Legal Services Unit
"I joined CMS in May 2014 through its merger with Dundas & Wilson. I was a real estate lawyer until 2012 when I became the manager of our newly-formed Legal Services Unit (“LSU”). The LSU is a growing team of paralegals who provide support to the lawyers in CMS’ UK offices. The LSU also works directly for a number of clients of the firm, some of whom are based abroad (for example we deal directly with clients based in North and South America). We are also exploring opportunities for the LSU to assist CMS offices outside the UK. I am hoping that might lead to some international travel!
My role is very varied and interesting. It includes internal team management; ensuring that the LSU delivers what we have said we will do in the timescale we committed to; checking that existing clients – both internal and external – are happy with the quality and service they receive from the LSU; and securing new work for the team.
In my role, I travel around the UK offices meeting the lawyers who pass work to the LSU. I enjoy being able to meet so many people within the firm, all of whom have been very supportive and welcoming. The LSU exists to allow the firm to perform routine legal tasks in a more streamlined and cost-efficient manner and it is very satisfying to be able to free up the lawyers’ time to concentrate on their more complex work. I am very proud that the LSU has grown from a small team to its current size of 30 paralegals (as at February 2016) and that it makes a difference to how efficiently the lawyers can deal with their work.
CMS has a strong focus on developing people and providing them with the tools they need to do their job, both legal knowledge and soft skills, I have benefited by attending the training programmes which are targeted towards helping lawyers at different stages of their career develop the skills they need to continue to progress. I find this focus on staff development refreshing and, for me, it is one of the things that differentiates CMS."
Fiona Letham, (Joined May, 2014)