Massons making professional practice female-friendly

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The all-female partnership at growing commercial property boutique Massons is making significant headway in adapting the professional practice of law to the needs of women.
The firm, which was established in July 2016 by former members of the commercial property team at William James, has since prioritised culture and flexibility as well as professionalism.
While delivering top tier commercial property advice with a model that shuns the billable hour and encourages client care, empathy, relationships, results and team endeavour, the firm is also integrating innovative working arrangements for women into its everyday operations.
For example, the firm’s partners Jodie Masson and Leisha de Aboitiz have put in place a proactive maternity leave policy that matches the strength of those offered by larger firms, and which the firm says is designed to encourage long-term staff retention.
Flexible work arrangements have also been put in place for staff at all levels of the firm, with both female partners leading by example: one is employed four days per week, and the other works remotely at least one week per month every month.
With seven female staff in total, and two partners both having children under the age of 8, the founding partners say the firm has been built from the ground up with the understanding that a large part of the team either are, or shortly will be, working mums.
As a result, the firm has even moved to create a child-friendly zone in the new office fit-out to encourage staff to bring their children into the office if the need ever arises.
The firm’s approach includes having team goals and budgets, rather than personal targets, an open office environment, and always putting more than one lawyer on a matter no matter how small, to enable part-time employees to really work part-time and share workloads.
So far, the firm’s move to provide all staff with laptops and encouraging them to work from home as much as they like has seen most staff take this option between three and five times a month.