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Such a lonely word: reinventing honesty

Honesty seems to pop up ever more frequently in the context of client service, but what do we actually mean, asks Alan Larkin

24 January 2019

It struck me, at the end of a recent strategy team day, that the word ‘honesty’ had inserted itself on flip charts and peppered our discussions, alongside the usual suspects of ‘trust’ and ‘vision’. Honesty towards clients, colleagues, legal peers in other firms and with oneself.

Examples in everyday family law practice were identified and dissected over drinks and pastries. We categorised honesty as a condition of existence that bound us as individuals and as a professional collective.

We tackled fundamental questions touching on the identity and purpose of a modern legal practice. Honesty required we venture into uncomfortable territory. Let me reprise that journey.

There are forces at play in legal services that are challenging common conceptions of the value solicitors offer their clients and society. We have a regulatory focus that champions consumer choice and promotes price transparency.

Arguably, the regulatory...

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