News

Culture is Key

At Ogilvie LLP we work Together in Purpose

The way to make systemic change in an organization is slowly, and with consideration for the changing times. Ogilvie LLP is building and looking for experienced lawyers to be a part of the Ogilvie team.

Shaping firm culture is a priority for the management team led by Trevor Redekopp, Managing Partner, and Kerry Samletzki, Director of Operations. In 2020, the firm turned 100. You can only achieve this milestone with a history of doing things right. But with age comes challenges too. Culture must adjust. Management styles and compensation structures of the past are less likely to motivate lawyers to commit to a firm for life. The firm’s challenge is in transitioning senior associates to partners and in retaining partners to become the next generation of leaders at Ogilvie. To achieve these goals, a firm must be bold. Trevor and Kerry have adopted new methods to retain and grow legal talent.

Historically, even talking about remuneration amongst lawyers was taboo, let alone discussing individualized long term practice goals and priorities. In 2021 Ogilvie changed its compensation structure to reward and incent behaviours that support Ogilvie’s growth and development. It is a single tier system designed to attract and retain senior associates and retain junior partners. Trevor and Kerry are committed to pulling the veil back to encourage open dialogue around compensation.

Money can attract talent but retaining it requires something deeper. Trevor and Kerry are encouraging a profound shift in culture. They are inviting input, involvement and openness in the firm’s plans. Management has created an Associate Program, informal feedback loops and is encouraging new systems to make sure that associates and junior partners have a voice. The diversity, equity and inclusion committee’s mandate is to support success for everyone at the firm. There is a commitment to community giving at Ogilvie. In 2021 the firm hosted an advertising competition and drew in United Way’s All in for Youth program to celebrate art made by at-risk youth. The judging panel included lawyers representing different generations at Ogilvie.

Larger national firms have expectations around following systems. At Ogilvie, the expectation is different. There isn’t a pattern that lawyers must adhere to. Lawyers are able to develop their careers in a way that is suited to their life and their needs. Trevor and Kerry are working in symphony with the new Management Team at Ogilvie which includes Bryce Milliken and Rod Wasylyshyn. The group is similarly minded about attracting the right fit in senior positions and supporting a winning culture.