Louise Hadland – BER – Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths director of human resources Louise Hadland talks to Legal Week Intelligence.

How would you define the culture? You can’t create a culture from the centre; you can’t create it unless most of the partners live it most of the time. When staff join on their first day, that’s where HR comes in: to make that culture come alive. The warmth of the welcome they get when they come here, that things are ready for them and everything is set up for them – they are made to feel very welcome, they’re made to feel very important, much needed and wanted, as indeed they are. And because people receive a warm welcome, they give it to others over time because they valued it. We employ people who meet and match our values. Because of those people, we build better relationships because our values drive building relationships and collaboration.

What has been your greatest achievement in the last year? The big-ticket item has been the amount of growth that we have experienced during the past 12 months, rather than what has changed. So trying to ensure that we maintain our culture and strategic direction. We launched our new three-year strategy last year and took a roadshow to every single member of staff, across three locations. We invited every member of staff in the firm to come along to a session with the chairman, CEO, myself and the head of learning and development; to go through in a fun, but very informative way, what our strategy is and what it is that we are trying to achieve.

What is your greatest challenge? Keeping the focus on our clients when the ramifications of Brexit could start to make us look inward and we must not do that. We must continually look outward and be responsive to what our clients want and need.

Top three BER scores – Shoosmiths

  • Quality of clients
  • Prestige/brand of my firm
  • Quality of work handled by my firm

Shoosmiths BER comments – What do you like best about your firm?

  • ‘Management is very light touch and they give you freedom to develop your own practice area’
  • ‘The people and the general working environment. There is a real feel that everyone is equal within the firm with a “we’re all one big team” ethos’
  • ‘The commitment Shoosmiths has to growing their staff and the training opportunities presented’

For more information on the Best Employers Report 2016, email lara.rosenthal@incisivemedia.com or call her on +44 (0)207 316 9864