testimonial - allen & overy

Mitchell Leadership Consulting partnered Allen & Overy for over a decade to help build sustainable global expansion, a “one-firm” ethos and professional leadership capabilities. 

During this time the firm grew from a largely UK-centric business of about 1000 people including 100 partners to become a truly global professional firm of 5000 people, including about 500 partners. It is now one of the top global professional firms with offices in many countries.

Martin Pexton, former Global HR Director at A&O, reviews this key partnership:

As the firm grew numerically and geographically, it became increasingly apparent to me that we needed to use our leadership development activity to reinforce and develop the ethos of “one firm”. This was for several reasons, but particularly to ensure that clients received consistently high service levels in whichever parts of the firm they used, and that the different disciplines and offices worked together seamlessly for clients.

John Mitchell and his team met our need for a well resourced development organization, with clarity of thought on how strategy, values and culture fit together, and with a focus on helping clients to achieve their business objectives. 

We began work with the senior and managing partners, followed by a leadership development program for the most senior partners in the worldwide firm. The outputs from this included a series of projects to promote the strategic and cultural development of the firm. Then based on the success of this programme, a five-day development programme for international groups of experienced partners was designed and successfully delivered to groups in Europe and Asia. This took the form of an initial three-day session and a two-day follow up. This was repeated twice a year for groups of around 10 experienced partners for a total of seven years.

Throughout the same period, corresponding programs were designed and delivered, for all junior partners and for assistants at different levels of experience. These courses were typically four days in length, and were delivered two or three times a year for junior partners and more than 20 times a year for associates.

While leadership remained a key theme, there was also a strong business development component.

When we began this work we could not have envisaged the eventual extent of the roll out, and I would say the programme had a significant beneficial impact on the cultural and strategic development of the firm, and helped to increase the level of professionalism in the so called soft disciplines to complement the technical expertise of the firm.

Successful professionals tend to be demanding and critical, and are quick to spot weakness in any argument. To work effectively, programmes for demanding professionals require high levels of intellectual credibility and also an in depth understanding of individual and collective challenges. In addition working effectively across a global organization, requires a well developed cultural sensitivity.

Mitchell Leadership Consulting has proven expertise in these areas and is well equipped to help firms to define and achieve their strategic and cultural goals.

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