When Mishcon de Reya boss Kevin Gold told The Lawyer, “If the cleaner approached me with an idea on how to improve the firm, I’d listen,” the profession said his comments were “patronising.”
But now Gold is putting his money where his mouth is. Mishcon de Reya could move to a John Lewis-style ownership model that would see even the cleaning and reception staff own a stake in the business.
The firm is about to the reach the end of a year-long consultation to plan the next decade of Mishcon that could result in ground-breaking changes to the firm.
The results of the consultation will be presented by Gold and his executive team to the partnership in April when the firm will launch its first ‘10-year vision’.
Gold told The Lawyer all ideas were still “up in the air” but partners, fee-earners and employees had all been consulted on plans ranging from overhauling the ownership model to scrapping bonuses to launching offices overseas.
As well as fee-earners, the firm’s back office and support services staff were also consulted on the range of radical plans and told by management to “think outside the box” on ideas to ensure the success of Mishcon over the next ten years.
One idea Gold championed could make the most of Mishcon’s ABS structure, which it adopted last year. He said he envisioned a firm run by all of its lawyers and employees, where everyone has a stake in its success and are “encouraged to invest their responsibility in the success of firm” instead of their own individual successes.
Gold said Mishcon partners so far seemed open to such a possibility, but that no plans were yet set in stone pending the end of the consultation period.
A John Lewis-style ownership model would see all owners take a profit share from the business and be remunerated according to the success of the firm.
Mishcon broke the £100m revenue mark for the first time last year, with turnover up 12.5 per cent to £110m.
The firm was granted an ABS licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in February 2015, appointing its first non-lawyer to the partnership, chief operating officer Bambos Georgiou, two months later.
Gold is no stranger to introducing bold ideas to the firm. In 2014 he introduced agile working and “unlimited holidays” for all partners. In 2015, he consulted on making radical changes to the way partners are paid.