RedLaw interviewed Lisa Tremble, Director of External Affairs, Mishcon about their involvement in the most highly publicised and political case of the year, and more….
1.Why did Mishcon get involved with the most highly publicised and political case of the year? [Given how close the referendum result was]
At the heart of this case is a fundamentally interesting constitutional issue concerning the limits of the powers of the executive branch of Government. We maintain that it is right and proper for the courts to decide such a complex point in order to ensure that the correct legal process is followed when the Government triggers Article 50.
2. Without counting this Article 50 legal challenge, Mishcon was praised in The Lawyer for being involved in no less than 3 of the Top 20 Cases List for 2016, highlighting those notable cases to keep an eye out for. What is it about the firm that has enabled you to repeatedly attract these headline-grabbing mandates?
Over the last decade we have significantly and consistently invested in the business and hired the best lawyers in London and beyond. The calibre of our lawyers is such that we have built a strong reputation for being able to handle high profile and complex cases of this nature.
We take our client’s business very personally because we know how personal it is to them. Not all law firms have this mind set: the inseparable interrelation between the business and the personal. However, we believe that, in an increasingly tough business world, our clients should not be left to face challenges and take risks alone. So we not only guard their interests efficiently, but defend them fiercely.
Our core values have always been at the heart of everything we do. We focus on diversity, respect, open-mindedness, innovation, integrity and frankness. It is our view that clients recognise this authenticity, and choose Mishcon de Reya as their trusted advisor based on the service we offer as a result.
3. Ambitious junior associates relish the opportunity to get their hands on complex and high profile work. Did the Article 50 legal challenge require the involvement of quite a considerable amount of your disputes practice’s associate team?
There are Partners, Associates, trainees and non-lawyers involved in this case. The core team is a small, focused group of people from across the firm, who draw on the expertise of others as and when needed. Part of our approach is exposing junior lawyers to the most interesting cases we are working on, of which this is certainly one.
4. Law firms have historically performed relatively poorly in the larger employee surveys, but you have achieved the rare feat of being in the Top 20 in the Sunday Times Best Companies to work for list for the past two years running. What do you feel has been key to this particular success?
We cherish our culture and the atmosphere in the firm – it is one of the key differentiators we have. Our core values underpin our belief that happy and fulfilled people are more productive than unhappy people.
Which is why we invest in our people, and ask them to invest in the future of the firm. We held a firmwide consultation into our core values and how they can and should feed into our future. The result of this process in which everyone took part is our ten year vision, Mishcon de Reya’s roadmap which promises exciting times ahead.
We were the first law firm to roll out a flexible working programme in September 2014. Mishcon Works enables our people to manage their time in a way that suits them, acknowledging the varying needs of individuals and promoting a work/life balance.
We recognise the importance of giving back – our social impact programme has been developed to inspire our lawyers to effect the change they want to see in the world. We provide our people with a wide range of pro-bono and volunteering opportunities and ask every lawyer to complete 50 hours pro bono work every year (which goes towards billable targets), and every non-lawyer 25 hours of volunteering.
We always want to do things better, and we advocate the sharing of knowledge. The recently created Mishcon Academy is our dedicated in-house place of training, development, learning and new thinking. We’ve held lectures with high profile speakers such as Cherie Blair, Peter Tatchell and Rowan Williams.
5. For anyone looking to join the Mishcon team, what would your words of wisdom be? What qualities does your firm look for in an employee?
Of course, we want people who are passionate about the law, and we welcome those who ask questions and challenge. We seek people who share our values, who are driven by them. Alongside intellect and ambition, we look for integrity, honesty, collegiality and selflessness. In our Mishcon Graduates brochure, we say: ‘if you’ll do anything to get what you want, you’ll probably be very successful, just not here’.
When all is said and done, it’s often the case that we know a Mishcon person when we meet one.
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