I am a qualified solicitor and was Managing Partner of Stephens Scown LLP, since 2011. The firm has been ranked for 6 consecutive years in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For. We have over 300 staff with offices in Devon and Cornwall and revenue of £20m.

During my tenure as managing partner I introduced our employee ownership model, Scownership, where all eligible employees receive an equal share of the profits, which has added to our unique culture.


Sometimes the small things
are really the big things

As the Managing Partner of South West law firm Stephens Scown LLP, I was confronted with the challenge of turning a demotivated work force around. An employee survey had shown us that people were feeling unappreciated. They felt like their work did not matter. They felt like the partners didn’t care.

One of the ways we started to change things was encouraging partners to say thank you. We had some positive postcards made and encouraged partners to write notes to colleagues for a job well done. A small thing? Yes, but it made a big impact.

The idea really took off and people across the firm started taking part, using the cards to say thank you to colleagues who had helped them out. Soon people’s desks were covered with colourful displays of the positive postcards they had received.

It was the start of a culture change in the firm, where everyone, regardless of their title or perceived seniority, was valued and listened to. This small thing – along with many others – paved the way for Stephens Scown’s transition to employee ownership. It was the first large law firm to become employee owned, breaking the mould for the legal sector by sharing profits equally among eligible employees.

I was managing partner of Stephens Scown for eight years and my vision was to create a different kind of law firm. And the vision worked; profits doubled and the firm won countless awards, including UK Law Firm of the Year at the British Legal Awards and a trio of awards from the Managing Partners’ Forum – Best Managed National Firm, Best Leadership of a Mould-breaking Firm and Best Corporate Culture. Employee engagement turned around and the firm entered the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list, where it has ranked for the six consecutive years.

When I stepped down as Managing Partner of Stephens Scown, I took up the role of Director of Strategic Innovation for the firm, where I focus on the customer experience, looking outside the legal sector and embracing new and exciting ways of delivering traditional legal services.

I’ve also brought my desire to do things differently to my other roles, on the boards of nuBright, a joint venture company delivering data protection and cyber security services, Vickery Holman, a regional commercial property consultant firm, Exeter Festival of South West food and Drink, New Wine, and Hope for Justice, an anti-trafficking and modern slavery charity.

In my spare time you will find me hitting the lanes of East Devon and Dartmoor on my bike.
  • Speaking Experience
  • Business Experience
  • July 2020
    – Exeter Business School, CEO Roundtable – leading a team through this time of change
  • June 2020
    – Surviving to thriving leadership conference – Stop, Accelerate and Start – the exciting future
    – The Homework Podcast – IT procurement post lockdown
  • May 2020
    – Falmouth University, Launchpad cohort – Leadership in today’s world- understanding the customer journey
    – Marketer Hub – Using emotional intelligence to understand your customer
  • April 2020
    – Astley Media Positive Podcast Series – What I have learnt from the lockdown
    – Like Minds Lockdown Conference – Social Media – The genie’s out of the bottle
  • February 2020
    – 373 Group re Developing a Winning Organisational Climate
    – Spratt Endicott re Partners’ Conference (facilitating a strategy refresh over two days)
    – Falmouth University, Launchpad cohort – culture and leadership
    – Boardroom Advisors – employee ownership
  • November 2019
    – Stephens Scown Partners’ Conference – Customer Experience
    – Employee Ownership Association Annual Conference – culture and engagement
    – University of Exeter Business School – culture and strategy
    – Lawnet Annual Conference – culture, change and innovation
    – Alternative Real Estate and Property Technology Summit – culture and engagement
  • October 2019
    – Like Minds Festival (“Start up to Scale Up”) – change management
  • September 2019
    – Alternative Legal Management Summit – culture and change
  • June 2019
    – Winmark Global Business Breakfast (London – chair) re Sunday Times 100 – employee engagement
  • May 2019
    – NHS Presentation to GPs (Buckfast) – culture and change
  • December 2018
    – Changing Places (Truro) – culture and change
  • November 2018
    – Employee Ownership Association Annual Conference – change and engagement
    – Devon and Somerset Law Society – culture and change
  • June 2018
    – Natwest Boost re culture
    – South West Growth Service – succession
    – South West Business Council – people engagement
  • April 2018
    – Anthony Collins Solicitors (Birmingham) partners’ day – culture and change
  • 2019 – present
    – Director of Strategic Innovation, Stephens Scown
    I am looking at how the firm can continue to be innovative in the ever changing legal profession, focussing in particular on the customer experience.

  • 2010-2019
    – Managing Partner, Stephens Scown
    My vision was to create a different kind of law firm. I was tasked with setting and delivering the strategy for the firm. I succeeded in transforming the business, doubling profits and turning it into one of the most innovative in the country.

  • 1993 – present
    – Partner, Stephens Scown
    I joined Stephens Scown from Simmons and Simmons where I worked in Hong Kong and Sydney. At Stephens Scown I specialised in mining and minerals and was head of the mining and minerals team before becoming managing partner in 2010.

  • 2019 – present
    – Trustee, New Wine
    As well as being a board member I sit on the Remuneration Committee of New Wine, charity which brings together a network of local churches.

  • 2019 – present
    – Trustee, Hope for Justice
    As well as being a board member I I sit on the Risk and Compliance Committee of Hope for Justice, a global non-profit organisation which aims to end human trafficking and modern slavery.

  • 2018 – present
    – Director, nuBright
    nuBright is a joint venture between Stephens Scown and managed IT service company Bluegrass to offer a technology and legal advice for data protection and cyber security.
  • 2018 – 2019
    – Director, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership
    The LEP’s mission is to achieve sustained long-term growth for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. As a Director I provided strategic advice.
  • 2009 – present
    – Director, Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink
    I provide strategic and commercial advice to the Festival, which is one of the largest food and drink festivals in the region.
  • 2011-2018
    – Member of the CBI South West Regional Council
    I was an elected member of the CBI’s South West Regional Council, I represented the views and interests of regional businesses.
  • 2011-2018
    – Director, South West Tourism Excellence Awards
    The Awards showcase the very best in tourism across the South West, highlighting best practice and celebrating success. I was a director of the not for profit organisation that organised the awards.
  • 2007-2017
    – Board Trustee and Non Executive Director, Tearfund
    I provided advice and strategic input to the charity, which operates as a relief and development NGO in over 30 countries.

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