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Leaders List interview: 60 seconds with Paula Myers, Irwin Mitchell

2 November 2022

Silvia Ricciardi

Citywealth speaks to Paula Myers, member of Citywealth's Leaders List (click here to view Paula Myers' Leaders List profile), Director of Legal Services for Private Client Services at Irwin Mitchell.

 

Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.

I am the Director of Legal Services for Private Client Services, leading the contentious and non contentious teams nationally which consist of around 180 people (currently 15 teams). In addition to my management role and sitting on the LLP Management Committee and the Client Legal Services leadership committee, I still practice and deal with clients who have contentious issues regarding trusts and estates.

 

What are the most pressing issues you are dealing with in your role at the moment?

Growing our teams and looking at new centres geographically, setting us up for  future growth and success.

Handling cases that have been impacted by the covid delays and pushing them forward to a resolution whether that is via settlement or litigation.

 

How would your clients describe you?

Approachable, commercial and straight talking with a human and caring side.

 

What are the most important skills and personal qualities to succeed in your role?

Resilience is key. As this is a demanding and stressful job, you need the ability to multi task and keep a number of plates spinning at the same time, with a smile on your face whilst you are doing that. There is always someone who needs a part of you, a client, a colleague or even an opponent. Making time for everyone, keeping the door open, is an art which needs to be mastered.

 

ESG: Are your clients familiar with ESG? Are they behaving differently in the present scenario?

As a Group, we act for a diverse range of clients including individuals, corporates and institutions and we are definitely seeing an increasing interest in our commitment to addressing environmental, social and governance issues. For some of our private clients, this is very much about trust and a desire to work with legal advisors who have shared values in relation to climate change, diversity and inclusion, investing in the local community etc.

We have made a commitment to doing business responsibly and we expect to be held to account by our stakeholders, including our clients. At the same time, we hope that by sharing our own journey in this area, we can inspire and learn from each other. Our corporate clients regularly ask about our progress and there is a real sense of collaboration and a desire to work together to address some of the critical ESG challenges we are all facing.

 

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?

Play with a straight bat, don’t get drawn into emotive correspondence – it never ends well. Learn from problems and mistakes that are made, you are never too old or too accomplished to learn new things. I was also trained to use litigation in cases when appropriate, it can be a useful tool when cases need to be fought or when that sort of action is required in order to move matters forward to reach a resolution.

 

Click here to view Paula Myers' Leaders List profile

 

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