International Women’s Day was marked across the world at the beginning of this month, and at MSB we celebrated our credentials as one of the most female-friendly professional firms in the UK.
MSB recently relocated to St Paul’s Square in centre of the Liverpool’s commercial district after staff numbers rose by more than 30% in 2016 – we now boast a 50/50 split in our 14-strong team of partners and more than 80% of our 100-plus employee base are now female.
In the past four years, 20 babies have been born within the firm with every new mother returning to work.
Managing partner Paul Bibby said: “The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was ‘be bold for change’ and that fits in perfectly with our approach at MSB.
“Professional firms have traditionally been quite reticent about promoting a family-friendly environment, believing it disrupts the business.
“We take the opposite view. We recognise that people work to live - they don’t live to work. They want to bring up families and have a career. Women shouldn’t have to make a choice.
“At MSB, we have found that by offering flexible ways of working – things like home working days, keep in touch days and a more relaxed approach to on and off the clock working – what we get in return is a highly-motivated team that feels valued.
“Moreover, we have fantastic staff retention, which in turn is of massive benefit to our clients.”
MSB have also just taken on five new partners, three of whom are women – and two of those have two children under the age of four.
MSB has been recognised as specialist in family law cases, including expertise in the international abductions of children by parents or other family members and are the only firm in the North West to be appointed to the UKs International Child Abduction and Contact Units referral list.
Emma Carey heads up MSB’s family law department. She is a member of the Association of Lawyers for Children and a resolution accredited specialist in domestic violence and child abduction.
Earlier this month, her work was recognised when she was named Professional of the Year at Downtown Liverpool’s Women in Business Awards at the Crowne Plaza.
Paul Bibby said: “Emma’s award was richly deserved. She is a terrific lawyer and MSB is lucky to have her on the team.
Emma added: “I’m incredibly proud to be part of a firm that has succeeding in creating an environment where all our staff can achieve their potential.
“When I joined MSB in 2000, it was an all-male partnership and I was the only female solicitor.
“16 years later, we now have an equal gender partnership with 7 female partners and 28 female solicitors working in the firm – so clearly we have created an environment in which women feel they can achieve.”