Sarah Goulbourne, founding Partner at gunnercooke has won the award for Retaining and Developing Legal Talent Award at the Association of Women Solicitors Awards in London. The Association strives to promote the potential and success of female solicitors, and has a membership of over 18,000 across the UK. Women now account for almost half of all working solicitors, a significant shift in the profile of the profession since 2000 when almost two-thirds of practicing solicitors were men.
Each year the AWS celebrates individuals who champion female talent retention, give women a platform from which to achieve their career objectives, and who inspire women in business. In 2011, women accounted for almost half of all working solicitors, indicating a significant shift in the profile of the profession since 2000, when almost two-thirds were men.
In gunnercooke, Sarah has created a business model that gives lawyers the opportunity to use the best of their legal abilities, in a way that motivates them. She is adamant that people should be guided in doing this without sacrificing their personal life, something that both women and men find difficult in environments where deadlines and hierarchy prevail. Since founding gunnercooke, Sarah has developed an extensive network of retained talent across all legal disciplines, and offers them the opportunity to support her firm’s corporate work, providing expert advice on their specialist area. The individual controls the volume of work they undertake, and are only remunerated for delivering.
The Association of Women’s Solicitors were impressed by Sarah’s dedication to creating new opportunities for experienced lawyers who may require a more flexible working environment.
Speaking on the award, Sarah says: ‘I’m really honoured to win this award, and delighted at the recognition of our model. Over the last two years since we founded gunnercooke, I’ve been amazed at the number of highly experienced, and truly amazing lawyers available in the marketplace, who for whatever reason may have become disillusioned with their profession and are seeking new opportunities. It’s so important that at a certain level of experience, people should be given the freedom to operate in the way that works best for them. In the next few years our industry is set to change immeasurably and I really believe that the way to attract and retain the talent in our profession is to create an environment that works for the individual.’
In the past two years gunnercooke has grown a network of more than 60 expert consultants, all of whom have over eight years qualified legal experience. The Firm has ambitious plans to triple this over the next twelve months.