Kate Bogusławska is a partner at Carter Lemon Camerons, a City of London law firm in the square mile. The firm was established 105 years ago. But far from being traditional, stick-in-the-mud lawyers, these solicitors are ahead of the curve. Lately the business world has begun to realise that it is no longer enough to simply offer Customer Service: the new rules of Customer Experience mean treating each customer as an individual, from the first touch point to after-sales.
Bill Mair of precisionpresentation.com interviewed Kate for PBLink Stories.
Carter Lemon Camerons have long eschewed a traditional USP in favour of a UCP: a Unique Caring Proposition. The culture of the company is to build a long-term relationship with each customer. All very on-trend. But that practice was established long before Customer Experience was born, and has been responsible for the success of the law firm ever since.
But, Kate says, it is not enough to simply agree company values in the confines of the boardroom. They must be genuine, come from the heart and then be communicated, explained and shared across the organisation, to every employee and stakeholder. This is how the company builds trust and reputation. This is leadership.
A significant part of the workload at Carter Lemon Camerons is assisting clients in setting up a business. Kate always makes sure to stress the importance of building the new company around core values right from the start.
Knowledge and Vocation
Kate found her vocation for the law while pursuing a completely different career. Her original goal was to become a journalist, so she studied English Literature, Culture and Arts at Greenwich University. She took on some additional translation courses and found herself doing stints as a court translator. At this point, she felt a strong yearning to go beyond simply translating statements back and forth, to give people a voice and represent them in the English legal system.
Never one to shirk a challenge, Kate embraced a complete change of career, starting again from the beginning. Studying English law in your second language is certainly not the easy option, but that was Kate’s dream.
At this point, it comes as a surprise to hear that Kate has suffered from impostor syndrome, despite her obvious successes already. Kate talks about the “braking factors” in her career: being a partner as a woman, and as a foreigner, as well. Women often face barriers such as career breaks to have children or care for relatives.
So, it is easy to see how climbing the career ladder is perceived as much more difficult for women. This can lead to a lack of confidence. Culturally, women have often been brought up to be less assertive. It’s a fascinating question: Is the glass ceiling inside as well as outside the individual?
Diversity and Diligence
Much is said about the value of diversity in business. More BAME people and women in senior positions can only be a good thing. But little is recognised or even realised about the extra work required for under-represented groups. Solicitors Regulation Authority statistics show that women make up about 50% of lawyers but only 30% of law firm partners.
Listen to the podcast on Spotify or Apple: PBLINK Stories