John Lewis Partnership: partnering with the partnership

Senior associate Natalie spent six months on secondment at John Lewis Partnership.

29 December 2017
Collaboration

The John Lewis Partnership is a visionary and successful way of doing business, boldly putting the happiness of Partners at the centre of everything it does.

It’s the embodiment of an ideal, the outcome of nearly a century of endeavour to create a different sort of company, owned by Partners dedicated to serving customers with flair and fairness.

John Lewis Partnership

“I guess secondments can be a bit daunting for both the lawyer and the client. How do we make sure that everyone gets the most out of it? Will the chemistry work? Will I fit in? I needn’t have worried,” explains Natalie Jeffries who was on secondment to the John Lewis Partnership in 2017 for six months. “I worked four days a week in London and one day a week from Bristol on the Partnership’s employment law matters. It is a fascinating business model with some very specific demands of its employment advisers. I really enjoyed my time with John Lewis.

“All employees in JLP are referred to as ‘partners’ and the number one principle in their partnership constitution is that partners’ happiness is the key driver of their business. As someone who has worked at Burges Salmon for eight years, that resonated with me from day one. They are a friendly, highly collaborative and close knit group; and that reflects how we work at Burges Salmon. To be honest, I didn’t feel like a secondee, I was just part of the team.”

Catherine Hasler, Head of Legal, Waitrose, says: “We’ve always felt that there was a strong cultural fit between the Burges Salmon way of doing business and our way of doing business. Both our partners and your lawyers have the same work ethic. High-quality work and partnership are the order of the day. They take the time to integrate with us, to understand our unique culture, so we trust the quality of advice we get from our Burges Salmon lawyers.”

“I’d already worked with JLP’s legal team for 18 months before I went on secondment,” continues Natalie, “but working there meant I made and deepened friendships. I still socialise with the team now that I am back at Burges Salmon.”

Richard Hugo, who was also on secondment with JLP in 2017 says: “There are definitely synergies between JLP and us. Our Bristol office and their working environment in Victoria have definite similarities – the feel of the place, how friendly the people are. From the outset, we were welcomed as part of the team and in addition to the work, the team were keen to involve us in the social aspects, so we were always invited to birthday celebrations and evenings out. You don’t have to go too far to find a good present, of course!”

Keith Hubber, General Counsel & Company Secretary at the John Lewis Partnership, concludes: “The secondees who have joined us from Burges Salmon were a fantastic asset to our team. The real differentiator was how quickly they became embedded from the start and built very strong relationships across the Partnership.”

John Lewis Partnership: partnering with the partnership

They are a friendly, highly collaborative and close knit group; and that reflects how we work at Burges Salmon. To be honest, I didn’t feel like a secondee, I was just part of the team.
Natalie Jeffries, Senior Associate, Burges Salmon

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