June 23rd, 2011

David Morgan

Employment Lawyer and Accredited Mediator

Partner, Burness LLP

Today we’re tweeting with @DavidMorganLLB, UK employment lawyer, accredited mediator, and one of The Lawyer’s Hot 100 for 2010

  1. @DavidMorganLLB, thank you for joining us on Twitter. Tell us, who is @DavidMorganLLB?
    Hi. I’m an employment law partner and head of the dispute resolution department @BurnessLLP. I’m an accredited mediator too.
  2. Tell us about your law practice.
    @BurnessLLP is a full service commercial law firm with offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland
  3. What type of clients do you represent?
    Mainly large employers UK-wide. Commercial and public sectors. We’re big in media, retail and leisure
  4. And what would you say is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
    Challenge of keeping up-to-date with developments in a fast-moving field: Age discrimination and retirement are hot topics
  5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
    I ask to visit their workplace for a tour. It’s so important to understand how their staff work, so I can shape my advice
  6. That makes a lot of sense. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
    I defended an employer from protective award claims following redundancies. Value circa £1M (Big for #ukemplaw!) 1/2
    2/2 There were multiple union-backed claims. High stakes. We successfully resolved them at judicial mediation in London
  7. Why do your clients hire you?
    I’m told responsiveness and client focus sets us apart @BurnessEmplaw. Relationships are important to #HR professionals
  8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
    2 years ago – redundancies. Last year – Tribunal claim surge. This year – more positive: projects, training and deal support
  9. How is social media affecting employer / employee relations in the UK? Is the law evolving in response?
    Most clients now embrace it. But, for some, still a fear-factor as #HR see how it can go wrong by employee misuse at work
  10. Indeed. Your firm is part of the Employment Law Alliance. What does that mean for your clients? For your firm?
    Hugely important. ELA gives us a global reach to ‘best in breed’ employment lawyers around the world ~ http://t.co/6uA2D8K
  11. How has the economic crisis “changed the game” with respect to employment law? Is it changed for good?
    Redundancies etc. raised the profile/ importance of our practice area. UK Govt now proposing employment law reform 1/2
    2/2 Flipside is (as in other practice areas) economics mean that clients are managing legal spend and doing more themselves
  12. How do you describe what you do to people you meet at a cocktail party?
    “I’m a job law expert”… That usually gets the party started! *sarcastic tabloid face*
  13. :-) You recently began blogging @ Defero Blog (http://bit.ly/kwo8Ye). Why did you start? Are you meeting your goals?
    Yes. I find the style of blogging liberating: colloquial and great way to get your personality across in opinion pieces
  14. Besides blogging and Twitter, what other Web 2.0 tools do you use to market your practice? How effective are they?
    I’m a major proponent of LinkedIn. I run a LI Group for #HR professionals ~ http://t.co/JY48bYm >400 members and rising!
  15. Congrats! Have your Web 2.0 activities led to any additional referrals or client engagements?
    Yes. My team and I have picked up 5 new client instructions thru LinkedIn. @BurnessLLP uses Twitter to recruit too 1/2
    2/2 And we launched a free Social Media Policy initiative thru the LI Group. Sent this to >100 new contacts/ target clients
  16. Innovative use of LI. Let’s switch gears: what is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
    Thanks. Tackling the competing interests of a diverse age demographic and addressing work/life balance and flexible working
  17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
    Competition from external investment in BigLaw via ABS. More knowledge sharing amongst profession & clients. Virtual offices
  18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
    I grew up in Bermuda, so maybe something in shipping or insurance. Oh … or a superstar DJ ;-)
  19. :-) How do you want to be remembered?
    “Scotland’s leading employment lawyer” #noplaceformodesty #RIP
  20. What do you do when you’re not working?
    My 2 young kids keep me on my toes most of the time! + I’m a huge reggae fan (esp. 70’s/80’s roots, dub and early dancehall)
  21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
    Keep your skills fresh with research and pro bono. Train in mediation and negotiation skills.
  22. That brings us to our final question for you: what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
    Law isn’t everything. Learn about business and soft skills – presentation, negotiation (& sales!)… Enjoy being a student!

That’s useful advice. Thanks very much for the interview today. I enjoyed learning more about you and your practice

Thanks Lance. I enjoyed it too. Great format. Thanks for giving me the platform.

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