A positive law firm culture: Challenging the status quo

A positive law firm culture: Challenging the status quo

Our vision is of a world where all viable businesses thrive and contribute to a healthy economy through access to excellent legal services that are delivered by firms whose people enjoy a true work-life balance.

From the beginning, we’ve challenged the status quo in legal services in two ways by:

  • making expert legal advice more accessible to businesses through unique subscription plans, and
  • providing a very different workplace culture for our people to that of traditional law firms, based on remote and flexible working.

Now in our 10th year, we have provided legal support to over 3,500 ambitious and entrepreneurial businesses and we anticipate a turnover of £10m this financial year. We attribute a great deal of our success to our unique culture.

Representing and staying true to our culture

To protect our positive workplace as we continue to grow, we recently undertook a project to authentically articulate our values. We interviewed 30% of our people, across all areas of the business, and hosted a workshop with our senior leadership team to hear everyone’s views on our culture. The results were then distilled into seven values, which were shared firmwide along with a survey to gauge how well the values represented everyone’s views.

We’re very proud to share that 100% of respondents agreed that the seven values identified strongly resonated with them, and the majority found them to be of high importance to them personally.

  1. We practise flexibility without judgement (96% said high importance)
  2. Everyone feels trusted and supported in every aspect of their job. We can do this because everyone is responsible, productive and wants to succeed (93% said high importance)
  3. We are relaxed and informal, but super organised. No power-dressing is required, neither is jargon. Say it like it is and do what you say you’ll do (73% said high importance)
  4. No politics. People don’t feel like they have to get one over on their colleagues to succeed. If people around us succeed, so do we. (85% said high importance)
  5. Humility. We love to celebrate HJ and each other. There’s no room for big egos though! (77% said high importance)
  6. We recognise the hardest conversations are the ones we should always have. Handled with openness so we can focus on the solution. (77% said high importance)
  7. We make decisions with compassion, integrity and responsibility. (92% said high importance)

Protecting our culture and life at Harper James for everyone is a top priority as Toby Harper, our founder and CEO, explains:

When I set up Harper James, I had a strong desire to offer a genuinely flexible working environment and a culture that would be free of traditional law firm politics. I wanted to allow great people to do the work they love while achieving work-life balance and their career ambitions.

“Defining our values allows us to protect what makes this a ‘special’ place to work. The project has validated that we’re not just paying lip service to a positive workplace culture, but we are living our values. They are chosen by our people, so they’re representative, not aspirational.

“For anyone looking to join our team, our values will help set their expectations about our culture, including whether it will suit them, what’s expected and how they will be treated. Our values will also hold everyone working here, including our leadership team, accountable as they provide a framework to reference if anyone should ever feel we’re not acting according to our values.

“Having an inclusive and healthy workplace culture has and will continue to shape how we work with each other and our clients. It has also proven to be the best foundation for our success and we are fully committed to protect our values now and in the future.

You can see the results of this project in our guidebook to working at Harper James, along with information on current vacancies in the careers section of our website.

Our offices

A national law firm

A national law firm

Our commercial lawyers are based in or close to major cities across the UK, providing expert legal advice to clients both locally and nationally.

We mainly work remotely, so we can work with you wherever you are. But we can arrange face-to-face meeting at our offices or a location of your choosing.

Head Office

Floor 5, Cavendish House, 39-41 Waterloo Street, Birmingham, B2 5PP
Regional Spaces

Stirling House, Cambridge Innovation Park, Denny End Road, Waterbeach, Cambridge, CB25 9QE
13th Floor, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT
10 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 5HP
Harwell Innovation Centre, 173 Curie Avenue, Harwell, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QG
1st Floor, Dearing House, 1 Young St, Sheffield, S1 4UP
White Building Studios, 1-4 Cumberland Place, Southampton, SO15 2NP
A national law firm

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