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Leading international law firm adapts to the ever-changing legal landscape and a highly competitive market for talent.

Amid sweeping changes in the legal sector and the world of work, international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has redefined its employee value proposition (EVP) with 'Life@HSF'.

Spearheaded by CEO Justin D'Agostino and informed by input from every level of the firm, the Life@HSF project sought to define and articulate the firm's culture and working experience at a crucial moment. Technology has transformed the way business is conducted; clients' evolving expectations are reshaping the legal services landscape; and the pandemic has prompted people to re-evaluate their lives and careers.

As a result of the project, the firm has launched new values – Human, Bold and Outstanding – that guide how Herbert Smith Freehills behaves; and how it will continue to succeed. And the newly launched 'HSF Deal' makes clear what people can expect from the firm – and what the firm expects in return.

As the firm's most extensive, far-reaching EVP project to date, Life@HSF offered all partners and employees a chance to provide feedback, perspectives and suggestions via a firm-wide survey that generated about 6,000 comments and suggestions. Working with external consultants, the firm then explored themes from the survey in more detail through focus groups and one-to-one interviews involving more than 350 people – a cross-section representing every role and career stage. The firm also sought input from external influencers, including those who are crucial to talent recruitment.

Life@HSF follows the firm's roll-out of its global strategy, Ambition 2025, which launched last year.

Justin commented:

"Life@HSF captures and expresses the sort of firm we need to be to achieve our aspirations and meet our clients' expectations, not just for Ambition 2025, but well beyond. Our strategy sets a bold aim – to be in the leading pack in every market where we operate – and a clear vision: to be a world-leading international law firm, known for our insight and diverse perspectives.

"To achieve this, we must continue to attract and retain the very best people. Life@HSF gives us a common way to talk about why people should work with us, stay here and thrive in their careers at the firm.

"Life@HSF celebrates what’s great about the firm while also being aspirational about what more we can achieve. By defining our culture and working experience – and how we can evolve to achieve our ambitions and respond to change – Life@HSF will be key to delivering our strategy and achieving our aspirations."

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Lydia Lam

Lydia Lam, Head of Communications, UK, US & EMEA