Our core values

Introduction by CEO

Our Core Values effectively wrote themselves.

Admittedly, putting them into neat website-friendly prose was a task that I wouldn’t want to do every week! But, by looking at how we operate and conduct our business identifying the core values was simple because we have lived by them for many years.

For me, the value that stands out the most is ‘Be Authentic and Have Fun’, because all of the others flow on from that.

In the past we never had a structured plan to create the diverse, creative, bold firm that Blaser Mills Law is today. We have just done what felt right. We, and by ‘we’ I don’t mean just the management, I refer to people right across the firm, have simply recruited great people and have been willing to try things.

Do we 100% live and run our business by these values at all times? Honestly, no. Could we do better on most/all of these? Absolutely yes.

But, taken together, these core values form an ethos that that we have adhered to enough to get us to where we are today and, going forward, they constitute a map for us to follow to continue the journey upon which the firm has embarked.

Dave Matthews
Partner, Chief Executive Officer

For me, the value that stands out the most is ‘Be Authentic and Have Fun’, because all of the others flow on from that.

Put people at the centre of everything we do

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Who are our people? Our partners and staff? Our clients? Our communities? Everyone who hears about us or know of us? It’s all of them, and they all matter.

Our business is all about our people. Without them we are nothing and we go nowhere.

We are fortunate – we have a great team, of brilliant dedicated people but this can never be taken for granted. We always need to recruit well and engage and empower our people to excel. Every member of staff must be treated fairly and respectfully in an inclusive culture with genuine prospects of merited reward and career progression.

Similarly, we must always see our clients as people. We need to understand them, get to know them and their businesses and become their trusted advisers. People can dread having to speak to their lawyers – we want our clients to enjoy dealing with us. We see great value in having a firm full of individual personalities and we have to be willing to show those personalities in our work. Maybe hoping that clients will look forward to speaking to us is expecting too much(!) but, at the very least, they must feel that they are talking to a real person.

Looking at the wider picture – people who don’t use the firm or are only just hearing about us. People are interested in people. Our firm becomes better known because the people in it do great or interesting things. People come to the firm much more frequently because a specific person has been recommended or because they have heard about us from someone. All of these interactions – people to people – make us what we are.

Drive change, be brave, lead the way

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To continue to improve and to grow, we must continue to change. Change is constant. The key for us is that we must all learn not only to not fear change, but to embrace it enthusiastically, and perhaps even more importantly, to encourage and drive it.

We must always plan for and be prepared for constant change. Change can and will come from all directions – sometimes driven by us, sometimes forced upon us.

We should never be too comfortable with the status quo because, historically, companies that fail are those that aren’t able to respond quickly enough and adapt to change. That is not to say that we abandon our long-held culture and personality – that remains at the very heart of our firm; but by being brave with our thinking and actions and by leading the way with our behaviours and ideas we ensure the continued success of our business, the development of our people and the very best service for our clients.

Think and act creatively

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Creativity can be the key to solving clients’ problems. Quite often the best solution to a ‘legal problem’ will not involve any recourse to actual law – the challenge is for lawyers to think outside of the box.

We have a firm full of brilliant creative minds; people from all backgrounds, each with the ability to bring their own slant to any given situation. Ultimately our clients will instruct us to proceed in a particular way, but we must always ensure that they have been provided with a full range of alternative approaches – not just the obvious, conventional ones.

In running own business we constantly look for opportunities, recruit boldly and are willing to try new things. If we stop doing these things we lose a key part of our essential identity. We encourage everyone to contribute ideas, regardless of their position in the firm. Some of our senior partners started at the firm as office assistants. We encourage and embrace diversity in thoughts, opinions, and backgrounds. If we all think the same, we will go nowhere. We never want to become complacent and accept the status quo just because that’s the way things have always been done.

Collaborate and create relationships built on openness, honesty and trust

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Our clients know their businesses or personal affairs better than we do; on the other hand we (hopefully!) know the law better than they do. Collaboration is essential and is a key part of how we approach our work.

It is essential that we act with openness and honesty as that is the only way to create the trust and faith needed to enable a truly collaborative approach to our relationships with our clients. We will always tell our clients how we see things – fully and frankly, but also with understanding and empathy. We won’t hold back if we think a client is making a mistake, but, if that decision is made, we will get fully behind it and work together to achieve the very best possible outcome.

But it goes wider than that. Open, honest, positive relationships are essential within our firm. Strong relationships allow us to accomplish much more than we would be able to otherwise. We should always act with integrity in our relationships, to be compassionate, friendly and loyal – to listen as well as talk and to make our people feel good about their work and their workmates. 

As the company grows, the type of face-to-face communication that we had when we were smaller becomes more difficult, but no less important. It is for the management to show individuals and teams how they fit into the bigger picture and the contribution that they are making; but it is equally important for individuals and teams to want to know this. Communication is always one of the weakest spots in any organization and it is for all of us to constantly strive to do our bit to ask, listen and tell.

Pursue growth, in every sense

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Blaser Mills Law has grown significantly over recent years. Our strategic vision is to continue this process. We want to act for more and bigger clients, to add more bar-raising recruits, to move into a wider range of practice areas.

But growth isn’t just about a firm’s size. It’s about quality too – in the service we provide and the way that we go about our business.

We are committed to growing as a Responsible Business – to completely embrace concepts and approaches that are relatively new to us in a structured way. The diversity of our workforce speaks for itself – across the board we are significantly above the benchmark for law firms. But we have achieved this without any plan or policy – we have simply always looked to recruit great people.

Finally, we want our people to grow, both personally and professionally – to constantly challenge and stretch ourselves; not to be stuck in a job where we don’t feel like we are growing or learning. So many of our people have more potential than even they realise. We must constantly look to unlock that potential. We have people performing and developing at a level that they would once have thought impossible. But, of course, this is a two-way thing; individuals have to want to challenge and stretch themselves while management must commit to embracing potential wherever it shows itself and bring it to fruition.

Team is everything

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We want brilliant individuals but, ultimately, what really matters to us is that we have great teams of people who work together.

Great teams need brilliant individuals and great leaders who are willing to commit themselves to the concept that team is everything.

We want our leaders to lead by example and be both team members as well as team leaders. The best ideas and decisions can often come from the bottom up, from those actually doing the work, those closest to the actual client. We want our leaders that embrace that. We want our leaders to remove obstacles and enable the people they support to succeed.

On the other hand, the best team members take initiative when they notice issues, problems or opportunities. They take ownership of issues and collaborate with other team members whenever challenges arise. The best team members have a positive influence on one another strive to eliminate negativity. Our teams look after each other, help each other, encourage and, when the chips are down, go above and beyond for each other.

Respect our communities and environment

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We are a law firm. We are generally located in rented offices. We don’t manufacture and our carbon footprint is minimal compared to most industries. That is not to say that we shouldn’t look to minimise the environmental impact of our business.

Where we have company cars these are electric or hybrid; we pressure our landlords to use the most environmentally-friendly energy providers. We recycle and endeavour to be as paper-free as possible.

We are serve our local communities but, at the same time, we are a product of our communities. We recruit from our local communities and we look for every opportunity to help local businesses and individuals.

Be humble, open-minded and respectful

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We have grown significantly in recent years but we have to recognize that there are always challenges ahead to tackle. No matter what happens, we should always be respectful of everyone.

We should be proud of our individual and team successes but should always remember that we succeed as a team and we fail as a team. It’s a basic tenet that we have all been taught since childhood that we should treat others as we would want to be treated.

We must treat all contacts and clients equally. The service we provide must be consistently excellent regardless of the perceived value of the client. Sometimes, the smallest jobs can be the most challenging, make us push ourselves the most and give us the biggest opportunities to learn new things.

Be authentic and have fun

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Law is serious. Business is serious. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy our work; have fun even. Over the years we have considered our ‘corporate personality’ or our ‘brand’. The recurring themes are that we are “authentic” or “different”.

We carry out valuable, detailed and complex work for our clients; we are supremely professional in our work but we can still look for both fun and humour in our daily working lives. It is simply impossible to separate the firm’s personality and culture from its growth and success. There’s a strong argument that our culture is the absolute key to the firm’s success, and in that culture we celebrate and embrace our diversity and each person’s individuality.

We want people to be themselves; to express their unique personalities, experiences and outlooks in their work – to be their true selves. We recruit great people but, for each of us to operate at our best, we have to be able to be ourselves – that is what fuels creativity and innovation. When our people are having fun at work, it is a winning formula for everyone.