Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Estates & Wills & Trusts, Tax

Performance-based law firm culture a valuable asset

Although Shea Nerland Law used to emphasize loyalty to its long-term employees, Calgary tax and fiduciary services lawyer Dennis Nerland tells Lawyers Weekly that the firm’s culture has recently evolved to also embrace performance and opportunity.

“We pay attention to metrics and we set goals,” explains Nerland, a founding partner of Shea Nerland Law and leader of the firm's tax and estate planning practice, adding that the firm recognizes performance as vital to clients.

“If we’re performing at a high level for a whole bunch of reasons, the clients feel it.”

The firm’s general principles include open communication, integrity, airing differences, focusing on strategy and purpose and ensuring a workplace where everyone feels they belong, explains Nerland. A solid sense of culture, he adds, keep things running smoothly, as it helps ensure consistency while the firm’s lawyers set about solving complex problems.

“If your team solves problems in ways that work, then you basically have an organization that’s on autopilot. You don’t really need to manage that process because you’re getting the desired solutions and results from your people on a self-governing basis,” says Nerland.

A performance and opportunity-based culture also serves the firm’s ambitions for growth, Nerland tells Lawyers Weekly. Shea Nerland Law currently has a roster of 35 lawyers, including students.

“All that mixture you put together goes out into the marketplace and becomes a valuable brand asset,” he explains.

“We see culture as an asset that creates a competitive advantage at the end of the day.”

To Read More Dennis L. Nerland Posts Click Here
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