Lee Marston

Lee Marston

Managing Partner at Clough & Willis

We speak to Clough & Willis’s new Managing Partner

Lee, you took over as managing partner in March; how have the past couple of months been?
In one word: hectic! It’s been a whirlwind of meetings with our clients, referrers and wider network. My head has also been full of reviewing policies, managing client handovers, getting ready for GDPR and taking over our SRA obligations. The transition with my predecessor Shefali Talukdar was seamless so we’re now all firmly focussed on the future.

What have been the most challenging and enjoyable aspects of your new role?
I’m really enjoying developing the team. Since I took over, we have taken on a new head of private client and appointed a new partner. For me, our people are everything so getting the best talent takes up most of my time; although promoting from within is always the most rewarding. On the flip side, getting to grips with our new computer and accounting systems have been a headache along with working smart and not getting bogged down in the minutiae.

How tough have you found it juggling your new managing partner & fee earning duties?
It’s been a challenge but it’s just about finding a new way of working. I lost my step-dad in January so that put everything into context.

What’s your leadership style and how does it differ from your predecessor?
Shefali and I worked together for many years and I always admired her dedication. My style is very inclusive. I have faith in the skills of the team so I’m happy to delegate and let people do their jobs to the very best of their ability. I want the managing partner role to be about setting policies and principles that drive a productive and happy working environment.

What’s your five-year vision for Clough & Willis?
It’s really to continue to grow organically. I don’t want to rush to improve turnover as that can be the enemy of cash flow. Myself and the senior team are on the same page; we want a targeted - rather than a shotgun - approach to our development.

What drives you?
Doing a good job for my clients and colleagues comes first, but I’m a bit like a shark as I’m always wanting to move forward and find improvements. That can be frustrating for others but it’s what motivates me to be the best lawyer and person I can be.

Who or what has been your biggest career inspiration?
Three people jump to mind. 1) Pam Wilson who I worked with when I was training to be a family lawyer; 2) Shefali Talukdar for her commitment to the business; and 3) my father for his unwavering work ethic – he’s 75 in July and still works 60 hours a week.

What’s been the best piece of career that advice you’ve been given?
Being wise to the fact that when all is said and done more is said than done. The best advice I can give my partners is to blame not the prince of fools but the confederate of fools who would appoint him prince!

What are your passions outside of work?
My kids, my wife and cars. I’m not saying in what order!