Shakespeare Martineau
2.5 out of 5 stars.
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Working at Shakespeare Martineau: 26 Shakespeare Martineau Reviews

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United Kingdom26 reviews

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2.8Work-life balance

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Work culture can be described in one word "Chaos". No option for flexible working and zero reward for hard work. You can work as hard as you like, if it isn't the way they expect (expectations are never made clear) then they will find ways to make sure you know they are not happy.
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A breath of fresh air

Shakespeare Martineau have got the balance just right when it comes to flexible working and autonomy. You genuinely have the opportunity to work in a way that best suits you and your needs and can develop at your own pace. An absolute breath of fresh air from other businesses; no clock watching or presenteeism. A corporate business that is collaborative, supportive and transparent.

Pros

Work life balance. Wellbeing is taken seriously.

Cons

Some processes are prolonged.
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Insights into Shakespeare Martineau

Based on 4 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Fair pay for job
  • Ability to meet personal goals
  • Sense of belonging

Great place to be

Great company to work for; the business has worked hard over the last two years to build people engagement and involving individuals in providing feedback, contributing ideas for our team and group strategy. The recent introduction of empowered working has been brilliant in providing great flexibility on when and where we work. The company truly values and cares for us; we get a day off for our birthday and this year we had our own company wellbeing bank holiday in the summer which was a lovely touch. The company is growing fast and whilst this can at times result in growing pains, I am confident these will be short lived with several IT projects and new systems going live soon.

Pros

Great people and lots to get involved in.

Cons

Company moves at a pace; some times we could benefit in reviewing if everything is urgent.
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Exciting, expanding, empowering.

It's a great place to be. I feel respected and appreciated and am also treated like an adult where I'm given responsibility and am trusted to get on with my job. There's a genuine desire from leadership to build a fantastic culture for the people in it, there is still plenty to do but so much has already been done it's really exciting to be part of it. Very friendly and supportive culture.

Pros

good benefits, flex to choose how and when you want to work, strong on being a responsible business

Cons

IT and some infrastructure is still improving
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Best Job I've ever had

Everyone's been really nice and welcoming.The training is really good, lots on offer and my manager's been really supportive.It's a big company, but the communication, even between departments, is really good.

Pros

Flexibility on working hours

Cons

Too many meetings
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I had a very bad experience

This is a very corporate company with high morals however they gave no regard for their staff. The team I worked in was a very pretty backstabbing team, not managed as well as it should have been therefore allowing staff members to get away with bullying and inequality.

Pros

None

Cons

Do not go there!!!
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Very inclusive environment

Good place for a wide variety of people, age, background etc. and support for various work / life balance was good. Has clear vision for expansion and CEO was good at communicating across the Firm.
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Avoid this employer

IT department is a joke. No process or procedures. Horrible work culture. Unaccepting of innovations in terms of technology. Limited opportunities for people from different backgrounds. The salary is not competitive and management say it will depend on the annual review but never goes up!! Plus the service desk is always short staffed !!

Pros

Can’t think of anything

Cons

High work loads and pay is awful
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An awful place to work.

Don’t be fooled by SHMA’s website. It sounds impressive..“We’re deeply ambitious about creating opportunities for our employees”, this is far from the truth! Progression here is very little if not at all. Many staff go off on long term sick leave or simply resign. The longest any member of staff has remained in their team is two years, the shortest…two weeks! Salary is very poor! Management is poor; ignorance springs to mind. The Claims Handlers are set unreasonable targets and are stressed. First Notification of Claims Handlers (FNOC) are micromanaged and undermined by management. The building looks impressive on the outside but inside it’s not good. The office is always very cold. Staff walk around with their blankets or hot water bottles; some remain in their coats. The toilets do not work and are often left unflushed #disgusting!!! These problems have never been fixed.
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Staff morale very low

Staff moral very low, during the time I was there were many redundancy's. Management disconnected from employees as they were looking out for themselves as there was shift and movement emanating from Head Office .
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It's okay

It's an okay place to work. There isn't much chance for progression and it feels as though the only people that matter are those at the top. I think it depends on your location and team.
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Very low wage & depressing atmosphere

Fnol is where a lot of people start, it’s a decent team with nice supervisors. Although, you do all the admin work, and are not allowed to talk- literally you get told off for talking, as if you were a child. This leads to a negative astmosphere and environment to work in. I hear real estate is good, however from the litigation view- stay clear a lot of people are depressed and everyone talks about wanting to leave but having nowhere to go- trapped. This company has a good external reputation, but internally it is not the best place to be. Those working in the legal sector know the work is not ‘fun’ therefore you need some sort of liveliness in the work place, but this place will take it out of you. The pay is probably the worst in the industry and no one above I.e partners will take this into consideration. (More money for employees- less for partners, hence LLP set up) Well I don’t want to sound too negative or off putting but please take into consideration my honest review of this place. There are lovely people here, but this firm has a long way to go. Yours truly, Successful escapee.

Pros

Reputation and branding for CV

Cons

Low pay, low morale, no real culture and treated like a child.
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Okay

The pay was basic, with little room to advance. But it is okay as a stepping stone in the field of law. I do think the company could provide better career opportunities for their staff.
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Terrible

Us and them. If you’re not a partner, you’re not valued. You’re not allowed a sense of humour you just have to tow the line. You can say hello to most partners and they look down on you and don’t respond. Most of them are busy sitting in the pub drinking the profits while the solicitors/ paralegals are doing the work until late and not seeing our families and then there are no rewards, pay rises or bonus’ at the end of it. They expect you to stay late unpaid but as soon as you need the drs, you have to make up your time. Take take take. You’re expected to be seen but not heard. Your opinion doesn’t count for nothing. They’re great at having meetings about meetings and nothing productive comes from it, and they are very target driven. You leave this place thinking something is wrong with you and lacking any confidence and self belief that you started with.

Pros

Easy to get to

Cons

Not family friendly
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Nightmare

Terrible management....decisions are made with no evidence base in a non fee earning business ops department and then the finger is always pointed...favouritism etc...

Pros

None

Cons

Long hours
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Good lawyers and good training but poor payers and a hard nosed attitude to junior staff

This firm has so much potential and you will work with some great people if you come here. They do have excellent clients and do a lot of high quality work. However in terms of career progression, you will struggle unless you arrive armed with excellent contacts. They are also notoriously bad payers. In the 4 years that I was there, targets went up but salaries lagged behind, and it was known to all Shakespeares employees that they were poorly paid compared to Martineau staff - when this story broke, the partners "declined to comment" on this and ignored the discontent it created. Management's view has always been "Your career is your responsibility" and "Everyone is expendable". The few partners who do take the time to help you tend to be less influential. It is such a shame that this is the approach of the top partners because there are some excellent lawyers there and the culture in the smaller offices was mostly very good. However staff turnover below Legal Director level is high.

Pros

Training, most of the staff and the work you can do there

Cons

Management culture, salaries, easy to become isolated. Work life balance is not great either
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Bodgit and run would be a better choice.

If you are a partner you can look forward to a very good lifestyle with absolutely no financial worries. If you are not a partner I suggest you find out where your nearest food bank is cos you will probably need it. The hours are long and the whole working environment is dull. Their client service is appalling. Stay as far away as possible.

Pros

None

Cons

Too many to list
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Very disappointed

Awful work environment. Team managers know little but because they talk loud, they get heard and treat you as inferior. Partners expect you to treat them like royalty. And to top it off, paralegal/fee earners salaries are barely above the national minimum wage. Progression chances are little to none. For a company that believes itself to have a large national footprint, it's quite an awful place to work at. Certainly the worst place I've worked at. My only advice, stay well away if you want a decent wage for a hard day's work. They'll squeeze every last drop out of you by ensuring youre in at time 9am, never late from lunch and you cannot leave any earlier than 5.30pm. It's like a factory or production line. Just before I left, my team were monitored for how long we went on toilet breaks. Says it all.

Pros

As with every work place, you make good friends due to the struggles you go through at a depressing work place.

Cons

Too many to list
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An awful experience

On the whole I enjoyed the work but that was it. Salaries are inconsistent between teams and team members with the same level of experience will find they are each on different salaries. Targets increase at an unreasonable pace when salary stays the same (I was at the firm for 18 months and my target increased by 40%, with not one pay increase the whole time I was there) The Partners are very traditional and expect everyone to wait on their every hand and foot. In a firm that asks you to do your own typing, coping etc, it just does not work. For fee earners working in a team where there is no secretary, you certainly won’t be doing your own admin work! If you are a young woman and not employed as an administrator/secretary, I wouldn’t go anywhere near this firm!

Pros

Work and client contact

Cons

Salary and management
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Room for progression, awful management

Management are terrible in the Remortgage department, employees leaving every other week as a result of poor management and nature of work. Salary also minimum wage.

Cons

Poorly run, salary
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Tumbleweed comes to mind as no one stays long enough...

Two firms stuck together that are both as clueless as each other....absolutely udderless!! No management only people that compute yes. Progression....haha your joking the ideas come from an episode of Donald Trumps Apprentice. Let's be great! By holding everyone back squeezing them for every penny we can then destroying there confidence and drinking themselves to oblivion. The worst company I and many others have every worked for I just feel sorry for those left they need help getting out!

Pros

When you get out the exit.

Cons

The list would be a waste of your time.
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Overall rating

Based on 26 reviews

Ratings by category

2.8 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.2 out of 5 stars for Salary/Benefits
2.4 out of 5 stars for Job security/advancement
2.2 out of 5 stars for Management
2.4 out of 5 stars for Culture

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