Lawrence Stephens

We are a *knowledge business

Steven Bernstein discusses leadership with FEBE founder John Maffioli

November 2023


Speaking with the founder of the FEBE Growth 100, John Maffioli, as part of the Founder Stories series, Managing Director, Steven Bernstein, discusses the importance of creating a strong and collaborative company culture and how prioritising your people is the key to leading a successful business.

Prior to founding Lawrence Stephens, Steven and his co-founders were working at a corporate city firm, a highly competitive environment where employees lacked the confidence to make decisions over their fear of failure. As a direct response to this, they set up Lawrence Stephens with the aim of being a ‘people business’ – where employees are valued and a collaborative spirit is not only encouraged, but actively fostered.

Making the step from being a lawyer to becoming a CEO, Managing Director and ultimately a business leader, Steven also describes the balancing act he faced with doing the job he really understood (in being a lawyer) with doing the job he was still learning (in running a business).

However, by not taking themselves too seriously and fostering a people-focused company culture, Steven and his co-founders successfully grew Lawrence Stephens into the firm it is today – with these values remaining a crucial part of the firm’s identity and success. By allowing his team to learn, develop and thrive in a supportive environment, Steven explains the significance of this: “those are the Partners of the future, the owners of the future…”

The role of leadership also goes beyond fostering a powerful company culture, as Steven explains. Successful founders, entrepreneurs and CEOs must be constantly asking themselves as to whether they are making the right decisions, whether they are doing the right thing for their business. In driving a business forward, Steven explains that founders must show careful consideration to the risks and decision making if they are to succeed.

From the small office where Lawrence Stephens first began to the full-service firm it has now become, with the launch of departments such as its new Sports & Entertainment practice, Steven and his co-founders are looking to build on these successes to continue to grow the firm, strengthen existing areas and look at expanding further by bringing in talented teams of lawyers to cover new areas and provide a truly full-service experience to its clients.

Click here to watch Steven’s story in full.