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Will the real team leaders please stand up?

As she relives an unpleasant blame-game incident, Catherine Burtinshaw urges her fellow solicitors to take a more professional, team approach to accountability

22 July 2013

Over ten years ago when I was just a few years' qualified, an expert report was served late on a file on which I worked. If I immediately follow that statement with an explanation that I was, on the relevant date, in the middle of a three-week honeymoon on the other side of the globe, my bullet-proof alibi may sound rather defensive. The fact is, however, that recalling the incident even now brings out a natural career preservation instinct.

To provide some context, the Matter Partner for the file in question had only recently achieved promotion. With the benefit of hindsight and years of observing office politics at work, I can now see that their own back-covering defence mechanism as they fled the scene at speed was, to a degree, understandable as they strived to protect their hard-won status.

Cold comfort

The solicitor on the other side was an awkward character, but we had found a...

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