Stewarts has been named as one of the top-performing firms for client service in the UK in new research by The Legal 500. Stewarts is listed as one of the top 10 law firms for client service and one of the top five mid-sized firms in the research, and features in a Legal Business article about good client service.
The article lists Stewarts “among a host of leading US and UK firms to have been recognised by our new research project which is the culmination of one of the most comprehensive surveys of law firm clients ever”.
The article says: “Thousands of clients contributed feedback last autumn on the firms they work with in the UK, rating firms on a range of criteria – including billing practices, team quality, industry knowledge and consistency of service – on a scale from ‘not good’ to ‘exceptional’.
“At a time when the client is increasingly king, the results provide a clear indication of the firms setting the pace in the eyes of those using their services.”
The article mentions that law firms with a distinct focus have scored well, and quotes Managing Partner John Cahill as saying: “We are a litigation-only practice. Our clients are often faced with high-value and high-stakes disputes, and they value expertise, experience and judgement on litigation and – to an extent – on wider strategic issues.”
John is also referred to as stressing “the importance of firms genuinely listening to their clients and understanding the service they need – rather than what the firm wants to offer”.
There is a short Q&A with John Cahill in the article, which is set out below.
Q&A with John Cahill
What have been the biggest changes in the way your firm delivers services to clients over the last few years?
Legal advice is delivered in an increasingly short time frame. We have worked hard to maintain the highest standards and provide carefully considered advice in a rapid response environment. This has been achieved through investment in our training and supervisory structures.
What do you think are the top three things law firms need to get better at?
There are many things but perhaps the most important is the ability to listen. In the law one size does not fit all. I encourage our lawyers to carefully identify the client’s objectives at the outset, understand the key legal and strategic issues and avoid making assumptions.
How do you differentiate your offering in an increasingly crowded marketplace?
We are litigation only, we focus on high value and complex disputes through highly specialised practice areas. We focus on excellence claimed by many but not delivered by all. Our starting point is to recruit the very best lawyers. Profitability is a key driver as it funds attractive remuneration packages at the most senior level, making it more straightforward to recruit and retain the stars.
Perhaps most important is the focus we place on recruitment at all levels. After 20 years as managing partner, I still interview every lawyer, which means that there is no partner or lawyer in the firm that wasn’t interviewed by me. My colleagues will judge technical excellence. It is my job to examine the softer skills and fit within the business.
How important is innovation at Stewarts?
Our main focus on innovation is centred around alternative fee arrangements for clients. We have developed market-leading experience in litigation funding. Internally we have a risk and funding committee which I chair and which is responsible for all investment decisions on cases. In these cases we share risk with our clients, enabling them to litigate from a position of financial strength.
To view the full article, please visit the Legal Business website (subscription required)
At Stewarts, we aim to recruit and retain the best people at all levels of the firm. The ability, dedication and technical excellence of our people are critical to the successes we achieve for our clients.
We’ve highlighted some of the careers of our people, outlining the diverse paths they have taken to get where they are today, in some career stories. You can view them here.
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