What’s it like to work at Pinsent Masons?

Our culture lives in our people, and is demonstrated to them by their experiences with us. It’s best expressed by asking the question: what is it like to work at Pinsent Masons? Here are a handful of answers to that question.

Coming back

One measure of the kind of place Pinsent Masons is to work is how many of us have been here for a long time. Another is that many return after working elsewhere – like Jessica Brickley, who returned after four years working in house.

“I’ve never worked anywhere where so many people have been away and come back – that’s unusual in our world. It’s a good sign,” she says.

Our culture was a huge part of her decision to return. “Our focus on diversity and inclusion matters – and it’s much more than lip service: people are treated like people. People in senior positions in the firm, and at all levels, feel comfortable enough to be openly LGBT+, and colleagues are open about their mental health struggles – and rightly so. It’s circular, once one person is brave enough to break the mould, others follow.”

“There’s no excuse for treating LGBT+ people, or any other group, differently in any situation just because of who they are. That’s why I’m in the LGBT+ allies’ network: I wear my rainbow lanyard with pride and do whatever I can to advance the cause.”

“I’m also part of the neurodiversity network. My husband is autistic and it’s helpful to chat to other people with similar experiences. Here, I don’t feel I have to hide any part of myself, which I have felt elsewhere,” she says.


More than one way to work

Greer Epton Video Thumbnail

How freelancing can work for you

Hear from Greer how freelancing with Pinsent Masons Vario changed her career.

We understand that people want different things out of their working life. We don’t think you should have to compromise on the quality of the work you do because you want to prioritise the work life/balance that is increasingly important to many people.

Lawyers who join Vario Flexible Services can control when and how they work without losing out on the opportunity to work with high performing teams on challenging projects.

She joined after five years working in-house, when she was looking for a new challenge that maintained a flexible working pattern.

"When the first Covid lockdown happened I had just completed a six-month assignment working in the client’s offices and I decided to take a pause in work to help my son with his home schooling as he needed help and motivation to concentrate on his work. It was stressful but we made it fun, and I was thankful I didn’t have to juggle home working too. Vario gave me the flexibility to take some time out.”

Greer Epton

Freelance Senior Lawyer

I told myself I would try it for a year and see how it went. Two years later, I am still with Vario and have had a very positive experience

Greer has found there to be professional benefits too. “I feel more in control of my future. I’ve also been exposed to more industries and broadened my experience,” she said. “You don’t always have the immediate close-knit team to bounce ideas off and collaborate, but you just have to make the extra effort to make connections with people and have regular catch-ups, which I have established with the Pinsent Masons partner I work closely with - everyone has been very welcoming,” she said.

A developing culture

Change is really important at Pinsent Masons – we must stay relevant to our clients’ needs, and that means embracing constant, continuing development and change. Becoming a purpose-led organisation is one of the most profound changes we have ever made.

Euan McVicar noticed this when he returned from spells at the Green Investment Bank and energy regulator Ofgem.

That was partly about the work – Euan is part of our climate and sustainability team and says “Pinsent Masons has an important role to play in decarbonisation; the renewable energy programme captured my imagination when I was here last and it’s gone from strength to strength since then”.

But it was also about the culture, about how Pinsent Masons was developing as an organisation. “I knew I’d be coming back to work with colleagues I know, trust and respect. What I didn’t expect was the focus on purpose – that’s been a pleasant surprise. Working at the Green Investment Bank opened my eyes. Profit and purpose can co-exist, and can make work so much more rewarding by delivering something meaningful. It’s good to be back.”

Euan is excited about the opportunities to help colleagues transform the way clients think about business. “Everyone in the firm needs to think about what climate and sustainability issues mean for their clients, and to understand how much it impacts on their business,” he says.

Euan pic 594x640 Euan pic

Living our values

A common observation about our culture by Pinsent Masons people is that we really see our commitments through when it comes to values, purpose and diversity.

We strive to enable everyone, and to make business work better for people, and that includes neurodivergent people, who often find themselves offered only low paid, short term or voluntary positions.

Workfit pic

Danielle Khier worked with the Down’s Syndrome Association’s WorkFit programme, which seeks to bring employers and jobseekers together, challenging the situation where just 5.9% of people with learning disabilities in the UK are in paid work.

“WorkFit created an environment where colleagues could ask all sorts of questions without judgement so that existing and new colleagues could be sure that the relationship was going to work and that new colleagues would be properly supported,” said Danielle.

Only a handful of changes needed to be made to the process. We shortened and simplified the job description to pull out the practical details of the role, the team made a permanent desk space available and checked our internal policies would accommodate the candidate’s needs.

“They’ve now been part of the firm for six months and they’re really enjoying making new connections in the office, while we are planning to broaden our horizons and look at welcoming more people in the future – diversifying our reach beyond candidates with Down’s Syndrome,” she said.


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