Stephen Hewitt

Stephen Hewitt

Managing Partner at Fisher Meredith

On his role and how the practice has evolved

You became Managing Partner in 2000, so what do you think have been the biggest changes to the legal sector during that time?
The pace of change in legal services has been pretty relentless over the last ten years. The tendency is always to look forward, rather than back. Having said that, the changes that spring to mind immediately are the professionalisation of law firm management, improvements in operational processes through leveraging technology, market changes such as the rise of Alternative Business Structures and changes in access to justice for clients brought about by the cuts in publicly funded legal services.

How has the firm evolved and adapted to meet those changes?
A couple of years ago we moved to our present offices in central London and restructured to concentrate on the transition to a predominantly private practice offering a range of complimentary consumer and commercial services. We built on our strength in family and children services, immigration, property, employment and civil litigation and added services for businesses and business owners. We now spend a lot of time and resources in developing online content and focussing on social media.

What do you most enjoy about your role?
On a good day my response would always be “working with a bunch of talented lawyers and professional managers”.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I am not sure what others would say, but I do try to work in a collaborative manner with partners, department heads and professional managers making myself accessible and understanding their area of work. There are obviously instances when a more directive approach is required.

What is your vision for the firm?
To consolidate and strengthen our reputation for excellence amongst clients and other lawyers.

You have a strong presence in London but will you ever look to open in another country?
Our services are predominantly aimed at clients in and around London but if a great opportunity arose we would definitely consider opening an office in another country.

Who is a typical client to the firm?
It is difficult to describe a typical client because of the wide range of services we provide but the profile would generally be someone who is short on time, but wants robust advice from a “trusted advisor” at a competitive fee level.

What drives you personally?
Ensuring that the firm offers a customised service to clients that is of the highest quality, that we develop and support our staff and that Fisher Meredith continues to enjoy a high reputation amongst clients and other lawyers.

Can you sum up Fisher Meredith in three words?
Relentlessly high standards.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Many destinations spring to mind but travelling through the achingly beautiful MacKenzie country en route to Mount Cook in South Island, New Zealand probably tops the bill