Fri 01 Sep 2023

Jenny Dickson celebrates 15 years at the firm

Jenny is a Partner in our Litigation division, based in Edinburgh. This month she celebrates her 15 year anniversary with us. In this short interview, she reflects on her career and her time at the firm so far. 

Can you tell us a bit about your career to date at Morton Fraser MacRoberts?

I started at Morton Fraser, now Morton Fraser MacRoberts, as an Associate in the Litigation Division. It was my first experience of acting for public sector clients and I enjoyed it immediately. The work was, and still is, fascinating and required you to think of the wider implications of the individual court action you were advising on rather than looking at each case in isolation. A few years later, an opportunity came along for partnership, and I knew it was right for me. The supportive and friendly culture, and transparent approach, made this firm the right fit. In 2021, I was elected as Chair. The Chair role is important to the governance of the firm. It's a part time role, leaving the rest of my time free to manage my team within the litigation division.

What type of work do you get involved in?

I'm the Chair of the firm, which means I have governance responsibilities for the firm as a whole. I also head our public sector team, which focuses on our delivery of services to national and local government. My own legal practice is in litigation, managing a team who handle a range of work including personal injury, health and safety and public inquiry work. I enjoy the variety, and juggling the mixture of projects which I become involved in.

What achievement are you most proud of?

A lot of the work that we do is won through procurement processes. Preparing tenders is incredibly challenging and time consuming, but it is also really rewarding. The questions are often about our processes and initiatives, and how they benefit our clients and our team.  It's great to have that opportunity to write about work we are really proud of, whether it be a new system we've implemented to improve our clients' experience, or initiatives to benefit our own team. There's always a real buzz around the submission of the tender, with a large group pulling together to deliver within the tight timescales. It always makes me proud (and a bit relieved!) when we reach that point.

How important is diversity, inclusivity and belonging to the firm's strategy?

It is vital to our strategy. Having diversity of thought and of people makes our firm a much more welcoming and inspiring place to be.  We want all our team to turn up and be themselves at work. As leaders, we welcome the input we get from everyone across the firm on how we can develop our strategy to improve Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. 

What have you learned about people from being in a senior leadership role?

Each person in the firm has a different perspective and ideas. As leaders, we learn a lot about ourselves and our business by listening to them. We try to create an environment where our people have the opportunity to succeed ad develop their own careers. 

Looking back at your career, what's one piece of advice you'd give to someone looking to progress in the legal profession?

Search for solutions not for problems. You will succeed if you can deliver solutions to your clients and your colleagues. Solutions-based advice is valuable to everyone. If you work in private practice, remember that your role is much wider than delivering legal advice alone. You are in the business of running a law firm.

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