A client recently asked me how we drive our team to produce a consistent “can do” and positive approach. The answer was simple. We don’t drive our team at all – they drive themselves.

Our philosophy is simple. We avoid prescriptive rules as to how a task is to be fulfilled. We recognise that every member of our team has a different set of skills. We allow each member of the team to develop those skills without diktat or rigid rules as to process. Technical competency is a given, but beneath that the personal and social skills needed in delivery of legal advice are innate to the individual.

That philosophy allows our team to develop their own style. It also acknowledges that the same piece of advice cannot be delivered to every client in the same way.

Of course we have processes and procedures. Our Lexel accreditation (achieved again for the eighth year in a row this year) requires that we have a procedures handbook for the services we provide and compliance. We intentionally wrote those procedures however to identify what we do rather than how we do it.

That of course begs the question as to what the role of our managers is? If they are not supervising the way we deliver our services what are they there to do?

Again the answer to those questions is simple. I describe our philosophy as “management from below”. The role of our manager and partners is to ask each member of the team “How can I help you in doing what you do, in the way that you have decided to do it? What support can I provide to you with that approach?”

How does that work in operation? Support can come in so many ways. I am a huge fan of mentoring where senior players share learning and experience with more junior members of the team (as a consequence I am less enamoured with work from home, but that is a story for another day!). Listening is often a skill lost in management. We encourage listening throughout our firm so that individuals dealing with a particular procedure or client contact can give feedback across the board. If there is a way to improve client experience or our efficiencies then everybody can contribute to that. An open door policy is vital in any successful business. Above all a freedom of decision making for team members. If you want to paint the walls of your office bright blue, if you want to cover it in pictures of your family or the Spurs football team, then if that is what inspires you and makes you work better, then go for it!

As a result we have created a team who are genuinely enthused and want to deliver excellent service to our clients. It also results in an excellent relationship between all member of the team no matter what level they are involved in the business.

I am a lawyer – so I can’t say something without adding caveats! Within a “management from below” philosophy there has to be some basic components. Firstly there has to be an overall riding philosophy. Whilst I dislike the management speak title of “mission statement” we have a guiding principle for the firm. We aim to be regarded as the outstanding legal practice in Jersey, respected for the excellence and energy we put into everything we do for our clients, our community and our team. That sets out our purpose but does not dictate to individuals how they go about the task. Individuals simply have to understand the firm’s purpose and look back to that “mission statement” regularly.

Indeed in recent weeks we got the whole team together to brainstorm a review of our mission statement, a process which is ongoing. In that way we ensure that everybody from senior partner to receptionist, from litigator to secretarial support all had a say in what they want the firm to achieve.

The second key caveat is that you need the right people. Every member of our team is chosen with the utmost care, on many occasions from the people that we have worked with in other firms for many years. There is no space in a management from below philosophy for a “Mr. Grumpy” or a “Little Miss Complaint” – instead we need “Mr. Happy” and “Little Miss Smiley”! You’ll have met those different sets of people in every walk of life but in a small team delivering personal advice, that underlying approach to life is vital.

The philosophy of supporting from below is one that we have applied for years. It is only when the client made the enquiry of me the other day of how we achieve what we do, that I came to give it a title of management from below. Changes in recent years, both in technology and society, as well as the impact of the pandemic, have altered the way businesses operate permanently. If your business has a clear purpose and you select the right people, then I can certainly recommend the management from below philosophy. Your business, your customers and your team will thrive!

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© Benest & Syvret 2022 Privacy Policy

We Care About Your Privacy

The following website has been provided for information pertaining to Benest & Syvret and their services. The below information sets out how Benest & Syvret uses and protects the data collected via our website. When using this site, you are legally bound to the following privacy policy, so please read carefully. Privacy protection is something that Benest & Syvret are fully committed towards.

The Information We Collect

Many of our services may require the supply of personal information. When contacting us, we may ask for details such as your name, email address and telephone number. If you choose to register for our newsletter, we will require personal information including your name and email address.

What We Do With The Information

All of the information collected from the website is solely used for the purposes outlined in this document. We do not divulge any information to anyone outside of Benest & Syvret without prior consent from the website visitor – unless it is necessary to provide a requested service.

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iPOP take every necessary step to ensure that your personal information is secure. We follow strict policies and follow best practice standards of security when collecting personal information. The website uses HTTPS (This is an adaptation of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) for secure communication over a computer network) to help protect against your personal information being stolen, destroyed or divulged to third parties. Your personal details are stored at our restricted offices which have no unauthorised access.

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Through the use of contact forms, call back requests and newsletter sign-ups, we may collect, but are not limited to, the following information:

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We try our best to understand your needs and provide you a high level of service. We may use the information collected for the following reasons: Internal record keeping Improve our products using your email addresses, we will from time to time send you promotional emails with things that may be of interest to you, such as news, offers and industry related articles to customise the website according to your interests

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You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information in the following ways: if you have previously agreed to us using your personal information for direct marketing purposes, you may opt-out at any time by emailing us which you can do via the website.

You may request details of personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. A small fee will be payable. If you would like a copy of the information held then please contact us. If you notice or know that any information we are holding about you is incorrect, please write to or email us as at the address detailed on the website. We will correct any information you indicate to be incorrect as soon as possible.

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Variations To The Policy

We reserve the right to alter and change information provided in this document at our own discretion and therefore this document should be regularly referred to for updates and variations. If you have any questions regarding this policy, our contact details are as follows:

16 Hill Street,
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