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Bloomsburry Family law

HR & Development

Servant to master: The changing role of PSLs at Osborne Clarke

In an uncertain economic climate, many law firms are looking at ways to streamline activities and ensure every employee adds value. As a result, it seems that the role of the PSL – a non-fee earning, but fairly expensive member of staff – has come under scrutiny. Rachael Wright, a PSL at Osborne Clarke, looks at how the firm is re-engineering the role of its PSLs to ensure this resource is used effectively and that legal know-how and training is cutting edge.

Understanding leadership

Leaders may come and go, but they remain at the heart of successful business growth and change. Leadership, however, means different things to different firms and for managing partners, who frequently have the experience of fee earning rather than management, effective leadership can be an elusive goal. Tony Allen, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, argues that leadership represents a whole spectrum of options.

Selecting for success

There are many tools that can be used to aid effective recruitment from competency-based interviews to psychometric and ability tests. Most corporates are used to practising such methods as part of their HR process, but many law firms continue to apply wholly subjective methods of assessment and those that have embraced the latest recruitment tools, have often failed foul of misapplying the techniques to the particular requirements of the vacant position. Bettina Alderton, an occupational psychologist at Longbridge International assesses the opportunities and pitfalls for law firms looking to recruit and retain the best.

Web feature: Leadership in partnerships - a missed opportunity

UK partnerships are failing to capitalise on the opportunity to get ahead of the game because they are not focusing sufficiently on developing the capability of their leaders. Marjorie Wright of Kaisen Consulting warns that only very few partners in UK professional firms are really good leaders.

Ricksons snaps up PI team

Ricksons Solicitors has acquired a seven-strong personal injury team from the Manchester and Leeds offices of Whittles Solicitors.