I set up my own practice 30 years ago, after the birth of my older son, and just as he has grown to a strapping 6’4”, ScoMo has grown from its beginnings as a mental health law firm to one that now covers many areas of law, for people in many different circumstances; and as it has grown and evolved it has created a way of working that more and more solicitors are now adopting.
The reputation of a law firm rests on the quality of its lawyers and systems, and I am very proud to have such excellent colleagues, some of them recognised as leaders in their fields, and all of them dedicated to providing the best possible service to their clients. We attract independent-minded lawyers, some of who handle ground-breaking cases and who are recognised by their peers and the media as being among the best of the best. We are all able and willing to stand up for our clients when the going gets tough, as evidenced by our pioneering casework on behalf of vulnerable clients challenging the power of the State. We are user-friendly, and approachable.
The way the firm is organised means that our lawyers can devote themselves to their clients, rather than to the needs of the firm, so that every client, whatever their circumstances and wherever they are in the country, gets a personal service from their solicitor. Whether you are a private client seeking mental health or public law guidance, or a local business involved in litigation, you will always be looked after by a highly-experienced lawyer and will always receive the highest level of service.
The other source of pride for me is that we have created something new in how we work. We are a virtual, or dispersed firm, and I believe we were the first in the world to work like this: I have spoken about how we work to lawyers all over the world, and no-one has ever said that they knew of anyone who had done anything like it before.
A huge advantage of our structure is that our lawyers are in charge of their own careers. I am very interested in equality and diversity in law firms, and our way of working is one in which everyone can flourish, including people with caring responsibilities and those who want to pursue other interests alongside legal practice.
We have created a fresh approach to the law, enabling lawyers to work in a way that best suits their talents and in a way that ensures they remain close to their clients. These advantages are being recognised more and more by other firms, who are adopting aspects of what we started 30 years ago.
But we have no sense of complacency; of ‘job done’. Clients’ expectations are constantly evolving, as are the tools that we can use to serve them, and our ethos of continuous change in delivery and continued commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards means that we will be keeping busy for the next 30 years and more.
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, CBE (Chair of Scott-Moncrieff & Associates)