Article first published at The Business Desk North West (19 November 2018).

Jonathan Cox is the head of Anthony Collins Solicitors’ new Manchester office, leading on recruitment and expansion in the North West.

Social purpose is in the DNA of Anthony Collins Solicitors. From the firm’s founding in 1973, to opening its new office in Manchester this year, our team has committed to improving lives, communities and society.

It is rare for a legal practice to remain focused on instilling change. Many choose to compete on price and prestige, pursuing profits and forgetting the true impact this profession has on others.

While creating a new base in Manchester will better connect us to existing clients in the North West, this move represents more than improved logistics. We want to use this as a critical platform in forging new partnerships, expanding our team of talented lawyers and ultimately, contributing to the firm’s social purpose mission.

How does this core business value manifest in real life, though?

Anthony Collins Solicitors has built a strong national reputation with our social housing practice, whilst the firm’s local government and charities practices were quick to follow in representing clients on the national stage. Closer to our new home, our work in the North West, and Manchester, has already proved crucial in improving the situation of local people.

The firm’s legal work with regional partners in setting up the Greater Manchester Social Impact Bond – a £1.8 million fund to counter homelessness in the city – has provided accommodation, mental health advice and employment training for those less fortunate.

In line with the intentions of Mayor Andy Burnham, the successful launch of the Social Impact Bond shifted the spotlight on what can be achieved through public, private and third sector partnerships. In many cases, being the difference between having a bed to sleep in and the prospect of another night in the cold.

The recent announcement of the firm’s contract with Co-operatives UK reflects our approach to working with local clients – Co-operatives UK is headquartered in Manchester – that have national reach. This role will see our team provide a legal surgery service to co-operative member businesses, contributing towards the success of a sector that now employs 235,000 people.

After being appointed to other North West clients such as One Manchester, one of the city’s largest housing and community services providers, and both Chester Diocese and Blackburn & Darwen Diocese, the firm has been presented with an opportunity to work with organisations whose aim is improving the quality of life across the region.

It is the wider implications of the work achieved at Anthony Collins Solicitors that separate it from other firms. Together, we apply legal skills to support clients that share the similar goal of social progress; across numerous sectors we stand united with those we represent.

I am privileged to lead this office in Manchester and look forward to playing a role in introducing prospective clients and employees to a firm whose values I believe so strongly in.

Anthony Collins Solicitors has changed the lives of many, but the mission for progress continues. As we build the firm’s presence in the North West and increase our national profile, we need help from lawyers who share our ambition for social purpose.

Find out more about Anthony Collins Solicitors’ Manchester office and current roles being recruited here.