Trowers & Hamlins head of HR Paul Robinson talks to Legal Week Intelligence.

How would you define the culture? We have a friendly but focused culture, which encourages everyone to be themselves. People bring more than just their experience and expertise to work – they bring their personality and ideas too. People stay because they do work of real importance, and they do so side by side with people they genuinely like and trust.

What has been your greatest achievement in the last year? The preservation of this culture, built on genuine respect and fairness, in the face of rapid expansion and a changing market. We have achieved this first and foremost by ensuring that our direction and performance are understood by all. This is led from the top. For example, the senior partner communicates regularly and openly to all staff, delivering firm news in a transparent and grown-up way. But we also know that communication works both ways. So this past year we sought out and listened to our people’s views, through dedicated focus groups on topics as varied as performance reviews, skills training and our recruitment brand. This is a firm where ideas do have impact.

What is your greatest challenge? We are proud of our retention rates, but we are not immune to turnover of staff. Whether that is due to market forces or the demands of the new generation, we need to take action and keep moving forward. We are already improving the way we integrate people into the firm, ensuring that their joining experience and orientation set the tone for a long and happy career with the firm. We are also investing heavily in our training regime, developing our people in a more deliberate and focused way. Even if people do leave, we know our alumni are our greatest advocates – that’s what they tell us!

Top three BER scores – Trowers & Hamlins

  • The quality of work handled by my firm
  • The overall diversity of my firm’s population (gender, ethnic, socioeconomic, sexual orientation)
  • The reputation of my practice area/team

Trowers & Hamlins BER comments – What do you like best about your firm?

  • ‘Expectations of working hours – very good work/life balance’
  • ‘Opportunity for career development and the open door policy of senior colleagues’
  • ‘The ability to progress constantly in your career and friendliness of the firm in general’

For more information on the Best Employers Report 2016, email or call her on +44 (0)207 316 9864