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13 Apr 2022

Stephenson Harwood launches innovative approach to talent and performance management


Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has launched its innovative new approach to talent and performance management, MyCareer – which sits within the firm's 'Deal', the internal promise of what it gives its people and expects from them in return. The approach focuses on what sets the firm apart as an employer, and what makes it an attractive proposition to employees and prospective hires.

"We give so much of ourselves, our time and our efforts to our work, so it really matters that we enjoy what we do, the culture we do it in, and the people we do it with. That's why we've focused our new approach on the whole experience that our people have – the quality of the work they do and early access to clients, positive working relationships, and real ownership over career progression," said Eifion Morris, chief executive officer, Stephenson Harwood.

"MyCareer is our new approach to talent and performance management, globally. While many of the facets are replicated in other firms, the combination is something you'd be hard-pushed to find elsewhere.

"The result: this is all part of a journey we're on – as a firm, and as individuals within it. We've ambitious growth plans, and being able to attract the highest calibre professionals to join our teams will be core to our achieving them. It's an exciting time to join us, and to be part of building our next chapter."

There are five key aspects of MyCareer:

  • Early responsibility and access to clients is something Stephenson Harwood associates enjoy across the board, irrespective of practice or location. As well as improving people's enjoyment of their work, it also means that they are able to progress more quickly, something which is based on performance rather than PQE.
  • A broad range of client and work type – the firm has small teams who cover a greater range of aspects of any matter; even as an NQ, employees are not going to find themselves stuck in a perpetual cycle of due diligence.
  • Positive working relationships, where people are treated with respect. This extends to expectations around workload: employees are expected to work hard and put the hours in, but the firm isn't about working people to the bone and getting every drop from them.
  • Owning your career: Stephenson Harwood wants to provide its people with the tools and resources they need to progress, while also emphasising that the responsibility to take advantage of these lies squarely with each individual. It comes down to treating our people like grown-ups. For example, the firm has restructured its approach to appraisals, so that associates get regular, quarterly feedback – rather than the traditional annual review – but the onus is on them to make the most of these opportunities. And partners are there to guide them at every step, with a new career manager role for those partners who take specific responsibility for the development of each associate.
  • The firm has introduced a new managing associate role, which replaces the senior associate position. There will be a more formal process for being promoted to managing associate, so it will really be a significant promotion warranting celebration. And it's all structured around the idea that the firm wants to equip its most talented lawyers to get the most they can from their careers – whether that be by joining the partnership at Stephenson Harwood, or by using everything they've learned while with the firm to lead an in-house team.

"The recruitment landscape has changed significantly over the last few years, and particularly the last two; these changes include employee expectations," said Jeff Marlow, chief people and talent officer, Stephenson Harwood.

"Employees have greater expectations now, and there's a willingness to articulate them. They want a more meaningful relationship with their employer, which presents a real opportunity for law firms."



Eifion Morris

Eifion Morris
Chief executive

T:  +44 20 7809 2347 M:  Email Eifion | Vcard Office:  London


Freddie Harrison
Senior communications and PR manager
T: +44 20 7809 2823 
Email Freddie