Diversity, inclusion and client care praised in the FT Innovative Lawyers Europe awards

Mills & Reeve has been ranked as the 33rd most innovative law firm in the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers: Europe list, with acclaim for diversity, inclusion, and client care.

The annual awards celebrate companies passionate about driving innovation in the legal sector. Innovation is at the forefront of our culture at Mills & Reeve, allowing us to spot new opportunities for improvement and to help solve our clients’ problems most effectively. We have been recognised by the Financial Times in prior years but have placed higher in the rankings this year than ever before.

Regarded as a standout this year, “Fearless Feedback” is our approach to seeking feedback from clients so that we can continually look for improvements to benefit our client experience. Coordinated by our client care team, we implemented a client survey which seeks opinion from clients in an honest, timely and constructive way that encourages our people to speak up.

Several measures have been taken to date - we rolled out a client experience commitment, reviewed roles and recognition within the firm and introduced client workshops, to name a few. The results revealed that clients were more satisfied than ever, with an increase in client recommendation from 89% in 2021 to 91% in 2022. The initiative was praised for its ability to “identify behaviours that would improve dealings with new clients and overall experience, plus changes in IT to help lawyers manage pricing and billing”.

We continue to strive to become a truly client-centric business and a leader in client experience measured by achieving an ambitious target of 95% client recommendation by 2025.

Kirsty Shenton, head of client care at Mills & Reeve, said: “It is great news that our Fearless Feedback philosophy has been recognised by the FT Innovative Lawyer awards. It is the cumulation of hard work across the whole firm to embrace our strategic aim of being a leader in client experience, putting ourselves in the shoes of our clients and not being afraid of seeking feedback and acting upon it to ensure that we continually improve. By a collaborative approach and technology, we are continually evolving our culture and absorb the client voice in everything we do.”

We were also commended for our holistic approach to diversity and inclusion that considers all employees, partners, clients and candidates, and specifically for our latest enhancements to our recruitment process, client engagement and colleague support.

Firm-wide training was implemented to spread awareness to staff, we offered workplace guidance to support office visitors, policies and processes to better embed and streamline workplace adjustments and gave support on point-of need BSL sign language. The outcomes of these measures showed a 91.3% positive response rate from staff who felt comfortable to disclose disability as part of ongoing diversity monitoring. We also received positive feedback from clients who needed adjustments when attending events.

Ainslie Wilson-Shearer, diversity inclusion & wellbeing manager at Mills & Reeve, commented: “Diversity and inclusion are critical to the way we work at Mills & Reeve, and this achievement is due to the hard work of many staff members and partners across the firm, not least those involved in our disability staff network, Ability. We continue to take further steps to enhance inclusion for employees, clients and candidates with a disability or long-term condition, and we strive to continually learn and enhance our approach in line with our strategic ambition to be a leader in people experience and provide a workplace in which everyone can thrive.”

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