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Last month, we said farewell to Alan Peckham, the Chief Administrative Officer at HSF, who retired after a tremendous 26 years with the firm. We asked him to reflect on his time with the firm and where his journey might take him next.

What have been some of your key highlights over the last 25 years?

I have been very lucky to have had so many different opportunities to develop and reinvent myself in the firm, to visit so many of our offices and to meet and work with so many amazing people from around the world. When I reflect on the things that have really stood out and that I value the most, they’re all about people and teams – we really are at our best and have the most fun in high-performing teams. I have worked with some great people, and I have had a lot of laughs and made some wonderful friends along the way. It has been so satisfying to see so many of the people who have been in teams I have been responsible for go on to bigger and better things either in or out of the firm. 

More recently, out of all your achievements in the last 10 years as a CXO – what have you been most proud of?

One of the reasons I moved out of practice and into Business Services was because I could see the practice and business of law needed to evolve and transform and I wanted to be part of that change and influence and shape it rather than have the change imposed on me. So maybe unsurprisingly, the things I am most proud of typically have a change or transformation theme, with a fair dose of working with awesome teams to boot.

From the establishment of Macquarie Park (Sydney) and Canary Wharf (London) offices to the implementation of a new legal support delivery model in Australia, the London office and a number of offices in Asia, there have been many highlights for me over the years. I am proud of the many projects my teams have delivered, often under some challenging deadlines with a lot of changes for our people and our operations. One highlight is the new offices and work environments we have delivered over the last seven years. We have come a long way from the dark wood panelling, giant leather partner chairs and offices and dingy cubicles that used to be standard issue in law firms. The success of flexible/hybrid working and workplaces has been great to see and I hope to see this continue.

But most of all, I am so proud of all of the people I have worked with over my time as CxO who have taken advantage of the opportunities around them in their roles and have taken big steps to achieve their true potential while helping the firm to achieve its. It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to have played even a small part in your journeys and your success. Thank you!


What are you going to miss most about the firm?

I am going to miss a lot of things. After a decade in global roles, it is going to be strange to pick up my phone in the morning and not see a pile of emails or messages that need to be replied to and equally strange collapsing on the couch in the evening (or taking the dog for a sunset walk) rather than talking to colleagues in other parts of the world on Teams. While I will miss the people, I am not going to miss working across time zones for a while at least!

With this next chapter, what are you looking forward to?

I am looking forward to a bit of a break, getting my hands dirty doing some renovation work at our new house (it’s a bit of a project...), enjoying the end of summer down here at the beach, doing some cycling and then, some new adventures. I have spent so much of my career with the firm and have learnt so much that I really want to take a chance and apply some of that experience and expertise in a different way – and if not now, when! As some wise person said to me last year, life is not a dress rehearsal.

Good luck to all of you! I will be standing on the sidelines cheering you all on

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