categories, all entrants will need to submit additional data on the number of staff in the firm globally (including those who are client-facing, directors, and in a related professional firm within the same group/ownership), details of which can be found when you upload your submission online. 
  • For the Boutique Firm of the Year category, all entrants will need to submit additional data on the number of fee earners in the firm. The definition of fee earners can be viewed at www.pca.step.org/FAQs.
  • For the Contentious Trusts and Estates, International Legal, and Private Client Legal Team of the Year categories, all entrants will need to submit additional data on the number of fee earners in the team and the firm. The definition of fee earners can be viewed at www.pca.step.org/FAQs.
  • For the Investment Team of the Year category, all entrants will need to submit additional quantitative data, which carries a weighting of 40%. Please see 
    https://pca.step.org/investment-team-year for the full details of quantitative data required.
  • Ensure your entry is no more than 1,100 words. Entries of over 1,100 words will not be accepted by the judges. All text within the document (excluding criteria headers/headers on the submission templates) will be counted in the word count, including any references and appendices. We would suggest scaling the appendices back or leaving them out altogether if possible. NB: As of 2021, URL links are NOT permitted within the submission.
  • When you submit your entry online you will be required to provide contact details.
  • We do not charge a fee to enter the STEP Private Client Awards, but rather ask for donations to our awards charity. STEP’s charity partner for the second year is the World Literacy Foundation, a global not-for-profit that works to lift young people out of poverty through literacy. Donations last year ranged from GBP150 to GBP2,000 per entry and raised over GBP60,000. You will receive instructions on how you can make your donation once your entry has been received by the Private Client Awards Team.
  • An email confirmation will be sent following your submission providing you with a unique confirmation number for your entries.
  • All entries received will be treated as completely confidential at all times.
  • All entries will be made available to the presiding judges Panel after 23 April 2021, and then finalists’ submissions will be shared with the Panel of Experts at the finalist stage, July 2021.
  • The presiding judges may decide that there are insufficient entries of a high enough quality to progress with a category and may drop a category under such circumstances.
  • Depending on the entries received, the presiding judges may decide that there is sufficient evidence to split the Accountancy, Boutique, Contentious Trusts and Estates, International Legal, Private Client Legal, and Trust Company categories into subcategories and entrants will be advised under these circumstances at shortlist stage.
  • A firm/individual is eligible to win up to three consecutive years in a particular category. In the fourth year those winners will be excluded from entering and will be eligible to enter again in the fifth year. This rule does not apply for subsidiary/affiliate firms or teams based in different jurisdictions.
  • All entries must be received by midnight on 23 April 2021.
  • All categories are self-nomination, except the Young Practitioner of the Year Award, the Geoffrey Shindler Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession and the Lifetime Achievement Award. 
  • Entries may be disqualified if application information is found to be false or misleading or previous submission information has been reused. Disqualification is at the discretion of the Judges/Panel of Experts and will be considered on a case by case basis. 
  • Firms/directors/partners or individuals put forward for an award must declare to the Awards Secretary by emailing [email protected] if either the firm, its principals, any employee, or any individuals put forward for an individual award, are currently subject to, or become subject to during the course of the entry and judging process (1 February-23 September 2021), any criminal or regulatory proceedings by any regulatory authority that are in the public domain, or might come into the public domain during that period the sanction for which might be publicised. Subject to the outcome of the investigation, the entry may be withdrawn from the Awards.
  • It is not usual for awards to be revoked following a ceremony. However should an award have been given based on information which is later shown to be false or misleading or the subsequent behaviour of an individual is considered to bring disrepute upon the trust and estate profession and/or the name of STEP, awards may be revoked. Any such decision will be taken by the STEP Board. 
  • You will find out if you are shortlisted in July 2021.

If you have any questions about the Awards, please email the STEP PCA Team at [email protected] or call +44(0)20 3752 3700.