In this edition of Realm Talks To, Senior Consultant Rebecca Blundell caught up with Stephen Attree, Managing Partner at MLP Law. During their conversation, Stephen explained how MLP are different from other commercial firms, spoke about firm’s recent appointment as a member of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter and shared the most important advice he’s received.
What makes MLP Law different from other commercial law firms?
MLP Law is different from other law firms because we focus on long-term relationships and peace of mind. We build long-term relationships with all our clients being their go-to advisers for their business and personal lives. We give our clients peace of mind that the best people are working on their matter and that they can rely on us to exceed expectations, deliver results and always do the right thing. Our colleagues have the peace of mind that we will do the right thing by them whatever life throws at them (and us) – we support their learning and development and help them to realise their potential all within a supportive, entrepreneurial and ambitious environment.
MLP has recently become the first law firm to be appointed a Member of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter – congratulations! Could you tell us a little bit about this and what it means for the firm?
Being the first law firm to be appointed as a Member of the prestigious GM Good Employment Charter is fantastic recognition for the work we have done over many years crafting a progressive, supportive and genuinely collaborative culture at MLP Law. The Mayor’s GM Good Employment Charter celebrates excellence in employers across GM. Members must demonstrate their commitment to good employment, including flexible work, engagement and health and wellbeing. We put our people first – “Great People, in a Great Place to Work” runs through everything we do. The experience of our colleagues is incredibly important to us. We want our team to be happy, valued and confident at work and to be the best they can be. We are committed to providing flexible employment and prioritising our colleagues’ health and wellbeing. We have a benefits package that is fully flexible to suit the individual from gym membership to more holidays, parking and healthcare. Every colleague can choose the mix of benefits that fits their needs. We work hard to keep our people happy so they can work hard to keep our clients happy.
What do the next 12 months look like for your team?
We recognise we are well placed to continue to grow over the next 12 months following our success over the last 12 months emerging from the effects of the pandemic. We are looking to grow by recruiting talented individuals who match our ethos and outlook as well as further client acquisition.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I could draw on many great pieces of advice I’ve taken to heart over the years and I’m always challenging my current thinking and the way I approach things through reading and learning from others. That said, a very personal one is “don’t google it”. My son was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was just over 6 months old (he’s 15 now). We got the results of the biopsy and the Consultant Oncologist said “don’t google it”. I didn’t and was glad I didn’t. Ben’s recovery over months and years of treatment and support was remarkable and at odds with the outcomes Google would have you believe. Always best to listen to the experts – the advice also applies to legal research!
The experience also helped me focus on the important things in life and to always remember that, whoever we are, the reason we work hard in our professional and business lives is because of the benefits it can bring in our personal lives.
If you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
If I am having a bad day I’ll take time to rebalance – go for a walk, spend time focussing on the here and now (light meditation), and make sure I spend time in the moment with my family. Then agree on a plan to address what is causing the bad day and act on it. If you’re in a hole don’t spend time worrying about being in a hole. Always talk to others to gain their perspective, set a plan and act on it. Half an hour, a day, or a week later you are in a better place than the person still worrying about being in the hole. I am a Man City fan and as a seasoncard holder find that going to a game with friends after a busy day or week is a great way to relax and spend time away from the business for a few hours.
If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would have been your plan B?
My plan B: I like to think I could have chosen to be a professional snowboarder (it was still relatively new 30(ish) years ago and the standard not as high as now)! Plan C, if my back would allow, would be a landscape gardener. I enjoy physical work and creating something visually appealing from my own efforts.
About Stephen Attree
Stephen is the Managing Partner of MLP Law and leads the firm’s commercial, IP and dispute resolution teams.
He has over 25 years’ experience advising on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious business law and business ownership with a particular specialism in digital, healthcare and family-owned businesses. Stephen is recommended in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.
He is also the author of Family Business Success – the Options and Pitfalls.