Law firm of the Month: Laura Cameron

Laura Cameron’s dream of becoming a dentist when increasing up in Perth was thwarted by an unfortunate and insuperable downside: her aversion to the sight of blood. “Although I studied sciences at school and got the grades, right after a couple of dissections in the biology lab I realised relatively early on that it wasn’t my point,” she laughs.

“When I explained to my late father, he pretty reasonably stated ‘I’d been waiting for decades for you to recognise that’, and immediately prompt an substitute vocation in the law.” The sudden U-convert was a fortuitous a single.

“I beloved it and have never ever appeared back again,” suggests Cameron, who joined McGrigors pretty much 29 a long time back and turned a companion at the venerable company, whose antecedents day again to 1769. It then merged with London-primarily based multinational agency Pinsent Masons in 2012, and she became its first feminine board member.

Previous year Pinsent Masons declared that Cameron, who is dependent in Glasgow, will realize success John Cleland as the firm’s running husband or wife. She experienced stepped down soon after 7 many years as world-wide head of the firm’s 880-sturdy risk advisory expert services group which signifies about a third of the turnover of a company with some 430 partners and 3,000 persons all-around the entire world.

It is a overwhelming agenda to hold on top rated of, and one particular that will be augmented by assuming her new accountability at the major of the organization, but Cameron states that she’s “delighted and very honoured to have been elected by my friends as Pinsent Masons’ to start with woman managing lover and just can’t hold out to get began.”

Both of those she and the business, she states, are massively good about legislation. “We’re normally striving to do greater and at our core are decided to hold ourselves suitable to purchasers. This entails considering forward about what they will will need – and that incorporates being impressive in the use of technological innovation and typically becoming in advance of the curve when it will come to the client’s demands.”

Hazard advisory expert services is a contentious space involving litigation and dispute resolution and is aspect of Pinsent Masons’ company in every geography and jurisdiction the agency covers. “I intentionally grew to become a litigator for the reason that I appreciate the lower and thrust of the courtroom and the really hard do the job that goes into the preparation and presentation of a situation,” she suggests. “And the plan of acquiring courtroom selections generate new regulation is a bit of a thrill.”

These have included, she says, felony instances for significant corporate entities. “I’ve carried out a large amount of money above the years in terms of advising corporate clientele about how to avoid wellbeing and basic safety incidents, but I’ve also been associated in defence situations in which consumers have been prosecuted for disasters and fatalities, frequently in the construction, plane and oil and gas sectors.”

She provides that when she was head of the team it broadened its skillset by recruiting persons with skills drawn from other places of specialist companies in forensic accounting, tax and coverage advice and the managing partner’s purpose will permit her to do the same, nevertheless on a lot greater scale.

“Risk advisory providers is actually a a great deal broader umbrella for all way of points. We attempt to assistance purchasers stay away from conditions that could turn into contentious but that just cannot normally be averted so when – as comes about often – things go incorrect we’re there to assist them navigate their way out of it.”

Inevitably, as she was Pinsent Masons’ 1st woman board member – and now prepared to become its to start with female running companion – the ‘glass ceiling’ concern calls for to be requested. “When I was elected to the board in 2012 I was the only feminine all-around the desk and that took a bit of getting utilized to – not just for me for my colleagues,” she recalls.

“Since then, there has been a comprehensive shift in terms of woman representation though we however have a good deal of get the job done to do, as do our peers, in phrases of women occupying management and associate positions.”

In 2014 the business introduced Task Sky, a programme aimed at achieving an enhanced gender stability in its partnership and senior management staff by eradicating obstacles to the development of females to the maximum stages inside of the organization.

“It’s critical that we have diversity in its broadest perception close to our selection-making tables but in purely gender conditions, if we have been having this discussion in 5 or 10 a long time the landscape would glimpse very distinct mainly because in the existing ingestion of trainees and legislation graduates the split is now closely weighted toward women and we need to have to make certain we are encouraging, mentoring and sponsoring our female colleagues as they arrive by way of the organization.”

As managing associate, she says she will encounter a variety of difficulties. “One is making confident that we continue to search following our purchasers in an innovative and suitable way. Also, we have to nurture expertise inside the organization and embrace the wants of a multi-generational workforce,” she suggests.

“Younger persons more and more tend to explore private enhancement and the good quality of their perform. They really don’t essentially glimpse for upwards but often lateral moves and our STRIDE programme will allow people today to be set into new positions, most likely likely from Australia to London or Dublin to South Africa and that has been an awesome working experience for the business as properly as the persons.”

Also vital to the foreseeable future of talent is a motivation to the two diversity and inclusion (DNI) and the general ESG framework. “We are a reason-led company and men and women want to know that we are not only dedicated to that but that we actually stick to as a result of on our commitments mainly because that is definitely vital to our enterprise.”

Cameron has been married to her husband Philip, also a attorney, for a lot more than 25 decades and has two grown-up youngsters. Irrespective of keeping a major place with a world company that requires earth travel (and a individual fondness for Singapore’s cosmopolitan vibe) there’s almost nothing she claims she enjoys much more than a hike up a Scottish hill or all-around a loch. “Whatever the climate, a stroll will aspect at some phase on a Saturday or Sunday.”

Most of the time, however, she’s concentrated on ambition for the organization and its folks. “When I look at my diary and see what’s coming up for the duration of the 7 days that is what is foremost in my intellect – to winner modify, to encourage development and to make the business enterprise perform better for its persons and clients.”

Like all people, she claims, not every little thing goes precisely to approach on just about every day. “But I’m lucky in currently being ready to just come back again, shut the door on that and say: you know what – tomorrow’s going to be a superior working day.”

It’s an outlook with which her prescient late father would have correctly concurred.

Sherri Crump

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