Harding Evans

Joy from Harding Evans has #NoBestBeforeDate
Joy from Harding Evans has #NoBestBeforeDate

No Best Before Date for workers at Newport law firm

A Newport law firm has shown its commitment to investing in its older employees’ skills by backing a new Welsh Government campaign designed to challenge stereotypes and show ‘people do not have a best before date’.

HardingEvans has a long-term commitment to its staff and believes a multi-generational workforce is key to both a thriving business and its longevity. It uses experienced members of staff to train younger members in the ways of the business, its ethos and practices in a bid to safeguard the business for the future and equip the next generation of managers and leaders with the skills they need. 

The company is supporting the Welsh Government’s Age of Investment initiative launched during Skills for Work Week, which highlights to employers across Wales the importance of retaining their older workers.

It warns employers that within the next five years one in three people of working age will be over fifty. Therefore, investing in skills throughout an employee’s working life has never been more important.

A year ago HardingEvans launched its Pathway 2 Partnership programme as part of the firm’s wider strategy to identify and develop talent internally and is specifically aimed at nurturing and developing its future owners and partners.  

The programme is designed to widen employees’ skills base beyond legal knowledge to include high-level managerial skills, focusing on mentoring, training and personal development. It also provides the opportunity to play a key role in realising the firm’s strategic aims. 

Practice Director, Joy Phillips, who is also a mentor for the programme, said: “The Pathway 2 partnership programme reflects our belief that our staff have the skills and potential to be the Partners of the future.  With that in mind, they are now embarking on a challenging personal development path that will develop the broader strategic, financial and people management skills that are pre-requisites of partnership at HardingEvans, under the guidance of a senior member of the practice.

“This kind of progression programme is something you would ordinarily expect at a much larger practice, but we wanted to address the issues around developing and retaining talent. We offer our talented solicitors the chance to progress to Associate, Senior Associate or Partner level; opportunities which may not be readily available to them at larger firms.” 

Joy, 57, is a mentor to Senior Associate, Siobhan Downes, a family lawyer specialising in childcare. Siobhan, 32, joined HardingEvans 11 years ago and qualified as a solicitor seven years ago. 

Joy continued: “Being a mentor works both ways. As well as supporting and helping younger people coming through the business I also learn a lot from them. My younger colleagues are not afraid to challenge me and as a consequence I learn from them, all of which makes for a diverse workplace. 

“People both young and old want to develop and if you don’t give them the opportunity then you will lose them. We believe having a multi-generational workforce not only benefits the individuals but will address any future skills shortages and again make a difference to the business in the long-term by securing our future owners.”