As a non-executive adviser to Shoosmiths’ board, Claire provides experience and insight to the continuing benefit of the firm she has served for more than thirty years.
Before stepping in to her current role, Claire was the elected chief executive officer (CEO) of Shoosmiths from 2009 to 2018, during which time she led the series of changes that has powered Shoosmiths from being a mid-range regional firm into the leading UK challenger is it today.
Taking over as CEO when a UK recession was at its peak, she made and implemented a series of strategic decisions to focus the business on its commercial operations and extend its range across leading UK cities, including the opening and successful growth of new offices in Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Belfast and the delivery of a successful re-brand in 2012; all underpinned by a resolute commitment to the differentiator of client service and backed by investment in the firm’s people.
A 30% increase in turnover and 230% growth of profitability accompanied this ten year-trajectory, together with a slew of legal sector awards have including Shoosmiths being named a top tier firm for client satisfaction in 2012 as well as winning “Law Firm of the Year” awards in both 2015 and 2018. Claire joined Shoosmiths in 1984 as a trainee solicitor and was rapidly promoted ‘through the ranks’ to become a partner in 1990. She led the firm’s dispute resolution team, and also the firm’s commercial practice group, prior to her election as CEO in June 2009.
Her continuous commitment to the firm enabled her to drive an extraordinary amount of change without compromising the spirit of the business and its values. The qualities of balance, commercial pragmatism, warmth and courage she displays are highly valued by the firm in 2019 and beyond. In 2014, Claire was featured in The Lawyer’s “Hot 100” and is also a recognised role model for diversity.