Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 24, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why McLeod Law LLP was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2017):
- McLeod Law LLP encourages employees to become recruiters, offering generous referral bonuses of up to $3,500 for employees who recruit candidates from their personal networks
- In addition to 3 weeks of starting vacation allowance, McLeod Law LLP provides paid time off during the winter holidays and up to 10 paid personal days, which can be scheduled throughout the year
- McLeod Law LLP supports a number of local charitable initiatives each year and encourages employees to be active members of the community with paid time off to volunteer and matching employee donations
McLeod Law retains its family feel
Robin Lokhorst remembers the exact day he started at McLeod Law LLP in Calgary as an articling student. It was June 24, 1991, and the firm was relatively small with a friendly, family feel to it. Now, 26 years later, Lokhorst is the Managing Partner and has helped McLeod Law grow to be one of the largest law firms in Calgary, with 48 lawyers and 75 support staff.
But its people haven't lost that family feeling and personal touch that's helped them retain clients for decades.
"We pride ourselves on having grown organically and building from within," says Lokhorst. "We're quite proud of that because it creates a real sense of belonging and camaraderie -- we're all in it together."
McLeod Law is one of the 10 largest firms in the city but it's one of only a couple in that group that are local Calgary firms. It focuses on the local market and, unusual for its size, provides both business and personal client services.
The legal market in Calgary is a highly competitive service industry and the lawyers and staff at McLeod Law recognize it as such. They work primarily in one of six practice groups to bring in-depth expertise to their clientele.
Clients range from individuals to land developers, builders, energy and natural resource companies, banks and trust companies, accounting firms and government agencies.
Services include corporate and commercial; banking; securities and corporate finance; residential, commercial and condominium real estate; litigation; foreclosure; employment and labour; personal injury; wills and estates; and family law.
Lokhorst says one of the secrets of the firm's success is an emphasis on building long-term relationships with clients. Some have been with the firm since it started in 1981.
"We take the time to build the relationship with the client and understand their business and their needs," says Lokhorst. "We want to create a relationship that will go on for many, many years -- decades in some cases."
That long-term relationship approach also applies to lawyers and support staff. The firm offers an employee benefits package that includes flexible work hours, matching RRSP contributions and 10 personal leave days a year -- all paid for 100 per cent by the firm.
Employees also get a day off each year to volunteer for any community service or charitable organization they want to donate their time to. They make an even bigger impact working as a home-grown collective team supporting charities like the United Way.
Suzanne Anderson, senior legal assistant in the Personal Injury Group, says the strong firm culture helps McLeod Law retain both lawyers and staff.
"We're in it for the long haul," says Anderson, who has been with the firm for 21 years. "We have very little turnover -- people don't leave."
Lokhorst says the lawyers are also in it for the long haul because they appreciate the firm's culture and community focus.
"We're somewhat unique in that in our law firm, we have 19 partners, 12 of which started with the firm as articling students, which is a real testament to the long-term view and support we want to give people," he says.
"We value and support our people and we encourage their personal growth and community involvement and I think that's a recipe for creating engaged employees and members of the firm."
Anderson couldn't agree more. "For 21 years, this has been a fabulous place to work," she says. "I continue to be challenged, which is an amazing thing and I feel very fortunate."