Number of lawyers in team: 34
Q&A with employment and HNW Family Office lawyer Sofia Syed, who joined in 2017 from Mundays
What made you want to leave a traditional model firm to join Keystone?
Being in private practice, I found it frustrating that when you get to a certain level, you were being asked or encouraged to develop a specialism, grow a client base and build client relations, which essentially are the components of running a practice. But yet when it comes to being creative and developing that any further, I felt I was hampered by internal politics or the bureaucracy within a firm. I heard about Keystone when a number of partners from previous firms had moved there, so naturally when I was looking to make a move to a consultancy firm, Keystone was an obvious choice.
How did you find integrating into the firm?
Integrating into the Keystone model was a very simple process. There was a one-day induction where I spent time with the directors of the firm, and also some key members of the Central Office team. The process and procedures were explained to me and soon after that I received a gift box, which was full of all the goodies I needed to practise as a lawyer based from home, some of which I hadn’t even appreciated I needed. I was all set up and ready to go in a couple of days.
Have you been able to hire your own support staff?
In my line of work, I work largely alone because my area is quite personal to my clients, so it involves getting to know them and their families very well. That said, I have hired a PA who was onboarded effortlessly by Keystone.
How has Keystone supported you with growing your practice?
Keystone helped me to grow a network within the firm by providing me right from the outset with a number of contacts who have complementary practices. Before I knew it, I was emailing them and I had a raft of welcoming emails from interested colleagues. I was then growing my practice without even having to think about it; it was all quite effortless.
What effect has working at Keystone had on your life?
Working at Keystone has made a huge difference to my life. Joining Keystone has allowed me to have a life. I can spend a lot more time with my friends and family, and time on my wellbeing so I can now go to the gym. I’ve also taken up a side hustle which I’ve always wanted to do. I am a barista in my spare time. None of these things would have been possible if I was in private practice.
To watch a video interview with Sofia Syed, please click on the play button.