Life at JMW: Insight from the Team

Starting a career at JMW Solicitors is your chance to join one the UK's most successful and well-respected law firms, but don't just take our word for it. Employees from across the business describe what it's like to be a part of an industry-leading legal firm and share their experiences in relation to life at JMW.

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Chris Sutton - Operations Director

"My life at JMW began in the summer of 1996 when I spent a few weeks at the firm on a work experience placement. This quickly evolved into working the whole summer as an office junior in the crime team. During that time, I was lucky enough to be offered a training contract to return the following year. I never intended to work for only one firm, but right from the beginning, I've always felt incredibly happy at JMW and that's why I am still here today.

"Even when I was the most junior person in the office, I was amazed at how genuinely friendly all the senior people at JMW were, and how welcome they made me feel. The support I have been given in my career to develop and progress has been amazing and it's great to see so many others who have also benefitted from the culture we have at JMW."

The support I have been given in my career to develop and progress has been amazing.

Richard Glover - Commercial Litigation Partner

"I joined JMW in 2013 as a three-year PQE solicitor. Prior to working at JMW, I had lived in London and worked at a small high-street firm, so was a little nervous about relocating, moving jobs and stepping up to a larger regional firm. However, any trepidation about joining JMW quickly disappeared after my first couple of days on the job. I found JMW to have a friendly and embracing yet professional culture, where all staff appeared to enjoy their jobs and working with one another, but also had high standards of professionalism and skill. Despite the firm growing substantially over the nine years I have been at JMW, these core principles have remained.

"My personal journey at JMW has taken me from a relatively inexperienced solicitor to a confident partner where I help to manage a successful team and develop the business and brand of JMW. The firm often describes itself as a meritocracy and it is self-evident from the governance and make-up of the firm that this is true. I have witnessed many examples of talented and enthusiastic people being encouraged and promoted across many different roles in the firm regardless of background and experience, which is a clear demonstration of JMW's supportive and rewarding culture."

Despite the firm growing substantially over the nine years I have been at JMW, its core principles have remained.

 

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Dan Clark - Partner and Director of Marketing

"My life at JMW began back in January 2001. I was appointed as the firm's first dedicated marketing professional after graduating with a BA Hons in Marketing the previous summer. My journey over the last 20 years has been amazing and I have been privileged to work alongside, and also learn from, a number of incredible people, who have provided me with the knowledge and know-how of how a law firm operates but also how I should develop myself.

"To this day, the firm still retains the family and friendly culture like it did when I first joined and this is one of the main reasons why JMW has been so successful in recruiting and retaining a very happy workforce. It really is a great place to be.

"I have always been fully supported throughout my career at JMW when making any suggestions for new marketing initiatives, campaigns and projects. Importantly, I have also gained a lot of friends for life."

To this day, the firm still retains the family and friendly culture like it did when I first joined.

Steven Brown - Clinical Negligence Partner

"I started at JMW in 2008 as a newly-qualified solicitor in JMW's clinical negligence team. From the start, I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best lawyers in the field in a supportive and friendly environment. From being given a high level of responsibility early in my time at JMW, to being encouraged to take on roles outside of running cases, I have constantly been supported to progress my career.

"Having come from a background with no professional service role models, JMW has helped me in developing business and legal skills as I've gone from a very junior solicitor to a partner managing a team of fee earners. Over the years, the firm has grown considerably but has retained its culture of rewarding those who excel."

I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some of the best lawyers in the field in a supportive and friendly environment.

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Michael Sharp - IT Helpdesk Manager

"In 2009, I arrived at JMW on a summer placement in the postroom and opted to carry on working at JMW instead of pursuing a course at university as I was impressed by the embracing culture of the firm, and that has not changed over the years. Less than a year later, I was offered a role in IT (which I'd previously studied at college) and was enrolled on an apprenticeship by the firm.

"Since then, the firm has grown into one of the top law firm in the country, and I have been given the opportunity to grow with it and help shape the technology used over the past 12 years. I am now responsible for implementing, managing and supporting an array of IT services with my team of engineers of which I also mentor. Further to this, the firm has a continuous improvement attitude and encourages the use of new technologies to help stay ahead of its competitors."

The firm encourages the use of new technologies to stay ahead of its competitors.

Rachael Guy - HR Manager

"My journey at JMW started as a legal secretary within the personal injury department. Within a few months, the department underwent a restructure and my role moved into department administrator and then PA to the Head of Department. JMW has a culture of promoting from within when they spot potential talent and invested in developing my experience and knowledge during this time. Four years later, I joined the management team as Training Manager.

"During my career, the firm has nearly quadrupled in size and I have been fortunate to have been given multiple projects that have enabled me to further enhance my knowledge, skills and qualifications to move into my current role as HR Manager.

"JMW is a firm that puts clients and their people above all else, and I am truly blessed to work for a firm that has helped shape me to be the colleague I am today."

JMW is a firm that puts clients and their people above all else.

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Louise Wakely - Commercial Litigation Senior Associate

"I joined JMW as a trainee in the Manchester office in 2006. Following qualification in 2008 into the commercial litigation department as a fee earner, I gained promotion to senior associate in 2016. After the birth of my second daughter in 2019, I reflected upon my role as a fee earner and knew that the juggle of trying to keep up with clients and court deadlines, and picking up my two children on time after a long commute would likely be too much. This prompted a very open discussion with my head of department at the time, Marc Yaffe, and after a few further discussions, I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to become the commercial litigation department's first professional support lawyer. The start of 2020 marked both my return to work and the start of my new career path at JMW.

"My role is refreshingly varied - one day I will be preparing a bulletin regarding important legislative changes affecting commercial litigation lawyers and our clients, and the next I will be preparing for an internal training session on a particular legal topic or procedural requirement. The role evolves depending on the needs of our team and, at the moment, I am enjoying getting involved in some exciting new initiatives involving marketing, wider business development and mentoring junior fee earners.

"The firm recognises the value of loyal employees and it has been incredibly supportive to me throughout the years of service, particularly in my new role. The firm also recognises that its employees can contribute so much more to the business. I have great job satisfaction and contentment working as a professional support lawyer at the firm I joined 16 years ago." 

Stacie Williams - Operations Manager

"I have been with JMW since 2004, starting fresh out of school as a Postroom Assistant. I have been presented with the opportunity to work in a variety of roles and teams, progressing to a secretary, PA and Team Manager throughout my time at JMW.

"I feel I have always been supported in my ambitions, and have continuously been provided with the opportunity to learn and develop. The trust and responsibility that has been placed in me by the firm have led me to my current role as Operations Manager, and I am looking forward to continuing my career here and seeing what the future brings."

I feel I have always been supported in my ambitions, and continuously been provided with the opportunity to learn and develop.

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