Leading corporate law firm Shulmans LLP has reported, for the sixth year in a row, double digit growth, taking the business above £12m turnover – a 15 per cent increase.
Fee income is up 14.5 per cent on last year, bucking by some margin the trend as reported in the recent NatWest Legal Benchmarking Report http://bit.ly/21VYjAN of 6% nationally, and 4% in the north east and north west. Profits* are up 18% on last year, against NatWest’s reported national average of 3.7%. This continued upwards trajectory is, according to managing partner Tim Halstead, a result of the firm’s focus on excellence.
We set out six years ago to develop the business by concentrating on equipping and encouraging our colleagues to deliver excellent work. For us, growth is not so much an aim in itself, but a consequence of doing those things well.
In the last 12 months the firm has attracted work from a wealth of new clients, including working with AIM-listed 21st Century Technology plc, bus and coach manufacturers Optare and online betting giant Betfred.
Shulmans has moved up literally too; having occupied the first and second floor of 10 Wellington Place since June 2014, it recently signed up for a lease of two thirds of the third floor. The move was needed after employee numbers increased from 154 to over 180, creating more than 25 new jobs in the past 12 months.
In addition, the firm has three new partners; two internal promotions, Lyn Dario, a specialist regulatory lawyer in the environmental sector, and Helen Hill, a renowned property litigator, together with Emma Roe, a recognised authority on Commercial and IP issues, who joins Shulmans from DWF where she held the same position.
We nurture our people, because we believe that by giving them the kind of environment where they can flourish, underpinned by a blend of freedom and support, they will give our clients the kind of service that cannot be matched elsewhere.
An excellent example of this is Mark Wilkinson, winner of the Rising Star Award at the Yorkshire Legal Awards 2015, who heads the firm’s recovery and insolvency team.
When Mark joined us three years ago, he was set the challenge of building an insolvency practice from scratch. He generated so much work he now has his own team of solicitors. Great work results in growth.
Supporting him, and the other Shulmans partners and lawyers, is Mel Bulmer, head of Operational Excellence, a new role for the firm a year ago but one which has already reaped rewards.
Mel’s appointment was a clear reflection of our determination to provide excellent client service and our drive for continuous improvement.
She has guided us through perfecting systems in areas such as document production, workflows and other essential processes, so that our lawyers have been able to focus on providing the best legal advice.
Our year-on-year strong financial performance and entirely organic growth is a direct result of our very particular culture of offering better services to more clients.