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The Model CEO for a Law Firm

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege and honour to record a podcast with Sarah Walker-Smith. Sarah, if you haven’t come across her, is the CEO of Shakespeare Martineau. She is the first female, non-lawyer CEO in the legal top 50. Sarah is a truly inspirational leader and person.

In the ‘short’ time I had to interview her, I felt inspired and energised and I was left in no doubt that Sarah is leading the charge for change in the legal sector. Change that is good, change that is necessary and change that is overdue.

In just 30 minutes Sarah covered a HUGE amount, including:

  • Leadership & what we can learn from role models (those getting it right and getting it wrong);

  • The legal sector and 'challenging the norm';

  • Legal as part of the wider business market;

  • The importance of teamwork between lawyers and non-lawyers (and let's stop using the terminology 'fee earners'!);

  • How change is crucial;

  • Marketing & BD - what should firms be focusing on'; and

  • Much more

The title of this podcast - "The Model CEO for a Law Firm" was inspired by Sarah being called this on LinkedIn. It seems both relevant and true.

By way of background, an extract from Sarah’s website bio reads as follows:

A trained accountant having worked for PWC and Deloitte, Sarah puts people at the core of everything she does as well as the marketing and branding experience gained at Boots plc

Sarah looks to challenge the norm in the legal sector and wider business world. She is passionate about levelling the playing field, encouraging everyone to bring their authentic selves to work.

A self-professed ‘geek’, Sarah loves learning and is currently exploring the relationship between leadership, purpose and trust. Sarah strongly believes that ‘good business’ is both purposeful and profitable, often with one leading to the other.

I am passionate about transforming our sector for the benefit of its clients and people. Our business is well placed to do this having passion, ambition and an open mind to the changes ahead.

I urge you to do 3 things this week, and you can thank me later:

  1. Follow Sarah on LinkedIn. (and join the other 11,696 people who follow her!)

  2. Join me at 2pm on the next two Thursdays for our final two webinars of 2022 … two corkers that you do not want to miss (details below).

Enjoy the podcast (and do comment, share on LinkedIn).

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