Empson & Morley - Leading Professional People

by Laura Empson & David Morley

Professor Laura Empson and David Morley uncover the complicated, messy and surprisingly emotional challenges of leading professionals – people like top lawyers, consultants, accountants, doctors, architects, academics, bankers, investment managers, and many more.


The series draws on Empson’s decades of academic research into leading professionals and Morley’s many years of leading one of the world’s largest law firms, together with interviews with leaders of the most successful global professional organisations, such as McKinsey, KPMG, Allen & Overy, and London Business School. 


It reveals the realities that lie beneath the ‘professional’ veneer that these highly successful individuals and their organisations present to the outside world and brings together for the first-time cutting-edge theory and first-hand experience to explore crucial leadership questions. 


This podcast is for anyone who has – or aspires to have – a leadership role in a law firm, consultancy, partnership, hospital, university, investment bank, media company, investment management, or other professional organisation, who wants to challenge assumptions, develop explanations and explore new solutions.


Laura has been conducting academic research into professional organisations for over 25 years. She is the Professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms at Cass Business School, University of London; Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law School; and acts as an advisor to many of the world’s leading professional organisations.



David led global law firm Allen & Overy 2003-2016. Under his leadership, the firm expanded internationally, and revenues doubled from £652 million in 2004 to £1.31 billion in 2016. Profits increased by 175% in the same period. David left Allen & Overy in 2016 after 36 years and now consults on strategy and leadership of professional service firms.


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  • Business