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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Harrison Drury looks to the future with launch of HD Academy

North West law firm Harrison Drury has launched a new HD Academy and revealed its largest leadership development programme as it looks to bring through its next generation of lawyers and leaders.

The Academy will be headed up by experienced solicitor and director, Amanda Webster, and will have a dedicated curriculum for new solicitors who have been qualified for up to five years.

A cohort of 19 employees are also taking part in a £90,000 leadership development programme in a partnership with training and qualifications provider, Skillwise

The new Academy and investment programme are part of the firm’s new five-year strategy, which has been created following a consultation programme with its 110 staff. The firm is aspiring to be the best law firm to work for in the North West.

Speaking on the launch of the HD Academy, Amanda Webster, said: “Our leadership team recognises that the firm’s success is built on the brilliance of our people.

“The Academy will give our younger lawyers real focus in their career development. During a legal career, lawyers quickly assume responsibilities in areas such as client relationship management, business development, people management and finance but often don’t receive the training to develop these necessary skills.

“The Academy will enable our people to excel in their chosen area of law while building the essential business skills to reach their potential.”

Other features of the Academy include a dedicated knowledge transfer programme that will see Harrison Drury’s senior lawyers mentor its younger solicitors, and a HD Future Forum allowing the firm’s HD Academy members to exchange ideas on the law firm of the future.

Executive chairman John Chesworth, who has led the firm since 2007, said: “The launch of the Academy and our leadership investment programme is another key milestone in our history.

“The firm and its people have been on an amazing journey together and we are proud of our people development record, which has helped us reach the Sunday Times list of the ‘Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For’ on numerous occasions.

“But we must keep developing and investing. We want to continue attracting the best legal talent and give them opportunities to forge a brilliant career.

“If we achieve our goal of being the best law firm to work for, our clients will receive outstanding service, our communities will be impacted positively, and Harrison Drury will be contributing to bring about the vision of a community where people feel connected, are fulfilled and become enriched.”

The Skillwise Leadership and Management Programme is designed to equip directors, senior managers, and rising stars with an array of people skills and leadership knowledge.

It includes modules on leadership styles, business culture, coaching and mentoring, business improvement, critical thinking and decision making. Those completing the course can register as associate members with the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership & Management.

John Chesworth added: “This is about creating the leaders of the future and helping people to achieve their career aspirations. We also recognise that people’s job satisfaction and engagement levels are massively influenced by the interactions they have on a daily basis with their managers and colleagues.

“That’s why we’re focusing on leadership with this significant new investment, which will sit alongside our existing training and coaching programme. It will make it possible for us to continue building engaged and high-performing teams which in turn helps us to provide an outstanding service to clients.”

Speaking about 2021, John added: “The pandemic brought some short-term challenges but as a firm we have constantly invested, planned for the future and developed, and therefore we were extremely well placed to face the pandemic. We had an excellent final quarter of 2020 and we are looking forward to a very positive 2021 and decade of progress.”

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