I am Head of Regulation and Financial Crime at Short Richardson & Forth LLP. We are a long-standing commercial practice in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. We have a strong reputation for employment law, commercial litigation, commercial property, debt recovery, regulatory law and financial crime. We pride ourselves on excellent client service.
What key challenges has your company recently faced?
Like everyone else, we have had to work hard to ride out this prolonged recession. We have developed clear, structured marketing strategies, which have proven successful. This has included the creation of a new website, which has been very successful in attracting new clients to the firm. We tend to find that once a new client comes to us, they will usually stay.
What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?
Personally, I have had some excellent results in the criminal courts, defending corporate clients subject to confiscation proceedings by the prosecuting authorities. As a firm, we have really focused on client satisfaction and care, which has helped us receive a top accolade from the law society under their Lexcel Accreditation Scheme.
What is your biggest focus for the coming year?
We are really looking to grow, but also want to protect our independence. We are proud to have an excellent team of lawyers on board already, but are hopeful of taking on new talented solicitors to build on what we already have.
If you had to choose one top piece of advice for someone just starting out in business, or is currently operating within your industry sector, what would it be?
Enjoy it! Legal practice brings a lot of pressure, so you must be happy both in what you do and those you do it with. Otherwise, it would be a very tough existence and long days.
Can you share with us your view of the current landscape of business, in this region or generally and where your organisation sits within it?
The legal market in Newcastle is actually quite small. We are all under threat from a relaxation in the rules, which now allows other businesses to set up their own law firms. It has often been referred to as “Tesco’s law”. There has also been a move from larger firms outside of the region to set up offices in the North East. The market is therefore becoming tougher. We are one of the longest standing firms in Newcastle with an excellent reputation for achieving fantastic results and providing great client care. We are confident therefore that in moving forward we can secure our position in this changing market and indeed turn it to our advantage.