The Why – Our Philosophy
This is why.
We think that you deserve more. You deserve lawyers with keen interest in your life and a commitment to your success. Usually lawyers are only interested in the tip of the iceberg: the one burning issue that you come to see them about. We are interested in the whole iceberg – everything that has led to that burning issue, why it is so significant and what it will mean to solve it.
We take the time to get to know you, to make sure that we are the right fit for each other. In the process of getting to know you, we get to understand what makes you tick: what’s important to you; where you’ve come from; where you want to go. This is different for everyone – that’s what makes people so interesting. Knowing this about you means that we can give you the advice that is right for you. Not meaningless legal jibber jabber. But specific, tailored advice. It also means we can find opportunities for you and help you seize them.
Law is a deeply traditional profession. But the world is changing and tradition no longer means old books and archaic practices. We take advantage of all the technology and resources that the modern world provides to pursue the profession’s core values of care, trust and service. That’s what we call the new vintage.
We are a values driven firm. Our values are the principles or standards that are important to us and that guide us.
Presence, intention and interest
This value is about paying attention and caring. When we decide to do something, we do it well. We are mentally present and focused. We are deliberate and intentional. We are interested and involved. If we can’t be present, intentional and interested then we won’t bring our best. That’s not good enough. We would rather say no then say yes but not do a good job. This doesn’t mean it’s not okay to switch off sometimes. It also doesn’t mean we don’t have time for levity or relaxation. It just means that when its time for the rubber to hit the road, we are mentally there and ready to go.
Exceptional customer service
We work in an industry that is built on clients. When our clients are happy, we do well. When they are unhappy, something has gone wrong. We pride ourselves on caring as much about how a client feels about our service as we do about the correctness of our legal advice. It’s not good enough to give good legal advice, we also must make sure the client has a good experience along the way.
Outcome before process
It’s easy to fall into the trap of following a process because that’s the way you’ve always done it. Even worse, because that’s the way someone told you they’ve always done it. We want to focus on the outcome, not the process. If the process doesn’t achieve the right outcomes then it’s not the right process. It needs to be changed, refined, rebuilt or replaced. We want to constantly reflect on our processes to ensure we are following just because that’s what we are used to or that’s what is easy.
Take care of each other
We spend a huge portion of our lives at work. We need to look out for each other. We need to make sure each of us is as healthy and happy as we can be. If one of us has a problem, it can (and often will) impact us all. Our business is a shared endeavour. We don’t succeed as individuals. We succeed as a team. So, we look out for our team. If someone needs help, we offer it. If they need to talk, we listen. If they need to scream, we find them an empty room and open the door.
Do what you say you will do
This value is easy. If you say you’ll do something, do it. If you can’t do it, say so. If you don’t do it, apologise and own your mistake. Sometimes, this will cost us. But that’s okay. Our integrity is more important.
Our reward comes if we provide value
We don’t sell time. We don’t record time. Just because we’ve spent time doing something, doesn’t mean we should be paid. If, and when, we do something valuable, then we get paid. This might mean we spend time helping a client without being paid. That’s okay. We’ve made a contribution to that client’s life. That is a reward in itself. But it also means we’ve invested something in that client and hopefully, one day, that investment will pay off.
Be open minded
Being open minded means being able to self-reflect. We aren’t perfect and we make mistakes. No person has a monopoly on intelligence. We certainly don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. The exciting thing about this is that there is always something new to learn. We need to be open minded about what we do and how we do it. If there is something out there to be learned, learn it.
Contribution before competition
The legal system in which we operate might be adversarial at heart, but we don’t have to be. We always look at how we can contribute first. This doesn’t mean we aren’t competitive. It does mean that we don’t compete just for the sake of competing. If we can help someone, then we do so. If we can’t, that’s okay. But we don’t be difficult or obstructive just because we can be.
Above all else, integrity
Practicing law is a privilege. At the heart of that privilege are our ethical obligations. Those obligations define what it means to be a lawyer. To think about others (the Court and the client) before yourself. Our integrity, our obedience to those obligations, is paramount. If our integrity fails, then we forfeit our privilege to practice. This might be the hardest of our values to accept, but it’s also the easiest. If the rules say we can’t do it, we don’t do it. If they say we must do it, we do it. More than that, if something feels wrong, we don’t do it just because its easy (or worse, the rewards are great). Instead, we accept that it’s not something for us and we move on.