• Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

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Northern law firm amongst top 20 Gold employers

A Top 100 law firm has been nationally recognised for its people management and wellbeing excellence by Investors In People (IiP).

Ward Hadaway, which has 440 people across offices in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, has achieved the We Invest in People Gold accreditation, joining the top 17% per cent of organisations across the UK which have achieved the gold standard. This standard is only given to organisations that can demonstrate excellence in developing and supporting its people and are genuinely committed to culture, development and future success.

Following a rigorous assessment, the firm scored highly across a range of indicators which demonstrate the shared importance of values and behaviour and strong levels of autonomy and trust in leadership. The firm’s continued investment in its people and their wellbeing has seen Ward Hadaway shortlisted for IiP’s UK Employer of the Year Gold award which recognises organisations in the UK that are truly excelling as people-centred businesses. The report specifically highlighted the belief that Ward Hadaway is a great place to work and the way Ward Hadaway handled the pandemic with senior leaders placing high emphasis on support and communication during this time.

Anna Brown, head of people at Ward Hadaway, said: “Not only have we achieved the Gold IiP Award, but we are also in the Top 20 UK employers that have this award and employ more than 250 people. Its testament to our strong people-focused culture which plays a pivotal role in the growth and development of Ward Hadaway.

“Empowerment and support are two of our fundamental values which we’re committed to delivering across every aspect of the firm. The wellbeing of our people remains a key priority – it’s especially important to drive conversations that break down mental health stigma which is particularly sector-symptomatic in law and which can be a barrier to fostering a culture of positive development, performance and a sustainable work/life balance. It’s great to be officially recognised for our investment in our hugely talented team. We are delighted with our Gold award but are passionate about maintaining the progress we have made to further improve our employer offering.”

The accreditation comes at a time where Ward Hadaway is rapidly developing its people-focused initiatives across the business. The firm has set up a Responsible Business Board who are leading initiatives on how the firm can:

  • give back to the communities within which its people live and work,
  • improve the wellbeing and development of employees and partners
  • operate in more environmentally friendly and sustainable ways.

The firm has also launched a three-year wellbeing strategy and as part of this, established a wellbeing committee led by a member of the senior management team to promote a positive culture of wellbeing throughout the business. The firm’s partnership with Mental Health in Business has helped to deliver its wellbeing strategy through a series of focused and inclusive webinars that are designed to support and promote proactive and positive mental wellbeing in addition to training a cohort of mental health first aiders.

Heather Ramsay, a trainee solicitor at the firm, “I’ve only ever been interested in a career in law but was a little apprehensive during my studies as I had heard stories of law firms with long hours, little flexibility and demanding clients. Prior to securing my training contract with Ward Hadaway, the firm offered me a scholarship which included work experience, during which I quickly realised it was not the stereotypical law firm I had imagined. When I started my graduate programme at Ward Hadaway this was further reinforced. The team and my manager are very supportive and, of course, we’re all under pressure to meet deadlines but my work/life balance is good, and everyone has been welcoming, friendly and approachable. The expertise and experience I learn from on a daily basis inspires me to fulfil my potential, safe in the knowledge that support is on hand whenever I need it – professionally and personally.

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