Diversity and firm culture
We believe that promoting diversity means creating an inclusive work environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed without obstacles based on their gender, age, marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national or ethnic origin, disability, religious beliefs, social or economic background.
We believe diverse companies are better positioned to succeed. People from varying backgrounds can bring a full range of worthwhile ideas and innovations to our working practices and business. Creating an environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best work and be respected is important to us.
Waterfront welcomes candidates from different backgrounds – we do not prioritise attendance at top tier universities when processing applications, and we also accept candidates sometimes enter their profession via a variety of routes.
The firm aims to ensure that individuals are selected, promoted and treated on the basis of their individual abilities and merits. We therefore take measures, where possible, to anonymise CV’s by removing identifying information, as part of our recruitment process. By way of example, all training contract CV’s submitted to our administrative team have names, age, gender and ethnicity removed by a colleague who will not be involved in the recruitment process, before they are submitted to the partners consideration. This ensures we focus solely upon the role-related merits of each application
We are a niche law firm established by ex-City lawyers who made the choice to move to a more relaxed environment, whilst still wanting to offer an excellent quality of service. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a good work-life balance and we believe in providing a supportive and nurturing environment, to help our lawyers reach their full potential. New employees are treated as part of the team from day one and we strive to promote an exceptionally collaborative and friendly environment. We encourage and support our employees in pursuing activities to help broaden their expertise and grow their own client base.
As required by our regulator, the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority, we collect, report and publish diversity data, usually once a year. As a small firm we find that it can be difficult to publish information without compromising the confidentiality of personal data, and also the proportional representation of some groups can vary hugely if just one person leaves or joins us. Although this means that we are restricted in what we can publish and some of the data has its limitations, the results of our 2021 diversity survey show the following:
- Around 60% of firm-wide respondents are women.
- Around 11% of fee earners and 17% of firm-wide respondents are non-White
- Around 40% of fee earners came from backgrounds where neither parent had attended University
- The partnership is relatively young compared to other firms, so senior roles are not the preserve of only older lawyers. At Waterfront 60% of the partners are aged 35-44 when nationally only 34% of partners are in that age group or younger.
- All five of our current partners are men (compared with an average make up of partnerships across the profession of around 66% men and 34% women). This is disappointing. We were founded by a leading female technology lawyer and at one point the whole partnership was female. Whilst always looking for the best talent over any other criteria, we would like to see a better gender balance and greater diversity in future.
Our intention is to continue to monitor diversity every year and consider whether or not further action is required to promote a more diverse and inclusive team.
What we offer our team members
- An open plan office which encourages a collaborative environment between our most senior team members, to our trainees, and everyone in between.
- Team members work directly with partners on the majority of their matters, allowing them to benefit from a substantial amount of partner input.
- All team members are matched with a partner who provides development support, in addition to the support from their direct line manager.
- Trainees and associates are encouraged to work with clients directly, allowing faster development of their service skills and a better understanding of their client’s needs.
- The firm actively discourage a culture of ‘presenteeism’. We only require flexibility with working hours when it is actually needed.
- We offer flexible start/finish times to all team members to help manage their commitments outside of the workplace.
- We offer fee earners the ability to work from home two days per month with advance agreement, no reasons needed.
- We offer standing desks and other workplace aids to those who those who feel they would benefit.
- We offer up to an extra day of annual leave for every year of service (up to three), starting from year one.
- We offer a competitive pension scheme, health insurance, season ticket loan and the cycle to work scheme to all Waterfront team members.
- We offer both an enhanced maternity and paternity leave package to help our team when starting or growing their families.
Our Equal Opportunities policy applies to our recruitment and candidate selection. It applies to the terms and conditions of employment at our firm, including payment, promotion, training opportunities, and our approach to every other aspect of employment. You can view a summary of our policy here.
We are always interested to hear from great people who are looking for a different way of life and who feel they might have what it takes to become part of our dedicated team.
Our latest vacancies can be viewed on our Careers page.
If you're interested in being a part of our team, please contact us on 020 7234 0200; alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.