How to empower and encourage your employees

The Big Issue: Leadership

Ted Blum, managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Atlanta office and chair of the firm’s Atlanta Corporate Practice, outlines five ways to foster a culture of empowerment within your organisation

Most companies recognise that employee empowerment is a critical component of an organisation’s long-term success. Giving employees a certain degree of autonomy often leads to new ideas and innovation and, simply put, trying out new things is always a worthwhile experiment. Yet, developing a culture that supports empowerment is often easier said than done. This …

The firm leadership truths we don’t talk about

Leadership

Patrick J. McKenna, internationally recognised author and advisor to the leaders of premier legal businesses, outlines eight truths of leadership arising from his extensive work with past and present law firm leaders

The very concept of leadership is elusive and tricky. Every business-book author coins a new ‘type’ which is then sold as the latest elixir to problems. We see these everywhere: authentic leadership, transformational leadership, charismatic leadership, etc. It is hard to define leadership in a way that is satisfactory to everyone, although most professionals tell …

Sparking a new movement?

The Big Issue: Leadership

Philippa Ward, solicitor and founding member of the Spark Board, explains her firm’s new initiative and how it will bring a new perspective to strategic decision-making at Pinsent Masons

In the summer of 2018 I heard Richard Foley, our senior partner, speak about how diversity of thought improves the quality of decision making. Perhaps somewhat bravely, I approached him and asked, ‘how can we better embrace this value at Pinsent Masons?’ I suggested what I then thought to be the solution: a junior board. …

The real value of cultural diversity

The Big Issue: Leadership

Law firms must better connect with clients and deliver up to their high standards based on best international practices, says Demarest’s Andoni Hernandez Bengoa

I admit that when I first discussed the opportunity of joining Demarest, I was surprised by their approach and by the interest from one of the leading local – and most traditional – Brazilian law firms in bringing on board a foreign lawyer with an international career. It is true that I had been in …

Good wellbeing starts with good leadership

Leadership

EMEA editor Ella Marshall talks to Dentons’ new Europe chief mindfulness officer, Karina Furga-Dabrowska, on the modern pressures faced by lawyers and how law firms can better combat poor mental health and wellbeing among their workforces

Karina, you’ve been a lawyer for 20 years, how has the profession changed in terms of the pressure placed on lawyers? Lawyers today operate under a heightened sense of urgency, which creates more stress. Clients want answers immediately (yesterday was too late!) and they demand lower fees so we are constantly striving to be faster, …

The importance of supportive leadership

Leadership

Sarah Nelson Smith is the Regional General Counsel for WeWork, an international company that transforms buildings into collaborative workspaces and communities. While in her previous role as Chief Legal Officer of Kentucky Fried Chicken, she helped to steer the company successfully through the #chickencrisis of 2018, when a distribution failure led to the closure of the majority of the KFC restaurants in the UK. In an exclusive extract from her new book You Didn’t Mention The Piranhas, Sarah writes candidly about how it feels to be in the middle of a PR crisis

In the second week of the crisis, the snow came. It had toyed with us for several days, threatening a festive dusting, but then changed tack and engulfed the country in a thick white blanket, mocking the valiant efforts to get trucks loaded and onto the roads by rendering many of them impassable. I needed …

Women are ready. Is the legal industry?

Diversity and inclusion

Women lawyers don’t need fixing to become leaders, its law firm structures and systems that are holding us back, writes former Orrick partner Patricia K. Gillette

Dorothy. For most of us that name immediately evokes images of a young woman, a hurricane, and a wicked witch. Yes, The Wizard of Oz. But one image Dorothy never conjures up is that of a female leader. And yet, isn’t that exactly what Dorothy is? She takes the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Cowardly …

Gracefully tooting your own horn to partnership

Leadership

The co-chairs of Latham & Watkins’ Chicago litigation and trial department, Terra Reynolds and Eric R. Swibel, talk about their route to practice management, law firm culture, and some best practice advice on making partnership

To give some background, please give us an overview of your career trajectories to this point? Terra Reynolds: I started out in government and served for more than a decade as an assistant US attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, eventually becoming deputy chief. In that role, I tried more than a dozen federal …

Reasons to go green

Leadership

Raising awareness, engaging with your people, and changing behaviours can help improve your environmental performance, explains Dr Georgios Zampas, senior citizenship executive at Herbert Smith Freehills

At Herbert Smith Freehills, we recognise that everyone has a part to play in balancing our growth as a business with reducing our impact on the environment. We have a responsibility to align our approach to sustainability across all of the offices in our network and our intention is to create – and be part …

Making a merger – the hard yards behind the first year of BCLP

Leadership

illustration of office

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner co-chair Lisa Mayhew speaks to UK Solicitors editor Georgina Stanley on 2018’s transatlantic merger and the strategy for future growth

‘What have I learned?’ quips Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) co-chair Lisa Mayhew, speaking to The Legal 500 last month on the first anniversary of the firm’s merger, ‘I’ve learned that mergers are hard work and you don’t sleep much.’ The combined firm launched at the start of April last year, when top 20 UK …