Family solicitors see business grow
Flexible working and modern business approach helps law firm buck economic gloom
An expanding firm of solicitors has seen a 30 per cent growth in the past three months.
Woolley & Co, whose head office is in Stratford uopn Avon and with family law experts working from satellite offices across the Midlands and south, has taken on three new lawyers since the start of September, bringing the total to 14.
And managing partner Andrew Woolley believes it is the firm’s flexibility and use of modern business practices that are helping it go from strength to strength at a time when some firms are struggling.
The company, founded by managing partner Andrew Woolley in 1996 and offering a service tailored around the needs of the client, has been particularly successful in recruiting female lawyers who have often complained in the past of being held back in traditional practices by the fact they have taken time out to bring up a family.
Andrew, who is in demand in the wider business sector as a speaker due to his experience in running an e-business, is one of just three men working for the firm. Among the others is Andrew Robotham, who recently joined Woolley & Co working from a base in south Derbyshire. Also joining the ranks in the last few months was Sue Harwood, who helped the firm expand into Cornwall for the first time.
“We have always looked very much at running the firm like a business rather than just a practice. Too many firms are perhaps lagging behind in modern business methods and this is affecting them,” said Andrew, who is a non-fee-earning solicitor at the firm.
“The firm has been steadily growing from the start but we really are starting to see a boom at the moment and are constantly searching for experienced family lawyers to strengthen the team.
“We do operate differently from most firms and it doesn’t suit everyone. Our lawyers need to be self-starters and are responsible for everything, including billing, marketing and answering front line client enquiries. What this means is that all our clients have direct access to a senior level lawyer.
“We offer flexibility for clients so expect our lawyers to be available out of normal office hours and sometimes at weekends if it is better for the client. In return they work in a flexible, forward-thinking firm which is constantly looking at new ways of working smarter and making the most of the available communications technology.
“We do find that female lawyers in particular are suited to our style of working, though this was not a deliberate strategy. We offer a flexibility which many find enables them to juggle the needs of a family and work demands. Research has shown previously that mums returning to work think working in law is the least compatible career. We perhaps are changing that thinking by adopting a fresh approach.
“In the current climate particularly, being able to offer a different way of working tailored to modern life suits both our clients and our lawyers. And by working closely with like-minded, complementary service providers, like IFAs, pensions experts and divorce counsellors, we give added value by being able to recommended specialists in whatever discipline a client needs.”
Award-winning Woolley & Co, which recently published the second edition of its popular handbook A Guide to Surviving Family Conflict and Divorce, has won praise for its transparent pricing and fixed fee services which can be bought directly from the website www.family-lawfirm.co.uk.