The City of London headquartered international law firm Spencer West LLP is the first law firm to become a member of the Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW). The firm has also been appointed as ICW’s legal adviser and will support the development of the ICW in the professional services sphere.
“Collaboration is a key part of the way we work at Spencer West,” says Commercial and Corporate Partner, Clare Waller who is leading the initiative for Spencer West. “When I worked in-house for a large aerospace, defence and cyber security company, we were keen members of the ICW as the collaborative principles laid down in the international standards (ISO 44000 – 44003) underpinned our supply chain relationships. Here at Spencer West, we’re looking forward to working closely with the ICW and exploring how the principles of collaborative working can be applied in the legal sector.”
“Our partners will benefit from support and training from the ICW, and as a firm we will further develop our collaborative working ethos as we work towards applying the collaborative principles within the context of law firm and client relationships,” adds Clare Waller.
Reflecting on being the first law firm to take this step, Antoine West, Managing Partner of Spencer West, comments: “Like many others, I have worked for firms where lawyers work in silos, with poor information sharing and collaboration between disciplines and partners. That kind of approach makes for an unpleasant working environment and poor client service.
“At Spencer West we are different. Partners have autonomy over where, when and how they work, whilst benefiting from being surrounded by engaged colleagues who are there for each other and support our clients. For us, collaboration is not simply around referring work to each other, important though that is, it is also about developing business opportunities together for our clients and lawyers, by leveraging our strengths across practice areas, sectors and geographies. We are keen to see how working with the ICW, we can apply the principles promoted by the Institute for the support of our clients.”
The ICW was established in 1990 by the Department for Trade and Industry. Its role is to establish collaborative working as a professional business discipline. The ICW also developed the British Standard in collaboration, which led directly to the development of the international standards ISO 44000 suite of policies.
David Hawkins, Chief Knowledge Officer, ICW said, “We are delighted to have Spencer West join our executive network. Their expertise will enhance the ICW community as not only is collaboration a fundamental part of their ethos, but also their lawyers have industry experience of the benefits for the whole supply chain that can arise from putting collaborative strategies and principles into practice.
“What is particularly exciting for us is that there is much to be explored around applying the principles laid down in the ISO 44000 family of standards to professional services, and we very much look forward to working with Spencer West within that wider context, as well as benefiting from the firm’s legal support so that we can extend the Institute’s offering to our members with a greater range of services.”