King & Wood Mallesons CEP Shares Insights and Focus Areas for the Year Ahead

In her newly appointed role, Chief Executive Partner at King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), Renae Lattey, says “refocus, not reinvention,” is what will shape the firm’s year ahead.

In this intimate interview, Renae shares her passion for client service and her approach to performance, digitisation and global alignment as key success drivers for 2022.

Nurturing clients

“How do we continue to do better?” Lattey’s dedication to the service of clients is indisputable, and stems from her success in leading the firm’s client experience transformation strategy prior to taking on her current role.

Bringing the client’s voice into the firm through a structured feedback program or through inviting the client into internal discussions ensures “that we are not making decisions on our assumptions about what they want.”

The year ahead will see Renae’s customer-centric approach continue to optimise delivery of services. “I obviously want to focus on making sure that we…provide exceptional market leading outcomes for our clients.

Nurturing talent

Employee management is often described as the heart of a company’s performance, and now more than ever this rings true. Renae says that revisiting the employee value proposition is key to strengthening relationships with her team.

Gaining a deeper understanding of the people within the firm and “making sure that what we say we care about is what they actually experience.”

“The one thing that’s really clear to me is, I’m not going to have people in my business who are happy to serve clients unless they’re happy to be here.”

Expanding digital literacy and automation

Digital transformation continues its momentum across the globe and legal technology is an important part of that. “Staff are drowning in things to do and read so we need to ask, ‘how do we take jobs off fee earners?’”

Automation and cultivating tech-savvy lawyers helps to improve efficiencies for lawyers, the shared services function and the lawyer-to-client relationship too, in areas such as matter and knowledge management.

Global alignment

“For the first time ever, we’ve been able to say that the same topics that affect us here in Australia are affecting our clients all around the world.” This is an opportunity to link together globally and talk about data & AI, climate change, sustainability, energy renewal and supporting global ambitions.

For clients wanting to amplify their operations offshore in the Asian emerging markets, setting up multi-jurisdictional structures is key to support their growth and supply chain strategies.

Through a Partner Forum she established two years ago, Lattey can exchange insights, discuss key themes emerging from clients and what firms are doing in response. We will continue “our thought leadership and these cross-sector, cross-practice discussions” to help identify gaps and opportunities, and drive sector strategies.

“Refocus, not reinvention is needed to drive 2022 success.”

– Renae Lattey, King & Wood Mallesons

2022 outlook

Renae is optimistic and predicts a strong year ahead with many of the same themes seen in the last few years set to continue.

The Chief Executive Partner sees growth opportunities across various sectors including energy, financial services, health, and tech & data. Common practices will be around corporate governance. cross-border mergers & acquisitions, financial services & regulatory investigations.

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