Forget law. Elliot Moss, Director of Business Development at Mishcon de Reya, has done something that is rather unusual for business full stop. His personality has become synonymous with the brand he represents. When you mention Mishcon in conversations, it’s not uncommon for people to say admiringly, ‘Ah, that’s the place where Elliot Moss works’.
Shiree Murdoch has been on a journey. It is one that has helped modernise the law firm she joined as HR Director in 2012. And it has culminated (so far at least) in a role as COO that is much broader, taking in a firm-wide programme of change and focused on technology as a powerful enabler.
Kevan Skelton, Global Recruiting & Director, Human Resources, EME, at Reed Smith has advice for those considering joining the legal profession: ‘Build strong relationships, deliver through influence, use your listening skills, be resilient, practical and ever ready to find a way to convert strategy into deliverable bite-size chunks that maximise the benefits to lawyers but without taking up lots of their time.’
Tesco might not spring to mind as an obvious breeding ground for business directors in law. But when Michelmores hired Graham Johnson, for 11 years Tesco’s Finance Director of UK Operations, it was a statement of intent: this is a firm willing to think differently. And for Johnson? Well, it was the chance to make an impact on law – an industry he describes as ripe for innovation.
If you’re not overly familiar with law, you might not associate this most traditional of professions with the word ‘change’. But in reality it’s a term that law firms are rather enjoying putting front of stage just now. They don’t want to be seen as just dabbling with a few ideas in the back office. They are shouting it out in their placements: transformation tops the agenda.