Are you a lawyer who could use some independent assistance to help you develop your professional skillset and work through the challenges of legal practice?
Do you manage lawyers who you value and who would benefit from a structured and strategic approach to their professional development?
Either way, Lexecoach offers what you need – specialised lawyer to lawyer coaching, training and development services.
I’m Martin Cole, founder of Lexecoach, and if you are interested in working with me and want to find out whether I might be a good fit for you, your lawyers or your organisation, read on.
My take on the law
Having spent nearly 20 years practicing as a lawyer, working with lawyers and managing lawyers, it seems to me that lawyers fall into two camps.
First there are the naturals. The naturals take the law and legal practice in their stride. They work hard, they are successful, they’re not unduly affected by stress or pressure and they somehow seem to know how to make all the right moves, at just the right time.
Second, there is the rest of us.
If you are in this camp, then as a lawyer you are probably as good as or better than your ‘natural’ peers. But even so, you find that legal practice can at times be a genuine hard-fought struggle.
For you, there are likely times in your career when:
- You are new to a role or a new level of leadership or management and feel thoroughly unprepared for what is expected of you;
- You feel that your legal training and technical experience is no longer enough to carry you through the complex leadership or business development challenges you face;
- You feel blocked on your career path, unsure of what your next move should be or how to progress to the next level;
- You find it hard to grind through an ever increasing workload without becoming anxious, stressed or exhausted;
- You feel stuck in the wrong role or in the wrong type of practice, or unsure of whether the law is really where you want to be;
- You find it hard to balance what is expected of you at work with the responsibilities you have at home.
If you are in the second category – even if you’ve successfully convinced everybody else that you are one of the naturals – then you are exactly who Lexecoach’s services are aimed at.
But what, apart from my technical training as a coach, qualifies me to help you with challenges like the ones listed above?
First up, there is the direct experience I’ve gained from my legal career (see below for details) and from mentoring, coaching and leading lawyers and other professionals.
Second, there is the objective perspective on the law and lawyers that I’ve gained from the periods of my life spent working outside the law.
And finally, and probably most important of all, is the fact that I have been in every single one of the situations set out in the bullet points above and, with the wonderful benefit of hindsight, I now know that I certainly didn’t always deal with them as well as I could have done.
It is these experiences that have taught me the lessons that are most valuable in helping me to help lawyers:
- work through the challenges of legal practice,
- change what needs to be changed, and
- optimise their skills and capabilities as lawyers and leaders.
My experience – what I’ve done
If you’re interested in the what I’ve actually done in my career, not just what I’ve learned, the facts are here – in long and short form.
The short version
I have a law degree and I am a UK qualified barrister (now non-practicing). I am also certified organisational and executive coach and currently working through a MSc in Coaching Psychology.
I was called to the bar in 1994 and practiced for 6 years in civil and commercial law in chambers in London.
I subsequently worked for about 12 years in financial services regulation and compliance in a number of different in-house counsel, technical specialist and leadership roles for:
- the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA), now the Financial Conduct Authority
- the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
- the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
- the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
I also spent just over a year teaching law and legal skills at the College (now University) of Law in London and the College of Law in Sydney.
I trained as a coach with the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership in Sydney and the University of Sydney.
The long version
I left school as a music-obsessed graduate of the late seventies punk rock revolution with a guitar I couldn’t play and a university place I refused to take up.
I had the notion that being in a band constituted a career plan, even though we had no record deal (and no prospect of one) and only played occasional gigs in some of South London’s seediest venues.
Oddly enough, musical success was elusive, so I spent the best part of a decade drifting through jobs as diverse as lift engineer, mortgage broker, DJ and painter and decorator. Eventually, at 29, I decided I needed a future and, with dreams of a career working for the greater good, I got myself place at university to study law.
I graduated in 1993, took my bar exams and was called to the bar in 1994. Having shelved most of the dreams I entered university with, I spent several years in chambers in London with a mainly civil and commercial practice, although like almost all barristers I cut my teeth on criminal cases in magistrates courts.
Eventually, I decided that I needed a more specialised practice, not to mention a regular pay cheque and all the benefits that went with it. I therefore took an in-house counsel position in the Enforcement division of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), now the Financial Conduct Authority.
I soon began leading multi-disciplinary teams investigating and litigating large scale regulatory breaches and instances of mis-selling. I was therefore involved in matters against some of the UK’s leading financial services businesses and spend many a happy hour negotiating terms of settlement with the senior management and counsel engaged by those businesses.
I also led a number of training and capability development projects, such as in relation to advocacy and criminal prosecutions.
Coaching and mentoring staff, particularly lawyers, was an important part of my role at the FSA. I found this people focused work to be both challenging and extraordinarily satisfying, and it laid the foundation for the coaching work I do today.
In 2004 I was seconded by the FSA to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for a few months. This changed my life because it was there that I met my wife which led me, in 2008, to relocate to Sydney.
Since then I have worked in Enforcement counsel and senior specialist roles at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in connection with the regulation of the equities and future markets. I’ve also led a team in equities and capital markets compliance at the Commonwealth Bank.
I am currently based in Sydney Australia but, since coaching can be effective by telephone or skype, as well as face to face, I can work with coaching clients from most places.
email: enquiries @ lexecoach.com
send me a message via the form here.