Now a regular on the Techies judging panel, Kate Westbrook is Partner and Head of Commercial at South West law firm, Thrings Solicitors.
A leading technology and contracts lawyer, Kate’s team at Thrings works with a range of technology businesses, from UK SMEs to multinational listed PLCs.
She is a member of Thrings’ Technology and Digital sector group and – based in Swindon – is passionate about Wiltshire’s tech community. Kate tells us more about her experiences on the Techies panel and why she loves being involved…
What have been your Techies highlights so far?
I know it might sound crazy but the Techies that took place during lockdown in 2020 which were held via Zoom was one of my biggest highlights. It wasn’t what we planned but we all came together and made the best of it. Anita and her team worked so hard to make it special and it reminded me of what a fabulous community she has built.
What are you hoping to see from entrants this year?
I always look forward to seeing how entrants can showcase innovation and what they have done differently to stand out. This year is no exception. Given this is probably the first full year since Covid where businesses have been able to focus on longer-term strategies rather than responding to client needs or just surviving, I am hoping this plays a part in upping the ante when it comes to creativity.
What makes a standout entry?
One that gives me a clear idea of the culture and values of the business as well as giving me some real-world examples of their standout moments. I want to get a sense of what the entrant is all about, what their passions and motivations are, as well as the specifics around the particular award category.
As sponsor of the Tech Team of the Year category, what are you looking for from entrants?
We all know a strong team makes for a strong business – I want to see evidence of the strength of the team and understand their successes. I’m a lawyer so I need proof! Give me stats and testimonials, show me what, why and how.
What have you learnt or gained from being part of the Techies community?
I really value the strong connections I’ve made through being part of the Techies, whether that’s the entrants or their supporters. As for my fellow judges, I have learnt so much from understanding their different perspectives on business and technology.
How do you think the Techies differs from other award schemes?
Community and fun. Our Wiltshire tech community might be smaller than others in the South West, but it is mighty. The power of connection created by the Techies can’t be underestimated and I see real value in how it brings people together to celebrate successes and provides ongoing support to everyone.
What are you most looking forward to on Awards Night?
Kate is joined on the Techies judging panel by esteemed judges, Paddy Bradley MBE, Kat Wellum-Kent, James Eades, Ali Hadavizadeh, Mirabelle Stobbs and Debby Skellern. To find out more about them click here.