Giles Wilson has a very flexible approach to working, with a free-desk policy, and for the Solicitors, the opportunity to work from home 3 days a week. Whilst this is great to take advantage of to save on time and travel to and from the office, on the days when you are in it is lovely to see the rest of the team. We always try to have at least one Solicitor in with the Trainees every day, to ensure that they receive the best training possible, and so that they always feel that there is someone there to assist if required.
Leigh On Sea is an amazing place to work. To me as an outsider, every day is like coming to the seaside. I used to breathe in the city air, which sometimes you could actually taste. Pulling up at Leigh on Sea station is always a pleasure as it is so fresh and breezy. It feels as if the station itself wants to be as close as possible to the shoreline. To me, a visit to the seafood stalls is something to do on a day trip, not on the commute in, but who can resist cockles for breakfast…
Leigh On Sea has a real buzz and our Broadway office in particular sits right in the middle of vibrant independent shops, bars, and restaurants. A lot of the small businesses we are surrounded by have previously been some of our best clients; here at Giles Wilson we take pride in having our name right in the heart of Leigh on Sea. I am lucky to have an office with a sea view. No matter how busy it gets, the view across to Kent is always worth a look – if you don’t stop to look at that, then something is wrong…or you are a local.
Employee Ownership Trust
GW is an exciting place to work, with a modern and dynamic approach. The most recent example of this is the change in legal entity to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) from an ‘old-school’ legal partnership. Very few businesses, and even fewer in the legal profession, have converted to an EOT. As an employee, the main benefit for me is the reassurance this brings in GW’s longevity and succession. No longer a potential need to re-mortgage to buy into an antiquated partnership structure, hurrah!
This is what GW is about; always developing and looking to the future. Management structure still exists, of course, to ensure there is a team of appropriately qualified and senior staff leading the way, but there is now a balance with an EOT Employee Council having a very clear role in the business strategy, from day-to-day decisions to longer-term GW goals. On a financial level, there is the appeal of discretionary payments of tax-free bonuses to employees.
The move to an EOT perfectly demonstrates the altruistic approach of GW management and this is truly admirable. GW are leaders in their field, not only on a technical level in terms of the quality of legal work, but in management’s conduct and treatment of employees. I am extremely proud to be part of the GW team.
The ease of returning from maternity leave
I’ve always imagined returning to work after having a baby would be incredibly daunting. Fortunately, my experience at Giles Wilson has not felt like that at all. While on maternity leave, I was kept informed of the major changes going on within the firm, such as the change in legal entity to an EOT. I was invited to training sessions and social events if I wished to attend but there was no expectation or pressure on me to do so.
Melinda Giles worked closely with me to plan KIT giving me a gentle return to work. By the time my maternity leave ended the balance between work and family life was beginning to feel quite normal. All in all, I’ve found it a very positive experience.