05 Mar, 2012

Lewis Silkin named the best legal company to work for –



The most comprehensive survey of workplace opinion in Britain has revealed that Lewis Silkin LLP is The Sunday Times Best Company to Work For in the legal sector. The firm was 19th overall, jumping 24 places in the UK table and leapfrogging last year’s top legal practice Mishcon de Reya, according to The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list, published in a dedicated 80-page supplement with The Sunday Times on March 4.


The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For survey is compiled from results given by employees to 70 questions related to workplace culture, covering their company’s leadership; their personal wellbeing; career development; pay and benefits; their feelings towards colleagues, managers and the company as a whole; and giving something back to the community and environment.


At Lewis Silkin, managing an extraordinarily large workload, saving the firm money or delivering an outstanding service are some of the ways that qualify staff for a biannual bonus. Not surprisingly, the company’s best factor score is in the Fair Deal section of our survey where the practice ranks eighth overall. Top ten results show contentment with pay and benefits compared to others within the organisation, a 69% positive result, and people in similar posts at other law firms (67%). However, healthy bank balances aren’t the only aspects of office life that make Lewis Silkin one of the top 20 Best Companies to Work For. The firm has taken a stand against the long hours culture traditionally associated with the legal business. Accordingly, targets for the number of hours worked are up to 40% less than some competitors. Six out of 10 employees are women and while team members work just over 34 hours a week on average, managers put in less than 38, which may explain why the firm jumped 24 places up the list this year.


There is sound evidence that employees at Mishcon de Reya are proud to work for the company. They score this area of our employee survey 85% positive and even profess to loving to work for the practice (79%). There are development programmes in place at every stage of an employee’s career. Managers and monitoring partners meet staff on a regular basis to discuss performance, promotion criteria and succession planning. Naturally, colleagues feel they have a positive future ahead of them in the firm (77%).


A new entry into the legal table is Withers, a firm with a workforce of 430 people, 120 of whom have notched up between 10 and 44 years of service.  Staff feel colleagues care a great deal about each other (83%) and are fun to work with (81%). Two-thirds of the staff are women and the firm was shown to have the highest number of female partners in a recent diversity survey of the legal practices.


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