You are here:
  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Blog
  4. Excellence Awards - excellent for business

Excellence Awards - excellent for business

05 May 2016

Laura Devine discusses how winning the Excellence Award for Woman Lawyer of the Year has made a difference to her firm.

My 2015 Law Society Excellence Award for Woman Lawyer of the Year came 30 years after my articles - as training contracts were then called - at what is now CMS. My excellent training and experience at University College London, CMS, PwC and Eversheds gave me a superb platform to set up my own boutique firm in London in 2003 and in New York in 2007.

Seek out the best

For me, the most enjoyable and satisfying part of running a business is the recruitment, training and development of staff. We have a strong emphasis on our team members, and the structure of the firm often surprises people: top professional support staff run both offices, which allows the lawyers to concentrate on client service. 

Caring differences

Another differentiator is that the firm is female-oriented, with all four partners being women. Our workplace is feminine in nature, meaning that our ethos is caring, collegiate and collaborative, with initiatives that focus on wellbeing and pastoral care, such as team-building events abroad, regular charity evenings and four weekly in-house exercise classes. We don't operate family friendly policies but friendly policies.

I love that my partners and I have all worked together for 15 years, which is a testament to the firm's commitment to retention and professional and personal development. 

Recognition for building a business and contacts

The Excellence Award, along with several others that we have won, was an incredibly satisfying reward for the firm and recognised the team's excellence in immigration law and client service. As a result of the awards, we have received quite a bit of press coverage and attention which is, of course, terrific for business. As well as the staff enjoying our success - which they fully deserve - clients appreciate it, and it gives us an advantage when pitching for work, or targeting new clients. The independent recognition gives our clients ultra confidence in us: in our work, our technical knowledge, and our client service.

The best foundation

Solicitors often ask me whether or not they should set up their own firm. My first response is to ask if they are inclined to worry. If they are, then I point out that there will always be something to worry about, such as regulation, compliance, cash flow, client care, and staff management. In running a firm I believe that it is essential to be surrounded by excellent colleagues. My advice is never compromise on recruitment. Supervise, support, develop and delegate. Above all - trust your team  to deliver a first-class service and product. The rest - including clients and success - will follow, and should be enjoyed.

Key dates for the Excellence Awards 

Deadline for entries Friday 27 May
Judging takes place early July
Shortlist announced early August
Awards ceremony Thursday 20 October

Find out more about the awards

Follow the action on Twitter with #lawsocawards

Tags: equality | leadership | talent | Excellence Awards

About the author

Laura Devine is the founding and managing partner of Laura Devine Solicitors, an award-winning boutique immigration firm. Laura has been recognised as the most highly nominated European immigration lawyer in Who's Who Legal. Laura is the UK representative of the International Bar Association Immigration Committee, a Law Society Council member, and also sits on the Law Society's Immigration Committee.
Find out more about Laura Devine
Follow Laura Devine Lawyers on Twitter

  • Share this page:

Adam Johnson | Adele Edwin-Lamerton | Ahmed Aydeed | Alex Barr | Alex Heshmaty | Alexa Lemzy | Alexandra Cardenas | Amanda Carpenter | Amanda Jardine Viner | Amy Bell | Amy Heading | Andrew Kidd | Andy Harris | Anna Drozd | Annaliese Fiehn | Anne Waldron | Asif Afridi and Roseanne Russell | Bansi Desai | Barbara Whitehorne | Barry Wilkinson | Becky Baker | Ben Hollom | Bob Nightingale | Caroline Marlow | Caroline Roddis | Caroline Sorbier | Catherine Dixon | Chris Claxton-Shirley | Christina Blacklaws | Ciaran Fenton | CV Library | Daniel Matchett | Daphne Perry | David Gilroy | David Yeoward | Douglas McPherson | Dr Sylvie Delacroix | Duncan Wood | Eduardo Reyes | Elizabeth Rimmer | Emily Miller | Emily Powell | Emma Maule | Gary Richards | Gary Rycroft | Graham Murphy | Gustavo Bussmann | Hayley Stewart | Ignasi Guardans | James Castro Edwards | Jayne Willetts | Jeremy Miles | Jerry Garvey | Jessie Barwick | Joe Egan | Jonathan Andrews | Jonathan Fisher | Jonathan Smithers | Julian Hall | Julie Ashdown | Julie Nicholds | Justin Rourke | Karen Jackson | Kate Adam | Katherine Cousins | Kaweh Beheshtizadeh | Kayleigh Leonie | Keiley Ann Broadhead | Kerrie Fuller | Kevin Poulter | Larry Cattle | Laura Devine | Laura Uberoi | Leah Glover and Julie Ashdown | Leanne Yendell | LHS Solicitors | Lucy Parker | Maria Shahid | Marjorie Creek | Mark Carver | Mark Leiser | Markus Coleman | Martin Barnes | Matt Oliver | Matthew Still | Melissa Hardee | Neil Ford | Nick Denys | Nick O'Neill | Nick Podd | Nikki Alderson | Oz Alashe | Patrick Wolfe | Paul Rogerson | Pearl Moses | Penny Owston | Peter Wright | Philippa Southwell | Preetha Gopalan | Rachel Brushfield | Ranjit Uppal | Richard Coulthard | Richard Heinrich | Richard Messingham | Richard Miller | Richard Roberts | Rita Oscar | Rob Cope | Robert Bourns | Robin Charrot | Rosy Rourke | Saida Bello | Sally Woolston | Sam De Silva | Sara Chandler | Sarah Austin | Sarah Crowe | Sarah Henchoz | Sarah Smith | Shereen Semnani | Sofia Olhede | Sonia Aman | Sophia Adams Bhatti | Sophie O'Neill-Hanson | Steve Deutsch | Steve Thompson | Stuart Poole-Robb | Susan Kench | Suzanne Gallagher | The Law Society Digital and Brand team | Tom Ellen | Tony Roe Solicitors | Umar Kankiya | Vanessa Friend | William Li