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LWIA Winners Large-3_616x372

Finalists: Dentons; FBC Manby Bowdler; Osborne Clarke; Womble Bond Dickinson (highly commended).

Shire Pharmaceutical’s in-house legal department scooped the training innovation prize as part of the company’s wider corporate transformation programme.

Dubbed ‘pod’ (people, operations and development), the development part of the programme draws on elements of psychology and coaching to deliver a bespoke course that addresses the legal challenges in-house teams face, and what leadership means at Shire.

The 10-month programme (split over five parts) mixes in-person and virtual sessions with one-on-one coaching, instructed by high-quality external tutors (including Bill Kahn, a professor of psychology at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, and Chris Voss, a former lead hostage negotiator for the FBI).

Of the 90 eligible candidates for the course, 40 applied for the 14 spots offered on the development programme (or podacademy), the goal of which was to grow and retain talent, inspire leadership and to improve collaboration (in the context of the company’s 2016 merger with Baxalta, which more than doubled the size of the department and ushered in a period of rapid change).

So far that has worked; all 14 of the podacademy’s first cohort are still with the company.

“Ambitious, far-sighted, smart and on the money for an in-house team,” praised a judge.

 

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