Simon Luckett – BER – Withers

Withers global human resources director Simon Luckett talks to Legal Week Intelligence.

How would you define the culture? People being inclusive, professional and interested in each other and the work that they do. The firm has quite a unique niche because the work we do is quite different from many others, and because our clients are often high profile and the kind of people you read about in the paper. In many offices, everybody knows each other and we make a real effort to bring people together across the different overseas jurisdictions – so that there is a real connection between people. The sort of people you want to work with and socialise with.

What has been your greatest achievement in the last year? I have been really pleased with the way that our staff engagement levels have increased year on year. Not only have we done well in the Legal Week survey this year, we have achieved our best placing in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to work for. We are one of the few law firms recognised within the Best 100 Companies to work for and it is our fifth consecutive year of being in this listing, moving to 61st place this year. The quality of our clients, the work we do and the interest which partners have in their respective teams make a real difference. It is good to see this being reflected in high motivation and engagement scores.

What is your greatest challenge? Probably the greatest challenge is one that many international firms face: ensuring that we align our cultural and professional values across all our offices. Cultural alignment provides an important layer of organisational glue; this helps cross-office collaboration, which is a high priority for us given that much of our work is multi-jurisdictional. To some degree, we’ve been fairly fortunate that much of our expansion has been through organic growth, which has helped to protect the firm’s values and ethos. Where it hasn’t been, then the cultural alignment is even more important. Our alliance in Singapore with one of the largest domestic law firms, KhattarWong, is a point in question. We work hard to ensure that the cultural fit is strong and that there is a will to collaborate so that Withers KhattarWong provides a high quality platform for our international and domestic client base there, and elsewhere in the region.

Top three BER scores – Withers

  • The quality of clients at my firm
  • The prestige/brand of my firm
  • The quality of work handled by my firm

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

  • ‘If you work hard and are loyal, you reap the benefits of working for the firm – the firm is loyal back and supports you an unbelievable amount. The job is very rewarding and the people you work with are both professional but also incredibly friendly’
  • ‘The partners are at the top of their field, which is inspiring’
  • ‘Very friendly and approachable people, from partners to admin staff’

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