We have already mentioned how an unconventional approach to billing can inspire collaboration. But there are many other ways in which we create a strong sense of togetherness and loyalty. We go to great lengths to support one another – we are fair, respectful and supportive.
Many of our people choose to spend their entire career with us. Of 99 partners in London, 79 joined as trainees, others worked as associates here before being elected to our partnership – generally we do not elect anyone from outside the firm directly into partnership. This in itself fosters unity. It is a lockstep partnership: we have never merged with another firm, and we grow together by working for our mutual benefit.
We also support each other by respecting autonomy through trust. We place our emphasis less on how work is done and more on the fact that it is done – on time and to standard. There is no 'face-time' culture, which means that people are better enabled to live a full life outside work, leading to a better life within work too.
People remain loyal if they are challenged, rewarded and happy. For some, the important thing will be the interesting nature of the work. For others, it will be the collaborative ethos and friendly atmosphere. It helps that people are well paid. Even so, generous offers to move elsewhere do come in, but when that happens the decision is more often than not to remain with us.
That is a matter of great pride. We think that the loyalty the firm shows its people is an important factor. We believe that's also reflected in the extraordinarily high percentage of trainees who remain with us on qualifying. We do things right, with integrity and with consideration.
People often talk of the sense of belonging at Slaughter and May and, while it is hard to pinpoint exactly where this comes from, one enduring characteristic of the firm is that the people here just do not let each other down. This is a rare and valuable asset.