Hilary Homfray joins Anthony Collins Solicitors after working for Birmingham City Council for 14 years. With more than 60,000 properties, she was kept busy!
What’s more, last year the firm’s net profit soared from £2.4m to £3.7m.
And making the most of these profits, the firm has invested in hiring no less than 17 staff in the past nine months, bringing its headcount to 138 fee-earners. It has also made two important additions to its internal management team in the form of Paul Harker as the firm’s new head of IT last July and Rob Adams, the firm’s first head of risk and compliance, in January.
While things have not always been rosy at the firm - 16 members of staff had to be let go in 2010 - senior partner Romaine Thompson maintains that a confident approach has been vital in the ups and downs of recent years.
“We’ve stuck at what we think is the right thing to do and the key has been not to lose our nerve and follow the market, but to keep looking to find solutions to needs rather than sell something that is not needed,” she stresses.
The firm’s niche expertise in areas such as social housing, health and social care, local government, education and faith communities has also helped it to stand out and it was this rather unusual mix of skill sets that secured the firm’s recent mandate acting for Staffordshire County Council as it embarked on a £230m landmark NHS project - the largest integration of council and NHS services in England to date.
While Thompson insists there is no “magic formula” that has driven the firm’s success in the past 14 years, incremental changes such as the firm’s new IT strategy that will come into force later this year have helped make it a desirable working environment and consolidate its reputation.
A number of the recent hires have been lawyers returning to the firm, something Thompson finds deeply encouraging.
“People move for all kinds of reasons and it’s been such a positive thing to see people choosing to return to the firm - it must mean we’re doing something right,” she says.
Extract from an article that appeared in The Lawyer on 18 February 2013. A copy of the full article can be found on their website - click here to view.
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