I'm Jeremy Raj, the National Head of Residential Property.
My job is largely to do with people buying, selling and investing in residential property. I manage a team full of highly motivated, intelligent lawyers who all help with that process.
I've been here for about four and a half years now. I’d reached a point in my career where I was looking for a new and exciting challenge. Irwin Mitchell certainly brings that, but it also brings a community of like-minded people. We’re all striving for the same thing, in the way we deal with both our clients and our colleagues. That’s the human touch that matters to me.
Putting people first
Law firms are nothing other than collections of people. You can have a good reputation, great marketing and branding, but at heart, it comes down the people. Across the board, the people need to be right and if you get that right, then you're going to deliver for your clients. We have great people here.
You may be surprised to hear that there are plenty of lawyers out there that like to forget about their clients. Some see the law as an academic exercise or clients as cash cows to help them raise fees. From my point of view, that's always the wrong way to go about things. If you care about your clients and look after them, they will certainly look after you. Over a pretty long career in the law, I've always found that that's by far the best approach.
The expert hand, human touch ethos is something that really attracted me when I first got a job here. It's really important that lawyers remember that yes, they will be judged on their expertise as lawyers, and it's essential that they offer more than that.
They also need to communicate in a supportive, empathetic way, because otherwise clients won't warm to them. You simply can’t put a price on the value of good relationships and I think we understand that here and it’s embedded in our culture.
Looking after our colleagues
One of the things I'm most proud of is our commitment to diversity and inclusion. A lot of organisations pay lip service to it, but we see it in action every day here. I come from a really mixed background and so diversity is really important to me. I think it brings a whole different dimension to our community and it's something that we encourage strongly.
We’ve also taken action to support colleague wellbeing, on their own terms. It's been critical over the last couple of years in particular, for people to find ways to switch off. We talk about it regularly we offer days off to support it, and I hope that people see the difference it can make to your career if you feel supported, whatever is going on.
It's been great watching the influence of our Flexible by Choice approach grow by the day. It's allowed people to live their lives in a much more harmonious and natural way. We've had pets popping up on screen, we've had people able to do school runs, and we've had colleagues sharing things that are important to them in a way that didn't used to happen. It gives us another way to learn about our colleagues’ lives outside of work, enriching our relationships with them.
Our team’s values
It's really flattering to be called a good leader. I always strive to be one, but I think at heart, what makes someone a good leader is caring about the people in your team. Inspiring them by your own actions and that's what I hope to do.
I'm so proud of the way that my team pulled through the shutdown of the residential property market and lockdown during the pandemic. The team did a brilliant job, came together, helped each other out and remained professional and hardworking throughout. I couldn’t be prouder of them. And I really love it when a client has something to say about the service they've received. It's so nice when they get recognition from outside the firm too.
If someone's thinking about a career at Irwin Mitchell, I'd say come and join us. We're already a diverse bunch who enjoy their work, love looking after their clients and get a lot out of life. So why not come and be a part of that?
Read Jeremy's professional profile
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