First4Lawyers – building solid HR functions

First4Lawyers is a successful and growing claims management company that aims to be the UK’s leading legal service provider, leading on standards, innovation and client care. It wasrecognised as the UK Claims Management Company of the Year for two successive years in 2012 and 2013.


First4Lawyers recognised that attracting and retaining people with the right attitude, behaviours and skills is vital to future success. They were keen, therefore, to develop a high performing culture with high standards of professionalism that went beyond issues of simply HR compliance.


First4Lawyers did not have a HR Director in place so they invited Sheena Pickersgill, Gordons’ HR Consultant to work with them to build solid HR foundations from which to grow the business.  The core work included:

  • Articulating the vision and core values for the business
  • Identifying the behaviours that support the values
  • Implementing performance management policies and procedures, including appraisals linked to the vision, core values and business objectives
  • Facilitating workshops for team leaders and supervisors on leadership and management
  • Designing, developing, conducting and analysing an employee engagement survey
  • Coaching senior managers


Sheena has over 20 years’ experience of HR and organisational development experience. She was Executive Director of Corporate Services at Metro for nine years and her HR consultancy offering includes:

  • HR Audit and Review – a traffic light analysis of current HR practices
  • Employee costs review – identifying the hidden employee costs associated with sickness/grievance/under performance etc
  • Practical on site assistance with strategic HR projects (eg culture change, performance management, achieving IIP accreditation) and operational HR issues (grievances, discipline etc)
  • Training and development workshops – performance management, absence management, leadership, recruitment and retention
  • Developing, articulating and communicating the business vision and values (bringing the values to life and embedding them across the business)


  • High employee engagement scores (Average of 3.44 out of a maximum of 4)
  • Improved leadership behaviours and capability
  • Improved performance and business growth

First4Lawyers is now working towards Investors in People status and Sheena is spending 2 days a month on site to assist with this process.

First4Lawyers engaged Sheena Pickersgill at Gordons to help us embed our vision and values across all aspects of our business and to drive up performance. She has spent time coaching and developing our managers and introducing clear performance management procedures. Sheena is a highly professional and experienced HR Consultant and we have valued working in partnership with her to deliver practical results in performance. Our positive employee engagement survey result speaks for itself! We would highly recommend Sheena and Gordons’ HR service. 

Qamar Anwar, Managing Director, First4Lawyers

To find out more about our HR Consultancy offering, please contact Sheena Pickersgill on 0113 227 0394 or at