I'm responsible for leading the business and shaping it around the bigger picture. That means asking questions about the wider world, the global economy and the legal marketplace.
Tel: +44 (0)870 733 0666
Describe the senior partner role
As senior partner, my role is to set the strategy for the firm and then to ensure that it gets implemented! In other words, I spend my time ensuring that I understand our clients, our markets and our competitors, and then develop strategies for success. Those might relate to legal practice areas, industry sectors or international markets.
Much of my time is spent talking to the firm's major clients. Each year I do at least 20 client service reviews, interviewing clients and asking them to feed back on how we've performed. It's a pretty comprehensive process but it informs the work we do and the approach we take. Clients appreciate the fact that the senior partner spends time doing this and it demonstrates our commitment to our clients.
A relentless focus on excellent client service and on helping clients succeed are key reasons why Wragge & Co continues to be ranked in the top 10 legal advisers to the FTSE 100 and 250. I remember a client saying to me that he wished his own people were as motivated to deliver success for his company as our people. Comments like that make it all worthwhile!
Aside from helping to build a successful and profitable business, my biggest achievement is the Wragge & Co Single Team. This is the hallmark of the business and sets the firm apart from others.
In my view, motivated and engaged people provide the best client experience. Creating a motivating, open environment in which everyone here can flourish - and enjoy their work - is my number one priority.
It's an achievement which has seen us in the FT 50 Best Workplaces every year since the list began in 2001 - one of only two businesses to do so and the only law firm to be ranked.
I spend a lot of my time talking to our people. It's up to me to communicate the direction and the strategy and ensure that everyone is behind it.
What about outside the UK?
Over the last three years Wragge & Co has put itself firmly on the international map, a strategic development on which I have taken the lead. Offices in China, Germany, Paris and the UAE have expanded our client base, expertise and horizons.
Setting out the firm's vision for 2014, I was clear on the need for the business to become more international. But I was equally clear that Wragge & Co's international development should reflect our values and brand.
Rather than dictatorial control from a UK HQ, my approach recognises and respects local cultures, harnessing the combined strength of a network of international offices. They are now part of our Single Team.
My role is to ensure that all of our people think about our other offices all of the time and look for opportunities to build client relationships across office boundaries.
What's your part in supporting Wragge & Co's drive for innovation?
A big part of my role is to support a culture of innovation where everyone - and I mean everyone - feels a responsibility for moving the business forward. We work on the basis that if someone has an idea, they can take it forward and see if it works.
It's okay to challenge perceived wisdom here. In fact, we encourage that. Some of the best ideas I've had about how we can improve the business have come from our secretaries - they know the business as well as any partner - and it's my job to keep those channels open and those ideas coming.
What's your contribution to Wragge & Co's corporate responsibility?
I chair the firm's diversity forum to ensure we deliver on our commitment to attract and retain talented people from a diverse range of cultures regardless of gender or ability. It's such a vital issue to the profession, never mind the firm, that if I'm going to devote my time to anything then it has to be this.
What's been written or said about you that you're most proud of?
The point is it's not about me! It's about the firm. Every time I hear a client talk positively about the firm and the work that our people have done for their business - say in a client service review or if they've written to me - it makes me feel very proud.
I've just seen an email from a satisfied client praising not just the hard work of the legal team, but also the excellence of our catering operation and reception staff. That's what we mean by the Wragge & Co Single Team. It's that sort of response which makes me realise we've got it right.
During a 33-year career at Wragge & Co, Quentin Poole has helped take the firm from an £18.8 million business in 1985 (when he became managing partner) to a global business generating turnover of £118 million in the last financial year. He's seen economic ups and downs, each time making the investment decisions that have enabled Wragge & Co to emerge fitter and stronger.
- Senior partner, 2003-ongoing
- Managing partner, 1995-2003
- Head of litigation, 1994-1995
- Equity partner (specialising in litigation for banks and insolvency practitioners), 1985
- Qualified Wragge & Co, 1981
- PWC, 1977-1978
- Called to the Bar, 1977
LLB Hons, Law, University of Warwick, 1973-1976