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The appropriate person must be able to carry out tests just for the sake of testing WP. I need to make this slightly lengthy just to give a real representation of what this would look like. Who’s in the photo? Top left is Joe doing his best crab impression, Top right displays some decent arm flexibility from all the staff, Bottom left is Tim learning how to support his own body weight, and Bottom right is the most uniform picture I could find!
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2 Feb 2017
All Roads Lead to North for Law Firms
The Concept of ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is actually one of the few things we can thank George Osborne for.
In the words of Osborne: ““The cities of the north are individually strong, but collectively not strong enough. The whole is less than the sum of its parts. So the powerhouse of London dominates more and more. And that’s not healthy for our economy. It’s not good for our country. We need a Northern Powerhouse too”.
As a result, transport in the North has been prioritised (see Figure 1, projects include the Northern Powerhouse Rail or HS3, smart motorways and the development of the Northern Hub5), increased investment has been put into science and technology projects (such as the National Graphene Institute and the Square Kilometre Array), as well as studies and support for creative businesses in many of the Northern cities.
Post-Brexit, people questioned whether the Northern Powerhouse would continue to be supported, however, it was recently announced in the Autumn Statement that £556m will be injected into the Northern Powerhouse project as part of a “new, more interventionist industrial strategy.”
The £556m will be split between several projects including:
The Northern Powerhouse also benefits businesses currently based in London City, including law firms.
Legislation reforms and post-recession cost-cutting has meant that businesses are increasingly squeezing the margins they spend with their suppliers. Ultimately, clients want more for less from their law firms.
Many top law firms have since moved aspects of their business to other cheaper locations, either in response to their clients doing the same thing or purely because it makes sense for their own business. Ultimately, the Northern Powerhouse provides a legitimate alternative to London, not just for SMEs, but also for big businesses such as Barclays, Deloitte, Drax and Vodafone, who are big supporters of the Northern Powerhouse. In other words, North-Shoring is more viable than ever.
On top of this, because of recent investment, the North also offers great potential for law firms to generate new clients. In the North West for instance, there are now 32,774 more businesses in the region than in December 2015. A 10% increase due to a record level of start ups.
In addition, law firms will have access to a larger and more diverse pool of talent, from graduate level up to senior level. As factors such as house prices, job opportunities and social/leisure activities are causing talented individuals to rethink London as the place to develop their careers and settle down.
As the Northern Powerhouse develops, individuals will begin to realise that they can have a better quality of life outside of London. As a result, talent who previously moved to London for job opportunities may be tempted to return to their Northern routes and talent coming through Northern universities currently, are more likely to remain up North rather than move to London.
For women and families in particular, London is becoming more and more unaffordable and impractical. House prices are growing faster than pay rises which is therefore pushing up the average age when women have children in London. In fact, nowadays 63% of women residing in London wait until they are at least 30 until they have children, a significantly higher figure than in any other part of the country. This isn’t helped by the fact that salaries in the 22-29 age bracket have risen the least out of all the other age demographics. Moreover, because house prices have increased in London more rapidly than in any other part of the country over the past 20 years, families have to save a lot longer if they want to buy a house in the capital.
In fact average house prices in London are more than 3 times the average house prices in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham (see Figure 4)9.
Business leaders in London are facing similarly dire times ahead when considering the future of business rates. It was announced in 2016 that while shops and businesses in central London could experience an 87% increase in business rates, businesses in Northern towns such as Blackpool and Bolton would see a decrease of up to 56%. In fact, government estimates reveal that the region of London will experience an 11% increase in it’s tax bill whilst everywhere else will register a decrease. Tax bills for businesses across the North-West for example, are estimated to decrease by 11%.
In summary, being based in the North is a win-win for businesses and their employees (See Figure 3) and several law firms have already taken advantage of the Northern Powerhouse. Figure 5 displays the spread of offices among the top 30 UK law firms (as classified by The Lawyer).
It certainly appears that the Northern Powerhouse is focusing on the North West with Manchester taking £130.1m and Liverpool taking £72m of the allocated £556m4. In 2016, the North West grew more than any other region, with a 118% increase in foreign investment projects6.
Business Leaders need to embrace the fact that London will no longer be the place to be, in fact according to surveys carried out by Ernst & Young, “over 90% of the UK’s total growth came from the regions outside London and the South East (see Figure 2). It does appear that the planned devolution has taken effect and is having positive results within the regions.
Increased investment in transport links in the North, as well as the focus on connecting these links to London via HS2 and smart motorways allows businesses traditionally based in London to still retain all of the strategic benefits that come along with being present in London, but with all the added benefits of also having roots in the North.
(For more details, please see http://www.empirical-research.co.uk/)
23/01/2017. “£556m Northern Powerhouse cash allocation welcomed” BBC News. Link – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38721046
3 Feb 2017
Breakfast Club for Professional Practices
Our friends over at Crowe Clarke Whitehill have developed a Breakfast Club Programme for Professional Practices.
The breakfast club is made up of a series of seminars designed to increase your understanding and awareness of the sector.
The next event is due to take place on the 26th of April and will provide an update on the recent tax changes for employers and how this will impact your firm.
For more details and to book your place on the next event, follow this link:
Click here to book your place
Crowe Clark Whitehill’s Professional Practices Group are trusted advisors to the professional sectors and have years of experience of working with lawyers, actuaries, architects and surveyors. As a result they have developed a Group that fully understands current and future issues that professional practices face.
6 Feb 2017
Size of the Solicitor Talent Pool throughout the Year
The graph shows the size of the solicitor talent pool relative to January 2014, which was when the most searches for “Solicitor Jobs” was carried out using Google in the past 3 years.
7 Feb 2017
Two New Researchers Join the Jepson Holt Team
The team here at Jepson Holt would like to welcome two new additions to the family.
We have bolstered our research team with two specialised researchers who will be working with our sister company Empirical Research.
Matt is our new Research team leader after building an impressive resume conducting legal research for the likes of Clyde & Co and Clear Law Solicitors.
Olivia is a talented Law graduate with an impressive portfolio of legal work experience and who has a passion for salsa dancing, music and travelling.
Join us in wishing them luck as they begin their journey…
5 Reasons why it’s Time to Leave London
1. Affordable housing
From 2004 – 2016, the average wage has increased 27.92% from £22,056 – £28,213. However, for the same period, average house prices rose from £138,000 – £234,000, an astonishing +70%1.
For many people in today’s economy, saving up for a house deposit and securing a reasonable mortgage seems a long way off.
The situation is even more dire for those working and living below the Watford Gap
When comparing the average house prices of southern cities with northern cities, it becomes very obvious that one is more likely to find affordable housing in the North. Unsurprisingly, London is the most inflated city of all. In fact average house prices in London are more than 3 times the average house prices in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham (see Figure 1)2.
For women and families in particular, London is becoming more and more unaffordable and impractical. House prices are growing faster than pay rises which is therefore pushing up the average age when women have children in London. In fact, nowadays 63% of women residing in London wait until they are at least 30 until they have children, a significantly higher figure than in any other part of the country. This isn’t helped by the fact that salaries in the 22-29 age bracket have risen the least out of all the other age demographics. Moreover, because house prices have increased in London more rapidly than in any other part of the country over the past 20 years, families have to save a lot longer if they want to buy a house in the capital
2. Cost of living
Many people argue that the high cost of living in London is counteracted by higher wages. Maybe this was true once, but we have already discussed how wages aren’t rising as quickly as the property market.
Similarly, low house prices in the North doesn’t really mean anything if the average wage in the same region is considerably less.
So how does London really compare to the North?
Examining Figure 2, at £674.30 per week, the average London wage is much greater than any of the northern cities listed. However, the jump from average wage to average rent is far greater in London than any of the northern cities listed. In fact, as Figure 3 conveys, a person living in London earning the average wage
and paying the average rent would then only have £194.86 left over to cover, bills, food, childcare etc. It’s no wonder the majority of single professionals have to house share.
In comparison, a Northern resident earning the average wage and paying the average rent for their respective city gets to retain at least £878 to cover food, bills, childcare and more importantly, to save for a house.
3. Law firms in the North
Legislation reforms and post-recession cost-cutting has meant that businesses are increasingly squeezing the margins they spend with their suppliers. Ultimately, clients want more for less from their law firms. Due to this, many top law firms have since moved aspects of their business to cheaper locations.
The UK’s Top 30 Law firms have a heavy presence up north. Manchester alone is home to a third of them, followed by Birmingham and Leeds each with 8. They also have a strong presence in Scotland with Edinburgh and Glasgow each having 6 (see Figure 4).
Outside of Greater London, Manchester is top of the list when it comes to the widest representation of Top 100 UK Law Firms, containing 42 firms of the top 100 firms5. Birmingham and Leeds have 28 and 24 respectively5.
In regards to fee learners, disregarding Greater London, Manchester again tops the list for the number of fee earners with 2,0385. Birmingham and Bristol have 1,831 and 1,546 respectively5.
In fact, second to Greater London, Greater Manchester has the most Solicitors (8,670) and the most law firms (1,406)13.
4. Northern Powerhouse
The Northern Powerhouse is a strategy concocted by the 2010-2015 coalition government. It aims to rebalance the UK economy away from a dominating London, with more funding being channelled in to the Northern cities in a bid to create a united ‘Northern Powerhouse’ which can stand alongside London. With investors voicing solid support for the proposed agenda and foreign investors rebalancing economic activity regionally, it now seems devolution is beginning to take effect.
According to the EY UK Attractiveness survey 2016, the UK made a 79% increase and a 58% increase in projects from China and India respectively. There were also increases in key strategic investments, manufacturing, financial/business services growth and Investment from the EEA (European Economic Strategy)7.
Brexit has caused a lot of uncertainty about what it means for UK businesses. However, since Brexit businesses have continued to grow and the impact has been minimal. In Q3 2016, GDP growth was higher than in Q3 201514.
5. North West
“Business leaders and politicians have welcomed a newly-allocated cash injection of £556m for the government’s Northern Powerhouse project”8.
It certainly appears that the Northern Powerhouse is focusing on the North West with Manchester taking £130.1m and Liverpool taking £72m of the allocated £556m. This means that Manchester will receive 23% of the allocated fund and Liverpool 13% (Figure 6)8. In 2016, the North West grew more than any other region, with a 118% increase in foreign investment projects (Figure 5)7.
If you would like further knowledge about a specific place in the UK, we have lots of free resources which we can send you, so just shoot over an email to email@example.com and I will get back to you with the information as soon as possible.
MIDAS – CBRE UK Research Team http://www.investinmanchester.com/
MIDAS – Andrew Toolan http://www.investinmanchester.com/services/networks/financial-professional-services/
Irwin Mitchell. January 2017 City Growth Tracker Report.
3 Mar 2017
Will all the High Flying Women please stand up?
The first High Flying Women event has been announced
If you would like to join High Flying Women please contact Bethan Jepson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Business Leaders attending are as follows:
8 Mar 2017
Flexible Working for Men and Women – Why it’s Important and Who is Doing it?
Through technology allowing us to complete work not only at our desk, we’re gradually moving out of a culture of set-in-stone hours, and into one that ‘suits an employee’s needs’ (1) understanding that sometimes a job can be best completed by allowing for flexible working patterns. Academics at Lancaster University have suggested that by the end of the year more than 50% of businesses will adopt flexible working and 70% by 2020 (2). However, not only does flexible working benefit your employees, but it also has clear business advantages to you.
GOV.uk separates flexible working in 8 categories. These are (3):
Working from home
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996 s. 80F (and modified by the Children and Families Act 2014 s. 131), all employees have the right to apply for flexible working so long as they have been in continuous employment for 26 weeks with the employer they are making the application to. The employer then has 3 months in which to approve, or not, the request, dealing with it in a reasonable manner (4).
For women and men alike there is a ‘gap between policy and practice’ (5) for working flexibly, thus the statutory right is all good and well, but ‘attitudes need to change along with legislation’ (6). Although some still favour the traditional approach to working hours, there are clear benefits to a business to encourage such flexible working policies as it allows for a better work-life balance, thus reducing staff stress and enabling them to feel valued, building loyalty within an engaged and motivated team. This not only helps to gain appeal as a company to work for and giving better retention rates, but also requires staff to use greater initiative through independent, self-motivated work. If as an employer you’re still not convinced that encouraging flexible working will benefit your business, or will work well for a particular role that an employee undertakes, the permanent flexible working alteration to your employees contract can be subject to the successful completion of a trial period, as agreed by both employee and employer (7).
Employers should consider and take seriously this way of working for men as well as women. As put well by the Guardian, ‘the bums on seats brigade needs to see flexible working as a real option for everyone, not the preserve of working mothers’ (8). Businesses should encourage men to work flexibly for the same reason that they do women; its not just women who might get a better work-life balance through flexible working.
Encouraging practices like flexible working increases ‘employee control’, which studies suggest ‘are likely to be associated with health improvements including improvements in physical health (reduced systolic blood pressure and heart rate), mental health (e.g. reduced psychological stress) and general health (e.g. tiredness and sleep quality)’ (9). Employees with better health are better equipped to do their job properly and therefore advance the business.
Encouraging flexible working may also aid business development in terms of enabling people to start earlier, or finish later, therefore broadening business bandwidth hours by using flexitime. In addition, flexible working may reduce travel expenses (by travelling outside of peak times), office-space expenses (if encouraging home-working), and allow for a broader range of ideas for business development through different experiences, skills and ways of thinking brought to a particular role (when encouraging job sharing).
Given that we are still in a place where women are not being able to reach the top as easy as men, with 25% fewer women in 2016 being promoted to partner than in 2015 in the top 10 UK firms (10), encouraging men to work flexibly could enable women who may otherwise lessen hours, quit or stifle their career due to childcare concerns, to reach higher potentials in their career, improving the representation of women in senior roles. Furthermore, with the current reality that the largest proportion of the senior workforce in firms is men, promoting flexible working for men too, allowing them to potentially be more productive in their role, only makes logical business sense. Flexible working arrangements is now something desired by senior executives not just juniors.
Flexible working is considered to be the most important benefit offered by employers for roughly two-thirds of people and increasingly law firms advertise their flexible working policies in response to it being such an important matter for employees. Having in place such policies relieves firms of having to decide on many separate formal application for flexible working, saving time for both the firm and the lawyers. Therefore the implementation of flexible working policies should be a priority because, as said in the Solicitors Journal, firms ought to be ‘valuing productivity over face time’, and to best support clients, solicitors must be as efficient as they can in practices and working methods (11). The Law Society’s survey of leading lawyers found that firms who ‘adopted flexible working practices allow a better work-life balance, and are attracting more talented staff’ (12).
Flexible working has been successful for businesses such as the firm PI Costing, who outlined that homeworking was an efficient method of working for their business. In their experience, employees working from home were 20% more efficient in terms of output than those remaining offices based. Furthermore, employees are held accountable to the work they do through the implementation of ‘monthly targets for recovering fees and the company holds records in respect of their output’ (13). PI Costing also found a reduction in their sickness rates and found that their employees valued the work-life balance policies significantly enough to ‘offset less competitive pay levels’ (14).
In 2016, Addleshaw Goddard, Baker & McKenzie, Berwin Leighton Paisner, BLM, Capsticks, Clifford Chance, DAC Beachcroft, Dentons, DWF, Foot Anstey, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Macfarlanes, Mayer Brown, Mishcon de Reya, Nabarro, Olswang, Schillings, Shearman & Sterling, Shoosmiths, Slaughter and May, Wedlake Bell and White & Case were all firms identified by Lawyer2Be to have implemented or be in the process of implementing flexible working policies. (15) (For a breakdown of their policies see https://l2b.thelawyer.com/issues/l2b-online/flexible-working-for-lawyers-whos-doing-what/)
Although women tend to be more involved in their children’s emotions and routine family activities (16), the UK Commission for Employment and Skills project in their ‘Working Futures 2014-2024’ report that there is a rising number of men who prioritise family life, with an expected increase of 7% for women working full-time and only an increase in 3% for men (17). In the mid-1970s an average father’s involvement in childcare during the week was less than 15 minutes per day, in the late 1990s this rose to 3 hours and by 2005 a third of parental childcare was undertaken by fathers (18). This evidently displays the growing trajectory of fathers seeing the importance of involvement in family life, and children appreciate it, with a survey suggesting that ’27% of families think of dad as the playtime favourite, with mothers second at 24% and siblings third at 21%’ (19). Furthermore, ‘amongst professional occupations (SOC 2) a substantial increase in part-time working is also projected’, which is a faster growth than in non-professional occupations, which is believed to be related to more women entering into this occupational group and a rise in people opting to use flexible working patterns (20). Therefore, as flexible working is growing and projected to grow further, businesses ought to become more encouraging of it, allowing the increasing number of men wishing to be more involved in family life as well as their career to do both, and not consider leaving employment all together for better competition.
Leading work-life balance organisation, Working Families, recently released their ‘Modern Families Index 2017’ report, which details the experiences of 2750 working parents across the UK last year, collating 250 responses from each of the 11 regions covered in the study. The Index is useful as employers can utilise this information to create a better working environment in their own businesses, by understanding the frustrations of others employees. With the reality that ’53% of millennial fathers seek a less stressful job and 48% would take a pay cut in order to get a better work-life balance’ (21) now is the time to seriously consider encouraging male employees to work flexibly. Many men feel unsupported in the workplace regarding childcare, with one-fifth in the study saying that their employers were unsympathetic and expected no disruption to work due to their parental duties. Furthermore, ‘44% had lied to their employer about family-related responsibilities that “get in the way” of work’ and over 50% of parents were adamant in their response that a flexible and family-friendly employer would make them happier, more productive and more motivated’ (22). Therefore changing the way we approach men who seek to work flexibly will not only likely increase businesses chances of recruiting and keeping good talent, but also aides to creating a better working environment where individuals don’t feel the stress of having to repeatedly lie to their employer.
On the same line, a noted difficulty for parents, and in particular men, with asking for flexible working is the pressure of not wanting to display a lack of commitment to their workplace and career. This has long been a concern for women, however there has been progress, with many women using flexible working such as job shares or an increase in part-time work. Since removing the barrier on who can apply for flexible working in 2014, 36% of employed women (with children under the age of six) applied to work flexibly, 80% of which was accepted to some degree (23). There is sometimes a presumption that women may wish to enter into flexible working once returned from maternity leave, but its rarely the case for men who have families. Arguably, ’the presumption of flexibility at work – in which early starts or late finishes, compressed hours or shorter weeks were the norm for men and women – would also make a dramatic difference’. Qualitative studies showing that working fathers feel ‘marginalised from access to flexible working opportunities, due to their managers’ assumption that they are the breadwinners’ (24), displays why a change in attitude is required, that encourages men to work flexibly, rather than disregarding it as purely feminine or motherly. Thus feeling the social acceptance to flexible working for men may encourage them to do so, giving a better work life balance, which may enable more motivated and successful employees, thus displaying a better commitment to their career, and your business, rather than less (25).
This is not to say that all fathers want to have flexible working patterns, just as not all mothers would request it, either. However promoting flexible working for men as well as women, where the job role can be done in a more flexible way, highlights options open to your employees to choose, displaying a modern culture of equality. It sends the message that you understand the difficulties of managing commitments and responsibilities that we all have outside of work, and are flexible to that. In doing so, you will find a happier more motivated team, that work better and make your business an even more reputable place to work.
Employment Rights Act 1996, Part 8A
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/513801/Working_Futures_final_evidence_report.pdf p. 8
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Roman_Pabayo/publication/41467611_Flexible_Working_Conditions_and_Their_Effects_on_Employee_Health_and_Wellbeing/links/551b872c0cf251c35b509c93.pdf p. 32
http://ageactionalliance.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/How-small-firms-are-doing-it..pdf p. 7
http://ageactionalliance.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/How-small-firms-are-doing-it..pdf p. 7
Flexible working for lawyers: who’s doing what?
http://www.modernfatherhood.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Fathers-involvement-with-children1.pdf p .1
Fathers Network Scotland, Dad Matters, 2014
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/513801/Working_Futures_final_evidence_report.pdf p. 68
https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Modern-Families-Index_Full-Report.pdf p. 2 and 8
The Institute for Public Policy Research, Women and Flexible Working, 2014
https://www.workingfamilies.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Modern-Families-Index_Full-Report.pdf p. 8
30 Jun 2018
Legal Services 18 – The Year of the Underdog
Early bird tickets still available – Click here to buy your ticket
Legal Services is back for the fourth year in a row.
This years theme – The year of the underdog.
We will be looking at the most unexpected successes that have happened in the legal sector of recent times, which could have very easily not been successful.
We will be looking at why and how these success stories occurred and whether we are likely to see more underdogs breaking free of the traditional law firm structure to do things their own way – especially with work life balance and the glass ceiling on everybody’s lips.
We will be invited legal underdogs to come tell their story and share with us the most valuable lessons they learnt when building their businesses in a saturated and competitive market place.
So make sure you save the date in your diaries… November 14th 2017, 13:00 – 17:45 followed by drinks and further networking. Barclays in Spinningfields will be our hosts this year.
Remember… It’s not the size of the dog in the fight – It’s the size of the fight in the dog.
5 Sep 2017
Legal Services 18 – First 3 speakers announced
This year the theme of the conference is the ‘year of the underdog.’
We want to celebrate those who have succeeded against the odds as well as discuss why we need to encourage underdogs to rise through the ranks within our own businesses.
We want to show that it is not just the large and powerful who succeed.
We will be looking at and learning from businesses and people who are going against the flow, and learning how and why they have triumphed against the odds.
We will examine innovation in the legal world and how you can encourage innovation within your own firm.
With ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ being a key issue we will consider how to retain and inspire your female and diverse talent.
We will celebrate the mould breakers, and those who challenge the status quo. You need that spirit in your business and we will show you why.
James Brown and Sam Hall from Hall Brown:
Sam and James Sam and James set up Hall Brown 18 months ago after breaking away from a traditional, well established Manchester law firm. They went from working in a basement to £1.3 million turnover in their first 12 months. From just being the two of them, they now have 21 staff members. In addition, they are just about to open another office in London, less than 2 years since founding Hall Brown.
They pride themselves in their unique business model which serves to attract large amounts of high net worth clients and quality employees who are helping to rapidly grow their business.
John Chesworth from Harrison Drury:
John left a national law firm to join Harrison Drury back in 2006 via a management buy-in, becoming it’s Managing Director officially in 2007. Harrison Drury’s roots stretch all the way back to 1901. By 2010, John had opened a new office, promoted a new generation of leaders in the business and restructured into an incorporated business to keep up with the changing legal market. By the end of 2014, John opened two additional offices in the North West. Now, Harrison Drury is one of the regions fastest growing law firms and has gone from 21 staff at the end of 2010 to 91 staff at the end of 2016. Without a doubt, John took the business from a static, old fashioned law firm and has evolved it into an award-winning, dynamic and innovative business, which sits in the prestigious Sunday Times ‘100 best small companies to work for’ at number 37.
Sarah Goulbourne from gunnercooke:
Sarah set up gunnercooke with two others back in 2010 with the view of doing things totally outside of the traditional model. Flexibility, transparency and freedom is the gunnercooke way of life, quoting the website “No-one ever took a law degree so they could go and fill out timesheets.” In fact Sarah describes herself not as a lawyer, but as an entrepreneur, whilst others describe her as “years ahead of her time and afraid of no challenge.” gunnercooke is certainly a reflection of Sarah’s sprit, having won numerous awards and housing four other entrepreneurial initiatives: gunnercooke-consulting, Ignition Law, gunner-bloom and Inspire. gunnercooke is now one of the UK’s fastest-growing challenger brands attracting the best senior legal talent through their doors.
More speakers to be released soon…
Julia is Co-Head of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre in Manchester Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Business and Law.
It is unfortunate that women are still considered underdogs in terms of leadership roles, but hopefully, Julia, her research and current business leaders are going to help change this.
Julia and the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender Research Centre in MMU have recently produced a set of tools to support business leaders bring about this change called GROWL (Generating Routes for Women’s Leadership).
This toolkit focuses on 5 areas:
Kuits is a Manchester commercial firm with one of the best reputations in the market, not only within its client base of SMEs and high-net-worth individuals, but as an employer.
97% of their clients would recommend them to others, while their staff retention rate is one of the best in the regional legal sector. Kuits has been established for over 100 years and during that time has seen many of its peers rise, fall, or – more recently – be absorbed by the nationals.
Armed with a clear vision of its future and a strong sense of its identity, Kuits has played on key strengths – such as its unique culture – to adapt to changing times and ride out the storms. Executive Partner Robert Levy has worked for Kuits for 33 years and, together with Managing Partner Steve Eccleston, is responsible for the strategic management and development of the firm. Through this distinct dual-management structure, Kuits has grown to be an outlier in the North West legal market for client and employee attraction and retention, innovation, and expertise, while remaining true to its Manchester roots.
Sarah set up gunnercooke with two others back in 2010 with the view of doing things totally outside of the traditional model.
Flexibility, transparency and freedom is the gunnercooke way of life, quoting the website “No-one ever took a law degree so they could go and fill out timesheets.”
In fact Sarah describes herself not as a lawyer, but as an entrepreneur, whilst others describe her as “years ahead of her time and afraid of no challenge.”
gunnercooke is certainly a reflection of Sarah’s spirit, having won numerous awards and housing four other entrepreneurial initiatives: gunnercooke-consulting, Ignition Law, gunner-bloom and Inspire.
gunnercooke is now one of the UK’s fastest-growing challenger brands attracting the best senior legal talent through their doors.
John left a national law firm to join Harrison Drury back in 2006 via a management buy-in, becoming it’s Managing Director officially in 2007.
Harrison Drury’s roots stretch all the way back to 1901. By 2010, John had opened a new office, promoted a new generation of leaders in the business and restructured into an incorporated business to keep up with the changing legal market.
By the end of 2014, John opened two additional offices in the North West. Now, Harrison Drury is one of the regions fastest growing law firms and has gone from 21 staff at the end of 2010 to 91 staff at the end of 2016.
Without a doubt, John took the business from a static, old fashioned law firm and has evolved it into an award-winning, dynamic and innovative business, which sits in the prestigious Sunday Times ‘100 best small companies to work for’ at number 37.
JAMES BROWN & SAM HALL
Sam and James set up Hall Brown 18 months ago after breaking away from a traditional, well established Manchester law firm.
They went from working in a basement to £1.3 million turnover in their first 12 months. From just being the two of them, they now have 21 staff members.
In addition, they are just about to open another office in London, less than 2 years since founding Hall Brown.
They pride themselves in their unique business model which serves to attract large amounts of high net worth clients and quality employees who are helping to rapidly grow their business.
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“Jepson Holt provide excellent background and information to the firm along with keeping me in the loop at each stage.”
“If you’re a candidate looking for a new position – they are the firm to help.”
“Jepson Holt were excellent to work with as a candidate throughout the recruitment process.”
DIRECTOR – HUMAN RESOURCES
INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRM
“We have worked successfully with Jepson Holt across both our North West and Midlands offices.”
“Phil understands our business, is thoughtful, straightforward and works hard to achieve success with each assignment.”
“It is a relationship we value and plan to continue.”
“Jepson Holt are excellent…”
“I … used them to recruit some really good people, who 15 years later are still with us.”
“I have always found Jepson Holt trustworthy. In the world of recruitment, that’s a pretty high recommendation and the main reason I will continue to use their services.”
Mark is a Director of Jepson Holt. Before joining us he spent 10 years in London establishing, growing and leading a specialist legal executive search and recruitment consultancy.
Mark leads on executive search assignments to help firms develop their businesses and works with senior lawyers who want to build their careers. He is an expert on team moves and on mergers and acquisitions for legal businesses.
Before embarking on his career in recruitment Mark spent 17 years as a lawyer and during that time he led teams and departments inside law firms.
Outside Work: Mark enjoys spending time with his family and the bracing air of the yorkshire moors.
Favourite quote: “This is not going to go the way you think.” Luke Skywalker
Superpower: I buy a round at least once a year.
T: 0161 507 0093
EXECUTIVE RESEARCH CONSULTANT
Matt is a research professional who is a key member of our in-house research capability.
As well as identifying potential candidates for our retained search projects Matt leads Empirical Research which is our standalone market research business.
T: 0161 507 0095
Bethan runs the business alongside Phil and is responsible for our marketing and social media strategy and implementation. She also looks after finance, hiring and training new staff members and monitoring employee performance.
Bethan is a serial networker and enjoys getting to know like-minded professionals and entrepreneurs.
She is the founder and leader of High Flying Women.
Bethan worked for us while she completed her bachelors degree and then her MSc in Environment and Development and then joined us full time in 2015. She is a passionate advocate for the environment and for gender equality.
Outside Work: She loves to travel and frequently visits the gym – but in reality she spends most of her evenings at events or meeting up with members of her network!
Outside work: She loves to travel and frequently visits the gym – but in reality she spends most of her evenings at events or meeting up with members of her network!
Favourite quote: “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe
Superpower: Stopping Phil from starting new businesses
T: 0870 143 2840
Phil is the Chairman and co founded Jepson Holt in 2004.
He helps law firms grow their businesses and helps lawyers develop their careers.
In addition to his role in developing business and delivering projects Phil has become a leading commentator on the legal market and is often invited to speak privately to firms or publicly to legal groups about change and development in the Legal Services market.
He qualified as a Solicitor in 1989 at a top 50 law firm. He became a Partner in 1992 and an equity partner in 1994. He spent 15 years working in law firms and has experience at 4 firms, 3 of them in the Top 50. He practised in the North West, the Midlands and Yorkshire and led teams, multi sited business groups and an office. Before setting up Jepson Holt in September 2004, Phil worked as a Director at an established legal executive search consultancy.
Phil completed an MBA (Distinction) at Manchester Business School in autumn 2007.
He has a long standing interest in behaviour and objective profiling tools and has recently become an accredited profiler in Parallax Behavioural Profiling.
Outside work: Road cyclist and confirmed EMIL.
Favourite quote: “The greatest teacher, failure is.” Yoda
Superpower: I enjoy working with millennials
T: 0161 507 0091
Follow On Twitter @PhilipJepson
WORKING WITH JEPSON HOLT
An interview with a lawyer we placed recently …
What was your situation when you first came into contact with Jepson Holt?
I was a principal solicitor with City Council, managing contracts and property teams, and contributing to the review of legal services. I was looking for an opportunity in the private sector within a firm that specialises in public sector work.
Why did you want to move from the public sector back into the private sector?
Senior opportunities within public sector legal services are increasingly few and far between. Many of the opportunities for complex and innovative work are being advised on by the private sector.
What challenges were associated with embarking on a move from public to private sector?
I think increasingly, due in large part to the extreme financial pressure on the public sector there is an increasing and necessary focus on commerciality. Because my background is a mix of good private
sector and senior public sector positions, I had a good
An interview with a lawyer we placed recently …
What was your situation when you first came into contact with Jepson Holt?