Sarah Walker-Smith joins Shakespeare Martineau as its new CEO and she marks the occasion by topping The Lawyer’s Hot 100 list.
The annual awards highlight the UK’s best legal professionals of the moment, based on their innovation, creative flair and passion for transforming firms at the forefront of the industry. Sarah has been recognised for her commitment to supporting business growth.
Sarah will join chief financial officer, Lesley Spencer, and chief operating officer, Victoria Tester, in the firm’s senior leadership team, where she will continue to drive the business forward and build on the significant progress made over the last four years.
As well as her latest achievement, Sarah has recently been invited to join the Society of Leadership Fellows at St George’s House – a society only open to 250 leaders worldwide – and was also awarded the Nottingham Post’s Businesswoman of the year for 2018.
Commenting on her latest accolade and the start of her tenure at the firm, Sarah Walker-Smith, said: “I’m humbled to be acknowledged in this way and being able to drive successful transition and growth is testament to teams that I have had the pleasure of working with.
“It is crucially important for any business, or business leader, operating in such a competitive environment to remain forward-looking and agile. Transformation will be key to future success within the legal industry and I am determined to continue the great progress already made at Shakespeare Martineau.”
Andrew Whitehead, senior partner at Shakespeare Martineau, said: “It is great to have Sarah officially in post, and at such an exciting time in her career too. Getting such recognition for her contribution to the industry is a fantastic achievement, and her ability to influence the legal landscape of the future whilst driving business growth is exactly why we were keen to have her on board.”
Shakespeare Martineau is a top 50 law firm and reported a turnover of £73.9m in financial year 2017/18. It has shown strong organic growth in the first half of this year and shows no signs of slowing.
Sarah is one of a handful of women, and even fewer non-lawyers, managing top 50 law firms in the UK.