Leamington Spa-based solicitors Wright Hassall is a nationally recognised law firm with a national and international client base. But when it comes to building the business, there is plenty to be getting on with here in Coventry and Warwickshire, says Managing Partner Sarah Perry.
With projects such as the £80m National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility or the £100m Coventry regeneration plan taking shape in the county, there are big opportunities for a practice that has grown by 48% over five years and won The Lawyer’s Regional Law Firm of the Year award in 2017.
Plus, it’s a place Perry and her team are passionate about. “We’re more than happy with our location and have no aspirations to be in central Birmingham,” she says. “We believe this location is far more attractive to our clients than being based in the city.”
At Wright Hassall, success is not so much about location as reinvention. In 2014, the firm adopted a simple strategy: putting the customer at the heart of everything it does. This philosophy has yielded double-digit organic growth for the firm in the intervening period, Perry says.
But the business is not resting on its laurels. The management has come up with a new strategy for 2020, but the team didn’t do it alone: the whole business was involved, making the plan a bottom-up rather than top-down one. It will mean changes for the firm but the process of evolution should be easier when everyone has helped shape the direction of travel. And as part of the process, Wright Hassall has reinforced its commitment to four core values: being flexible, ambitious, inclusive and respectful.
These values appear to work well for recruitment. Wright Hassall has no problem finding human talent, says Perry, and staff retention is good despite the lure of Birmingham-based firms and businesses. The human factor extends beyond Wright Hassall’s door and into the wider business community.
The firm is a relatively big local employer, with more than 310 staff, and has set up a charitable trust to benefit charities in the region. Wright Hassall’s chairman, Nick Abell, also chairs the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
This close connection is reason enough to focus on Coventry and Warwickshire from a business point of view. And current commercial opportunities only make the case even more compelling. There were more than 4,500 companies formed in the region last year, Perry notes.
If any of them need the services of a worldclass law firm, she wants to make sure they don’t have far to go.