Managing Partner Rosalind Connor interviewed by Solicitors Journal on the management of a business during a global pandemic
Taking over the management of a business during lockdown is quite challenging, but that is what Rosalind Connor managed to achieve this summer.
Although the decision was made over a year ago, she acknowledges that Arc Pensions Law co-founder, Chris Mullen well-prepared her for the job, and as he remains as operations partner he will continue supporting her.
On the growth of the firm since it launched in 2015, Rosalind reflected and recognised that the firm was “lucky” to have been led by an experienced genuine leader from the start highlighting that Chris Mullen had been senior partner at another firm for nine years before him and Anna Rogers established Arc Pensions Law.
Rosalind commented that she shadowed Chris half a year and so, she had been very thoroughly prepared. However, she admits she has had to put some “fabulous ideas” on the back burner as a result of taking over in the middle of the covid-19 outbreak. Luckily, Connor is not an individual to be thrown off course by unexpected events.
“When I started as a lawyer, a wonderful woman who was in charge of the trainees at the firm I trained at told us all, ‘you have to understand that this is a reactive job so you cannot plan your week. You think you know what you’re going to do and then stuff happens’.”
“We’re in an uncertain time, but there are lots of uncertainties in life anyway. It’s just they’ve been thrown in our face.”
Rosalind further commented she is comfortable with uncertainty. and on the post-lockdown recession, which is likely to be the worst in a generation, she comments:
“We’ve been through downturns before, but this is a downturn that we know is coming and hasn’t happened yet”, she says. “What is really, really odd is that everyone expected lots of things to stop happening, but they haven’t. No one knows when. We just know bad times are coming.”
Rosalind said she is proud of Arc’s work on the high-profile Littlewoods Pension Scheme deal that they completed during lockdown. On that she explained:
“The reason I’m proud of it is the fact that to work together under those circumstances is really impressive. You have to work really hard, thinking about how to collaborate with people. Even down to the fact that the person who is leading the project is less accessible than if they’re in the same office as you. Usually, if there are things you want to ask them, you pick a moment when they’re taking a break and go and ask them”.
Rosalind believes that the culture of the firm is a key element of attracting the right people and mentioned that as a result of working remotely she believes that cementing the values the firm has established among its 20-strong team, is more important than ever.
She further commented the right lawyers for Arc are enquiring problem-solvers. “It’s very common for lawyers to say, ‘my firm does X and therefore X is the right answer’, or to say, ‘the law says this, so I’m very frightened about thinking about what is right for my client’”. However, Arc has the benefit of being a firm “with eight partners from seven different firms” – each of which may have taken a different approach to a given problem.
Rosalind will continue to fee-earn as managing partner, which means management responsibility has been shared across several partners at the firm. When asked if she always aspired to be a managing partner she added:
“I don’t think I should ever give anyone careers advice because every step of my career I definitely didn’t want to do the thing I ended up doing, and was very happy doing”.
Rosalind concluded by saying “It’s never a good idea to plan what you will want in your career later” and added, “What you think you want, and what you actually want in a role is very different.”
Read Rosalind’s full interview in Solicitors Journal.
The views in this article are intended for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. Arc Pensions Law and the author(s) are not responsible for any direct or indirect result arising from any reliance placed on content, including any loss, and exclude liability to the full extent. Always seek appropriate legal advice from a suitably qualified lawyer before taking, or avoiding taking, any action. If you have any questions on the points raised in the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch.