Guest comment: Collaboration in isolation

Guest comment: Collaboration in isolation

As client issues become increasingly complex, working collaboratively to provide solutions is critical. But Professor Laura Empson and David Morley ask: can leaders maintain a collaborative culture in the world of remote working?

Client issues tend to be sprawling and messy – all the more so as the world becomes more complex and uncertain. In finding solutions to complex problems, individual professionals need to bring together people with complimentary skills and perspectives to get the best results. Continue reading “Guest comment: Collaboration in isolation”

HSF shrugs off Covid concerns to reward staff with bonus as new senior partner is unveiled

HSF shrugs off Covid concerns to reward staff with bonus as new senior partner is unveiled

After posting resilient financial results  in the wake of the pandemic, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has recognised the efforts of staff worldwide by gifting everyone a 5% bonus at the same time as announcing its new senior partner, Rebecca Maslen-Stannage.

In a statement, HSF chief executive Justin D’Agostino said: ‘The firm is performing well so far this year. In recognition of that, we will be paying all staff globally a one-off financial payment of 5 per cent of salary, payable in March. I am delighted that all our people will be sharing in our good performance. This is an acknowledgement of their dedication and hard work, in the face of the tremendous disruption and challenges experienced in the last year. This special payment is made in addition to our usual 2021 bonus round.’ Continue reading “HSF shrugs off Covid concerns to reward staff with bonus as new senior partner is unveiled”

Guest comment: the global/local leadership conundrum

Guest comment: the global/local leadership conundrum

Leading a professional firm with offices spread across multiple countries always creates a tension between global and local priorities. Professor Laura Empson and David Morley argue that what feels like a leadership challenge, is actually a deeper and very human struggle.

In our podcast –Leading Professional People – and in these blogs, we find ourselves frequently grappling with a timeless and very human paradox that sits right at the centre of what it means to lead a professional firm. Continue reading “Guest comment: the global/local leadership conundrum”

Guest comment: Balancing acts – partnership versus corporation

Guest comment: Balancing acts – partnership versus corporation

Professor Laura Empson and David Morley ask what makes partnerships so distinct from corporations in what they demand of the people who lead them

Immerse yourself in a strong and successful professional partnership, even for a short time, and it becomes clear that these are unique entities requiring a very distinct kind of leadership. Continue reading “Guest comment: Balancing acts – partnership versus corporation”

Guest comment: Calling all the reluctant leaders

Guest comment: Calling all the reluctant leaders

Successful professional people are notoriously reluctant to take on the mantle of leadership. Increasingly, there are excellent reasons why they should, say Professor Laura Empson and David Morley

 ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’

It’s a phrase that carries a useful message in the context of leadership – particularly in professional services. Because high-achieving professionals would, by and large, prefer to stick with what they’ve always done, very successfully. That is what makes them reluctant leaders. Continue reading “Guest comment: Calling all the reluctant leaders”

Guest comment: Whatever happened to the heroes?

Guest comment: Whatever happened to the heroes?

Traditional leadership models suggest people hanker for a hero in time of crisis. That’s an unfamiliar and uncomfortable role for law firm leaders say Professor Laura Empson and David Morley

What do people look for in their leaders when crisis strikes – especially one as profoundly disconcerting, enduring and uncertain as the current Covid-19 pandemic? Continue reading “Guest comment: Whatever happened to the heroes?”

Talking sheds – A&O’s former chief on why the personal touch is critical in a crisis

Talking sheds – A&O’s former chief on why the personal touch is critical in a crisis

In March last year – as the Covid-19 crisis gathered pace – I wrote in Legal Business that if you’re a leader when an emergency happens, you need to act like one. I added that, as the leader, you are also communicator-in-chief.

Talking to leaders over the last few months, it’s striking how acting like a leader has meant adapting their style as this crisis has rolled on. A more approachable, informal and open approach that connects more personally with their people has become key. Continue reading “Talking sheds – A&O’s former chief on why the personal touch is critical in a crisis”

Guest post: Leadership in law in crises requires a human touch

Guest post: Leadership in law in crises requires a human touch

General counsel and other senior in-house lawyers should not be afraid to show their human side when leading their teams through crises and seeking to deliver on business objectives, prominent figures in the legal market have agreed.

There was consensus on the issue among panellists participating in an online event jointly hosted by Legal Business and Pinsent Masons as part of the GC Powerlist UK 2020, as they reflected on the challenges they and their in-house teams have faced during the coronavirus crisis. Continue reading “Guest post: Leadership in law in crises requires a human touch”