Well you have been chivvying me all week, so here are the categories for our new spoof legal IT awards – aka The Alternative Legal Technology Awards aka The No List aka The Not-The-Loties aka The Legal IT Losers aka The Switchies aka… Well we are still working on the branding. Maybe we'll just call it the Another lame Irish comedian reads out weak jokes while you eat indifferent food and drink over-priced booze awards – that or we'll do an Apple and just stick an “i” in front of the name The iLegals maybe. Here are the categories – and all supplied by IT directors and IT vendors who clearly have too much time on their hands…

Category 1: Most Inept Government Legal IT Initiative Award
This is likely to be a hard fought competition with many candidates for the shortlist. The judges will be looking for extreme and sustained incompetence and will be looking for nominations from other government departments not just the MOJ and HMRC.

Category 2: Can I borrow your watch to tell you the time Award
This award is offered to anyone setting themselves up as a consultant in the legal industry to offer legal IT advice. The criteria to win this award is strict. They must have set themselves up as a legal IT consultant without having a clue what they are talking about. Some evidence of this will include-
1. Never having worked for a law firm before.
2. Assuming that lawyers are “just like everyone else”.
3. Expecting suppliers to train them on the job.

Category 3: “I’ll have what Janet Day’s got” Award
A prestigious award open to legal IT directors who make major purchasing decisions on the basis that somebody else has already bought it and if it is good enough for them it is good enough for me. The judges will be looking for evidence that the product chosen is wholly unsuitable for the size/profile of the firm that has bought the application.

Category 4: “After Extensive Market Research” Award
Awarded to any firm who replaces a major part of their IT systems (usually PMS or case) claiming to carryout extensive market research but in fact just buying from the first supplier who comes through the door. In order to win this award the firm must then be persuaded to support the supplier with an appropriately gushing puff press release.

Category 5: Opaque Product Strategy Award
In the first of our supplier categories this award is given to the legal software supplier who is able to define their product strategy is such a way that nobody can actually understand it. It will not be sufficient to demonstrate that clients are confused. Winners will be expected to show that none of their own staff have much of a clue and ideally the author of the strategy should struggle to explain it as well. Judges will be looking for over-use of the word .NET.

Category 6: Maintenance Value Award
This award is given to the supplier who can demonstrate the ability to deliver very little product improvement and enhancement in return for their maintenance income. Suppliers looking to win this award must be able to clearly demonstrate that they have not improved the product at all over the period whilst threatening the end user of the dire consequences of failing to pay their invoice.

Category 7: The “Fred the Shred” Award
This award is given to the supplier who has, in the eyes of the judges (from an end user perspective), carried out the most poorly thought through takeover of another organisation based largely on the vanity of the chief executive. This is likely to be a quite a large shortlist so the judges will be looking to reduce the numbers by applying the following criteria.
1. Credit will be given to firms having to borrow money to fund most of the deal.
2. If a previously good brand can be ruined in the process extra points will be awarded.
3. Losing clients within the first few months of announcing a deal will be well received.
4. Failure to retain key staff will be viewed positively.

Category 8: The Left or Right award
Presented to the supplier that has shown the highest levels of incompetence in the sector. Suppliers shortlisted must have clearly demonstrated significant failure in their decision making process over a number of years. When common sense would dictate a right turn the management team will have shown a complete disregard for this and stormed to the left at breakneck speed. Having made many of the above decisions the supplier will have shown great determination in the face of well made comment to continue with the original decision despite the evidence from clients migrating to other suppliers. The supplier will have shown ruthless determination in sacking anyone with experience or an ounce of common sense in the sector. Suppliers must provide at least three compromise agreements for well known individuals who they have managed to exit. The above will of course be backed up by a desire to also hire and fire as many MD's as possible within a short timescale. Preferably those listed will have had zero expertise for the job and will have demonstrated to the staff their complete incompetence within a few months of joining. On the the night those Suppliers shortlisted will also need to demonstrate their 'left or right' credentials by announcing the day before key decisions such as their MD has departed on holiday and didn't realise they might win an award or those with a high degree of nerve might leave it until a few minutes before and demonstrate complete indecision over who will collect the award.

Category 9: The Pin-Cushion Award
Open to both law firms and vendors, this is for the executive who having inherited a technology or strategy disaster and/or warned his/her board of the dire consequences of failing to take a particular course of action, is stabbed in the back and fired by said board when the whole thing collapses due to said board's failure to heed his or her warnings. (Also known as the Scapegoat Award.)

Category 10: The Kiss of Death Award
This is open to law firms, vendors and individuals who, having previously won an award in another awards scheme or else been designated an expert in a trade directory, find that from then on their career/business/reputation nosedives at a near terminal velocity.

Category 11: The OMG – LOL Award
This is open to individuals in both law firms and vendors whose behaviour has been so outrageous, with possibly career terminating consequences, that the natural response is to say “Oh, my god” and burst out laughing. As in “OMG, Instead of going back to the office to face the music, they then took another day off to play golf.” The judges will be looking for tales of sexual and/or alcohol fuelled excess.

Category 12: The “That's Enough Awards” Award