How this lawyer, entrepreneur and disruptor also became a thought leader

by Scott Douglas

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Dynamic and disruptive: how legal PR helped showcase an exciting talent Glen Gilson is a legal PR Thought Leader

THERE WAS never any doubt that Glen Gilson was being groomed for legal stardom, as the heir apparent to a charismatic business leader who headed one of Scotland’s biggest and best-known law firms.

 With a glittering career path ahead of him it appeared that all he had to do was to sit tight. But Glen had different ideas about where his future lay. Rather than taking a predictable route plotted for him by others, he was determined to make a mark that was distinctly his own. Quitting his coveted job to set up his own legal firm was a move that sent shockwaves through the Scottish legal profession.

In common with most high-functioning entrepreneurs, Glen fully understands the power of public relations. Months before the launch of his new firm, Gilson Gray, he brought on board the legal PR experts at Holyrood PR to work with him.

As Gilson Gray has progressed from a ground-breaking start up, to a feisty challenger firm and then became a fully-fledged major legal player, highly effective public relations has also established Glen as far more than just a sharp legal mind, by also positioning him as:

  • An exciting entrepreneur, prepared to innovate and take carefully-calculated risks
  • A different thinker, dedicated to challenging and disrupting established practices
  • A gifted businessman who can deliver long-term and sustained growth and success
  • A talent magnet with the charisma to attract and retain the best people
  • A generous philanthropist who consistently gives something back to causes and communities
  • An award winner whose team is consistently recognised for excellence

Read on to find our how consistent legal PR success has helped Glen Gilson to become a bona fide thought leader in the legal and business world:


 Glen Gilson is an established thought leader thanks to successful legal PR

Entrepreneurship is one of the most coveted traits in modern business people.
Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice have brought business innovation and start-up culture into millions of living rooms, increasing public fascination with successful go-getters.
Still, few people ever think of lawyers when they hear the word “entrepreneurship”.
Glen Gilson set out to change that by challenging the prevailing view that lawyers are stuffy or stuck in the past.
Setting up his own practice was about offering a modern, fresh and approachable take on legal, property and financial services fit for the 21st century. However, It was also a bold act of entrepreneurship.
Effective, targeted and sustained legal PR ensured it was seen as far more than just the launch of another legal firm.
Instead it was widely reported at the most exciting and biggest launch of a full-services law firm in Scotland in more than a century.
Momentum was maintained and Glen’s entrepreneurial credentials further cemented a short time later, when the country’s most important and respected business and financial titles reported the firm’s ambitious foray into financial services.


Legal PR for Gilson Gray event featuring Dame Katherine Grainger

Gilson Gray constantly challenges convention and innovates as part of its goal to modernise the legal profession.
In a sector saddled with a “stuffed shirt” reputation Glen introduced a relaxed dress code, earning positive headlines with the help of our legal PR team. Similar coverage followed the firm’s pioneering moves – like the launch of seven-day-a-week conveyancing, or bringing in Olympic legend Dame Katherine Grainger (pictured with Glen, above) for a motivational talk.
Our legal PR experts have been with the Gilson Gray team every step of the way – even hosting an interactive PR workshop at the firm’s away day for 100 staff.
But nowhere has the success of the PR partnership been more evident than in the major profiles of Glen secured in Scotland’s most influential news titles, like The Herald’s Legal Focus.
An extensive profile in The Times, saw Glen speak of creating a firm that’s “a bit more human”. While a platform interview in Scotland on Sunday described the firm as “a cross between a private equity business, law firm and nightclub”.
Glen’s ability to think differently has created a legal firm that challenges outdated norms. His faith in legal PR has provided a platform to share that with a huge audience.


Business thought leader Glen Gilson benefits from legal PRThe key to a successful business is a successful leader.
Foremost among the qualities that define the most gifted business people are a calm head, a clear vision – and the ability to deliver consistently.
Glen Gilson has been consistent in his message, his sense of purpose and his vision for success. As a result Gilson Gray has consistently delivered excellent results for clients and impressive business growth.
So, it’s no surprise that the success delivered by Gilson Gray’s legal PR experts has been equally consistent.
A drumbeat of ongoing, positive media coverage has marked and celebrated every milestone for the dynamic law, property and finance firm.
From launch, through start-up growth, acquisitions, mergers, to crucial talent hires, office expansions and key client wins, Gilson Gray’s success has been writ large in the media.
The quality and cadence of that engaging coverage has helped build the Gilson Gray brand.
It has also marked out Glen as someone who has made the successful step up from aspiring entrepreneur to bona fide, long-term business success story.


Talent recruitment and retention at Gilson Gray has been helped by effective legal PR

Success breeds success.
So, it stands to reason that the most successful people attract and inspire the best of the best.
Certainly, Glen Gilson has made it a cornerstone of Gilson Gray’s operating philosophy that the firm should be both a destination and an incubator for the sector’s brightest.
Since the launch of the firm he has been at pains to showcase the sheer talent and successful track record of the firm’s partners and other team members.
Thanks to outstanding legal PR support, the credentials of the company’s staff have been celebrated and showcased across multiple media titles, leaving no doubt that Gilson Gray is an exciting and progressive company where talent can thrive.
Coverage has celebrated how the firm empowers staff, adopts modern business practices and encourages training and development.
And of course, much of that media coverage has also featured the gravitational shift which has led a host of the brightest and best talent from the legal, property and financial worlds to be drawn to Gilson Gray.


Legal PR showcasing Glen Gilson's CSR activity

The truest measure of business success is in the legacy left by entrepreneurs who make a real impression on society, beyond the acquisitive nature of profit margins and the trappings of wealth.
Philanthropy has been with us since the days of Carnegie and the most notable modern businesses put corporate social respsonsibility at the heart of what they do.
Exhaustive amounts of energy have been expended transforming Gilson Gray from start up to big hitter in a few shorts years.
Yet, throughout that time Glen Gilson has ensured the firm retains a focus on putting something back.
From sponsorship of local sports teams and events, to staff support and participation in charity and fundraising endeavours, being a business with a conscience is at the top of the agenda.
One thing defines Gilson Gray it is a sense of ambition – and that is true even when it comes to supporting good causes. Hence the creation of the GRACE Banquet, a gala event which has become a must-attend fixture in Scotland’s annual charity calendar.
It raises vital sums for two of Scotland’s most beloved causes, the Edinburgh and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charities. Extensive media coverage has helped promote these worthwhile endeavours.


Legal PR highlighting law firm award wins has positoned managing partner Glen Gilson as a Thought LeaderWhat’s in an award?
Before buying a new car, most canny purchasers do research to check which marque has picked up trophies for being “best in class”.
Put simply, awards recognise industry leaders and exceptional talent within sectors. Yet often the silverware is left on shelves to gather dust.
Not so at Gilson Gray, where Glen’s drive has ensured that great customer service, business growth and award success all go hand in hand. Indeed award wins are clearly tied to the company’s success.
By working with our expert legal PR team, news of Gilson Gray’s award successes has been shouted from the rooftops – with impactful media coverage of award nominations and wins picked up by the talented team at Gilson Gray.
Our stories were used by a host of media titles, from national and local outlets, to key business websites and the legal press – all titles which reach potential Gilson Gray clients.
The unrelenting coverage across the media not only puts Gilson Gray in front of thousands of potential customers, it also  deepens Glen’s standing as a trusted commentator on all things legal.

Feeling overlooked? If it’s time you were recognised for thought leadership in your sector, then contact our Scottish PR agency

We’d love the chance to work with you and help showcase your expertise to exactly the right audience.

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    Scott Douglas, of public relations agency Holyrood PR in Scotland

    Scott Douglas

    Scott Douglas is the co-founder of the multi award-winning Holyrood PR, renowned public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
    As well as providing expert PR services in Scotland and the UK, the former journalist heads a team which offers a host of other professional media services.
    Those include crisis management PR, photography for business PR, affordable business video, social media campaigns and strategic content planning and delivery for businesses of all sizes.

    View Scott's Profile

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