Partner Spotlight with Damien Charlton, Partner at Ward Hadaway.

This month we spoke to Damien Charlton, Partner at Ward Hadaway about his role, plans for the year ahead and how his team stay focused.

What does your business have planned in the next 12 months?

We are a business centred on strong relationships, so like many people we are looking forward to being able to see people face-to-face again.  But things will certainly look a little different in the way we develop and build those relationships.  How?  To be decided, but things will almost certainly evolve and grow as we as a society get used to living with the virus.  Underpinning it, Ward Hadaway will continue to invest in creating and sharing our expertise with our markets online and via webinars.  It has proved to be a very effective way to reinforce our credibility and approachability.  But I anticipate for instance that our gatherings will be smaller, more focused, and more personal than might have been the case before.  And our offices will begin to evolve to new hybrid working patterns.  An interesting few years ahead as we adapt and innovate in the new normal.

What are you professionally/ personally most proud of? 

I stepped into the not inconsiderable shoes of Colin Hewitt to become Head of the Commercial department at Ward Hadaway last summer – Colin is becoming Senior Partner in May, so this is part of the transition.  Having trained at Ward Hadaway, I am really proud to work in a firm where that kind of long term progression and investment in people is possible, and I am eager to make my mark in this important role.  But on a perhaps more emotional level, I am really proud of my colleagues throughout the team and indeed across the firm who have worked their socks off throughout the pandemic in extremely difficult circumstances.  They have gone the extra mile time and again for our clients, and the mutual support people have shown towards each other has demonstrated quite what a close and solid team we have.

What is the most enjoyable part of your work?

Meeting our clients and getting under the skin of their businesses.  I deal with all sorts of businesses in my day-to-day work, from startups to multinationals, and seeing the challenges they face, and being part of creating the solutions we devise, is interesting and inspiring in equal measure.  I am very proud to play an active part in that process.

Run us through your typical day?

No two days are the same, but generally it involves some interaction with other members of the commercial team, some interactions with my colleagues on the senior management team, meeting and talking to clients, responding to emails.  Oh, and then actually practicing the law!  Microsoft Teams has been a stalwart throughout this time to keep me 100% operational, but I have to say I am looking forward to seeing people face to face in the near future.  But Teams and hybrid working is here to stay – it is really interesting to be able to recognise that a revolution has occurred in how professional services are delivered as a result of the pandemic.

How do you keep your team motivated?

Largely by being alert and listening.  We have had twice weekly team meetings over Teams since the pandemic began, and it has been a lifeline to ensure professionally and personally that everyone is OK.  And some of the debates, initiatives and ideas we have had as a result have been really insightful and rewarding.

Thanks to Damien for answering our questions this month! Join us in March for our next Partner Spotlight.

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