Linda is chairman at Morton Fraser, was the first female chief executive of a Scottish Law firm, has an OBE for services to business in Scotland, and in 2016 was awarded a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the annual Law Awards of Scotland. She truly is an inspirational role model for all, but especially for women entering or in the legal profession, and I think a lot of the cultural positives at Morton Fraser are down to her.
If they like you, and are comfortable that you have the skills, then recruitment can be refreshingly quick. Sometimes applying for a job can feel like you are put in front of a sequence of people until eventually you're interviewed by someone who doesn't like you (or is that just what happens to me?!).
The "Later Life" service
We are all aware of the growing long term care crisis of our aging population and underfunded care system. There is a team at Morton Fraser who REALLY make a difference in this area. It may be as practical as arranging a gardener so someone can keep living in the family home, through to everything you need to know and do when moving into care. The element of relief this gives, to the individual and their family, is tangible, and there are very few, if any, other places that offer this service.
Family friendly working
As I've had reason to interact with more and more people around the firm, I couldn't help but notice that a significant percentage of the people I met have bespoke working hours to suit their personal and family situation. This clearly isn't just tolerated, but is actively encouraged.
Clarity is Morton Fraser's guiding principle, a refreshing change from the world of opaque legalese: "Clarity of advice, clarity of cost, clarity of communication, clarity of result". It is even written on the office wall!
187 years counts for a lot, or 402 years if you go all the way back down the Macdonalds timeline (Morton Fraser and Macdonalds merged in 2013).
Everyone is so nice and friendly!
It can often feel that you can be "too nice" to get to the top of an organisation; that the streak of ambition and surety you need to be a leader can be incompatible with being open, friendly and compassionate. But it isn't like that here. Don't get me wrong, you'll soon get told, in very blunt words, if what you're doing isn't up to scratch. But the underlying current is one of positivity and encouragement.
Sharing expertise externally
As you would expect, there is a tremendous amount of in-house expertise, but what Morton Fraser are very good at is sharing that knowledge; from high-level Brexit comment (including advice for EU nationals living in a post-Brexit UK) through to what to do if called as a witness in a divorce case!
Morton Fraser is a law firm, but the services we offer extend well beyond the legal basics. In jargon terms, we are a "full service firm". This means that each client may be being helped by multiple different teams within the firm. But there is no sense of "knowledge is power" or of it being "my client" (a legacy of many law firms). Information and knowledge is shared openly to ensure that the advice clients receive is co-ordinated across all the different areas.
A significant percentage of staff (at all levels) are women
Whilst the whole legal profession is changing, moving from an old boy's club to seeing the majority of new entrants being female, more than most Morton Fraser are at the vanguard of this change.
Edinburgh office in Quartermile
I won't lie, I used to bad mouth it. "They just swanned in, did the easy new build and left the old buildings to rot!" Yes, the credit crunch delayed much of the redevelopment, but with Edinburgh University about to take over and renovate the old main building then the whole site will soon be finished and the level of craftsmanship in the renovations is a joy to behold (check out the beautiful new green slate roofs on the old buildings overlooking Lister Square). Oh, and it's even seen by some as quite a cool place to work!
People need the things we do, we're good at them, and we're good value
A Will. Life cover for your family. Planning your retirement. A Power of Attorney. Clearly these aren't bucket list items! So, it is too easy to put them off until "tomorrow". For some of them that won't be a problem, and you'll never really know how much better off you could have been if you'd addressed them previously. However, for some of these the day will come when you (or someone else in your family) will really, really wish you had dealt with it "yesterday"! Helping people make these preparations is hugely rewarding.
A baker's dozen
It is the type of place where you set out to write 10 positive attributes, and you end up with 13!