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Browne Jacobson LLP Annual Review 2014/15

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our year...
2014/15
Committed to the
Plain English Campaign
Our year 2014/15 | Contents page | 3
Contents
Our year in brief 4
A position of strength
Our key financials
Sector focus
Q...
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Browne Jacobson LLP Annual Review 2014/15

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“We have had one of our strongest years ever, comfortably exceeding the targets we set ourselves. There have been many highlights during the year but unveiling our new London office, investment in Birmingham and receiving the Law Society award for ‘excellence in client service’ following our 3-star Investor in Customers rating particularly stand out. Our commitment to invest across all our offices means we are in a very strong position to continue to drive the business forward.” - Iain Blatherwick, Managing Partner

“We have had one of our strongest years ever, comfortably exceeding the targets we set ourselves. There have been many highlights during the year but unveiling our new London office, investment in Birmingham and receiving the Law Society award for ‘excellence in client service’ following our 3-star Investor in Customers rating particularly stand out. Our commitment to invest across all our offices means we are in a very strong position to continue to drive the business forward.” - Iain Blatherwick, Managing Partner

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Browne Jacobson LLP Annual Review 2014/15

  1. 1. our year... 2014/15
  2. 2. Committed to the Plain English Campaign
  3. 3. Our year 2014/15 | Contents page | 3 Contents Our year in brief 4 A position of strength Our key financials Sector focus Quality in our people Caring about our communities Re-defining client service 6 10 12 24 26 30
  4. 4. 2014/15 was a fantastic year for us – one in which we made some key decisions and completed some major investments. The end of the financial year saw us announcing record turnover of £58.9m. This equated to 17% year-on- year growth - a remarkable achievement and one that exceeded the targets we set ourselves 12 months earlier. This growth was organic, with all of our sectors and offices contributing to our performance, representing a resounding ‘tick in the box’ for our strategy. This success has its foundation in three core values – investing in our people, building strategically important relationships with clients that allow us to understand their businesses and help us to design and deliver the services they both want and need and, above all, delivering exceptional client service (ECS). If there is one word that defines all these it is quality, and we embody this in the quality of our people, our work and our client service. Our drive for continued quality is best illustrated by the opening of our new iconic London office at 6 Bevis Marks. Located in the heart of the city, it provides us with the ideal space to continue to deliver exceptional client service, as well as offering considerable capacity for our ambitious growth plans for both London and our wider office network. Our opening party, held across our 15th floor client suite and roof terrace, saw us launch our ‘view from the top’ thought leadership series, which we will be developing with our clients in the coming months. At the same time we completed a major refurbishment of our Birmingham office, which will promote our flexible ways of working for the benefit of our clients and our people. This upgrade also gives us additional capacity to grow in the Midlands. Our year in brief Our year 20414/15 | Our year in brief page | 4 Welcome to our second annual review which provides an update on our achievements over the last year and looks forward to what the future holds for the firm. we embody quality in our people, our work and our client service
  5. 5. page | 5Our year 2014/15 | Our year in brief... We continued to invest in our people and, as a result, our team grew by 8%, with all offices seeing additional headcount to support their increase in turnover and some key recruits being brought into our sector teams. Our inclusion in this year’s Guardian UK 300 as one of the country’s leading graduate employers is testament to our appeal as an employer of choice for those wishing to enter the legal profession after leaving university, and our apprenticeship scheme continues to go from strength to strength, providing an alternative route into the law. Whilst it has been an exceptional year for so many reasons, we will also remember it for the sad loss of a dear colleague and friend, Iain Patterson. Iain, an employment partner in our Birmingham and Manchester office and head of the employment health team nationally, passed away suddenly at home. He epitomised the qualities we all aspire to at Browne Jacobson including his ability to deliver the highest level of service to his clients. We felt it was a fitting tribute to dedicate our annual exceptional client service award to his memory. Iain Blatherwick Managing Partner + 44 (0)115 976 6183 iain.blatherwick@brownejacobson.com “We have had one of our strongest years ever, comfortably exceeding the targets we set ourselves. There have been many highlights during the year but unveiling our new London office, investment in Birmingham and receiving the Law Society award for ‘excellence in client service’ following our 3-star Investor in Customers rating particularly stand out. Our commitment to invest across all our offices means we are in a very strong position to continue to drive the business forward.” Our refurbished Birmingham office
  6. 6. page | 6Our year 2014/15 | A position of strength A position of strength After six years at Gracechurch Street, we moved our London office to 6 Bevis Marks in January 2015. The move goes to the very heart of our strategy, designed to benefit our clients and our people. Investing in this iconic building has given us the space to grow and deliver on our ambition for the future. This is reflected in the key recruitments we have made recently in London – bringing in Anthony Nagle, Alex Watt and Stephen Matthew to our partner team in the past 12- 24 months and relocating Tim Claremont from our Nottingham office. These appointments are to drive our technology, brands, construction, international and public sector practices for clients such as the trustees of Bernard Madoff, a number of the world’s leading luxury retailers and renowned brand names and central and local government organisations. Our new, state-of-the-art office provides us with a dedicated client suite on our penthouse floor – including a business centre for clients to use. The new location and enhanced working environment will undoubtedly help us to continue to attract and retain the very best talent to work with us as we continue to grow. In 2014, our Birmingham office underwent a major refurbishment, allowing us to accommodate further growth across all of our sector specialisms. Our new-look offices and client suite have been designed to benefit our clients and our people by improving our flexible working approach. This is being achieved through dedicated hot desks and private working pods and increasing the number of available desks is enabling our local team, and those visiting from our other offices, to deliver a joined up service for our clients. Our client suite facilities have been upgraded and these will be further enhanced in 2015 with the introduction of interactive technology, such as Mondo Boards to enable information sharing in meetings and improved video conferencing facilities. Following record results in 2013/14, we were in a strong position at the start of 2014/15 to make the investments we needed to – in terms of property, people and other infrastructure projects. The firm’s reputation speaks for itself and the calibre of its clients and the work it advises on means it’s an exciting time to have joined the team in Exeter and to be a part of the wider Browne Jacobson family.” Lynne Rathbone, Partner, Browne Jacobson Stephen Matthew Lynne Rathbone Anthony Nagle
  7. 7. page | 7Our year 2014/15 | A position of strength Our Exeter and Manchester offices also saw growth – in terms of turnover and people numbers – in the year. In Exeter, we have added three new partners in the last 12-18 months in Nigel Lyons, Lynne Rathbone and Dale Collins, along with a split role for Mark Barnett from our health team across Exeter and Birmingham. The office now provides a broader range of services than when we undertook our merger in 2012 – having added education, public sector commercial and regulatory work and healthcare advice to the existing personal injury team – leading to us securing some high profile new clients in the South West. We continue to go from strength to strength in Manchester. Originally set up to cover work for our education team, it is now a key area of growth for our health practice – and our team will be further strengthened by continued recruitment during 2015. We have also brought in a new employment partner, Kerren Daly, to work with our education, health and mid-market teams in the region. Our growth in Manchester is set to continue apace and, in the latter half of the 2015 calendar year, we will start the search for new office space as we expect to outgrow our serviced office accommodation by the summer of 2016. We also appointed a new finance director and promoted four of our team to ‘heads of’ roles within our professional team, including heads of business development, marketing, human resources and our project management office (PMO). These promotions, alongside our existing heads of finance, risk compliance, information technology and business operations, have strengthened our Operations Board, ensuring we are making and embedding the decisions needed to continue to grow our business. Our 2015 Elderly Care Conference, held in Manchester
  8. 8. Our year 2014/15 | A position of strength page | 8 In 2015, to coincide with the official launch of our London office at 6 Bevis Marks, we officially launched ‘view from the top’ – a thought leadership driven series of campaigns focusing on the issues most likely to be at the heart of the sectors we specialise in. By engaging with senior decision makers and combining our specialist legal knowledge with the experience and know-how of key individuals within each sector we will deliver original ideas, unique points of view and new insights. With John Pienaar, senior political correspondent for the BBC, attending our launch event to focus on the political landscape post-election, our ambition to provide unique and valuable insight to our clients got off to a great start. John Pienaar delivering his address at our London opening event
  9. 9. Our year 2014/15 | A position of strength “All of the investments we make are to enable us to deliver exceptional client service at a cost that reflects what our clients value from their law firm. This, when combined with our strong values and service ethos, makes us a firm that people really want to do business with.” Sarah Walker-Smith Chief Operating Officer +44 (0)115 976 6500 sarah.walker-smith@brownejacobson.com Over the coming year, our focus will also be on making sure our systems can help us to drive efficiency across all areas of the business and build capacity as we continue to grow. We will, above all, retain our focus on delivering innovative and affordable solutions for our clients whilst maintaining our ECS levels. There is no denying that technology is critical if we want to deliver our vision of a forward thinking and efficient business. Excellent progress is being made on implementing a new practice management system, which we expect will be in place by the end of the financial year. The new system, along with a host of other process improvements, will ensure we deliver the transparency and value that our clients demand through integrated, yet individual dashboard reporting, which focuses on relevant KPI’s and management information. Behind the scenes we are also piloting a new flexible working initiative to meet the changing needs of our clients and people, as well as helping to make the best use of the space we have available. All of these projects are being run by our newly-formed PMO which will be key to helping us deliver and embed the changes we need to make. Our website is our shop window and we have been working hard to ensure it delivers the information both our existing and prospective clients and employees want and expect. This includes a new hosting platform to draw all of our website and video training content together, making it easier to access and search as it is focussed on the client experience. We will also be launching new web portals with tailored content for the technology sector, public sector and our in-house lawyer forum. Enhancing the client offer People strategy New ways of working Driving efficiency delivering our strategy... page | 9
  10. 10. Our key financials 2014/15 proved to be an exceptional year with revenue reaching £58.9m, representing 17.2% growth on the prior year and bringing our growth over the last five years to £23.7m (67.3%). This was driven by an aggregation of marginal gains, including an increase in productivity across our legal teams in terms of hours, higher workflows from many of our largest clients and a focus on improving efficiency. This enabled us to reduce our write-offs in the year and highlights the ever improving quality of the work we are undertaking. Lock up, our investment in WIP and debt, has improved by 10 days and this is reflected in our cash position at the end of the year. We were also able to reduce gross debt by £0.7m, despite funding many of our projects and investments out of cashflow. Lock up remains an area where we can make further improvements and we will continue to focus on this as part of our working capital project in 2015/16. Profit for the year was £15.9m - which was up almost 23.3% on the prior year; this is a tremendous result, especially considering the level of investment made during the year, and it generated a performance award for our people which equated to 5.5% of salary. There are also numerous planned projects in 2015/16 which require continued, significant levels of investment including the implementation of our new PMS, which is scheduled for a phased roll out in the year. Our year 2014/15 | Our key financials page | 10 Kit Doleman Finance Director +44 (0)115 948 5621 kit.doleman@brownejacobson.com “As the firm continues to grow, it is important for us to maintain strong financial management and control. The introduction of our new Practice Management System (PMS) will provide us with a platform to support the more detailed management reporting needs of our diverse and expanding business.”
  11. 11. Our year 2014/15 | Our key financials page | 11 ......................................................................................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................................................................... at a glance ................................................. ................................................. ................................................. Direct costs £0.4m below forecast 17.2% growth Profit £15.9m +23.3% Revenue = £58.9m ................................................ ......................................................................................................................................................................................... ................................................. lock up days 130 overhead efficiency 32.7% total debt £5m net debt £1.8m
  12. 12. Sector focus Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus page | 12 We have established a genuine reputation as experts in our chosen sectors. This proved to be a resilient business model during the recession and is now providing us with an excellent foundation and platform for the next stage of our growth. Clients value this expertise, which brings a quality of advice and service to their business, and we have attracted and secured strategic recruits as a result of this focus. Dedicated BD professionals work directly with our sector heads on their business and BD plans which drive activity based on our clients’ requirements. technology retail brands mid-market international in-house lawyers education public sector commercial insurance local authority insurance health financial services independent health
  13. 13. Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus page | 13 We have established a genuine reputation as expertsa genuine reputation as experts Drinks reception at our Exeter office
  14. 14. page | 14Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus The practice is becoming increasingly known for advising on large scale, business critical IT projects, international patent litigation cases and complex data protection and privacy issues. Major IT projects have included advising on strategic IT services contracts for the National Trust, the DPD Group and the Crown Prosecution Service amongst others. We continue to attract some of the world’s leading brands to our patent litigation practice. This year we have been to the Court of Appeal, acting for the largest manufacturer of speciality metal cutting products, Kennametal Inc. We also continue to act for OSI Systems Inc and its UK subsidiary, Rapiscan Systems Limited, on a significant patent infringement dispute. Other new clients include Malvern Instruments, Biozone Inc, Exhaust Catalyst Technologies and JDA Software Group. We are advising these clients on a range of matters including global licensing arrangements, initiating patent enforcement proceedings against a UK infringer, complex dispute resolution matters and conducting strategic reviews of global licensing structures. Our focus on delivering ECS, and commitment to client secondments, has enabled us to provide secondees to Experian and the National Trust. Within our data protection practice we have been appointed to the privacy panel of Lloyds Banking Group and continue to work with national and international clients on multi-jurisdictional privacy projects. technology This year we have seen our technology practice grow in terms of the number of clients, people and breadth of work, with particular growth being achieved in London following the recruitment of Anthony Nagle. “Responsive, committed, ambitious and always available to deal with our issues. They also have an impressive and extremely well- connected international network of associate law firms, which has been key when we have had multi-jurisdictional matters.” Chambers UK
  15. 15. page | 15Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus brands We continue to build and invest in our well established brands and IP team - which is now one of the largest in the country - working with clients on their brand strategy, brand portfolios, experiential advertising, brand enforcement and high end regulatory compliance work. This year, the strength of our practice has allowed us to attract international clients such as Claas, American International Industries and Minimum A/S, and we have been appointed to client panels alongside top tier IP law firms. We continue to work with some of the world’s leading brand names including the LVMH group and PZ Cussons, a multinational consumer goods conglomerate, who owns brands such as Carex, Imperial Leather, Original Source, Charles Worthington, Sanctuary Spa and St Tropez. In addition, we advise blue chip clients such as Alliance Boots, Mace and Camelot Group. Under the stewardship of Alex Watt and Bonita Trimmer, our highly acclaimed brands event continues to gather praise from the industry for providing high quality insights into brands, advertising and marketing issues and it is one of the longest running dedicated legal advertising and marketing events in the UK. The latest World Trademark Review 1000 guide has ranked our team as one of the leaders in the country. We were also included in Managing Intellectual Property’s National Trademark ranking for trademark contentious work in 2015, alongside the pre-eminent firms in the sector. Declan Cushley Partner, IP +44 (0)20 7337 1042 declan.cushley@brownejacobson.com “Browne Jacobson has gathered a host of illustrious multinationals under its wing, won over by its city-quality service at regional prices; meanwhile Pangea, its established international network of referral firms, gives it a persuasive presence on the global stage. Their advice is always clear and commercial, and the team’s in-house and industry experience is readily apparent.” World Trademark Review 1000 INTA 2015 conference delegates at our rooftop networking event in San Diego
  16. 16. Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus page | 16 Our webinar programme of MCA/ DoLS case law updates had over 300 delegates participating in the most recent live broadcast. These webinars are a useful free resource for people working within safeguarding and assurance. The recordings are uploaded on to www.bjhealthlawyers.com and have been accessed by over 8,000 unique viewers in the last year. 2014/15 was another exceptional year for our health and social care practice, with revenue rising by over 25% across the board (representing 38% of our overall growth). Within this, our leading claims litigation practice grew by 34% and our mental health practice has seen a ten-fold increase in instructions on mental health and mental capacity over the last two years. We have also seen an eight-fold increase in Court of Protection cases in the last two years, justifying our tier 1 national ranking for our deprivation of liberty expertise in Chambers UK. We continued to act on leading projects in 2014/15, both regionally and nationally for the NHS and independent healthcare providers. The year also saw the team deliver its second successful annual elderly care conference, bringing together senior managers from local authorities and the health economy to hear the latest on new models of care, hospital care of the elderly, criminal and regulatory liabilities and the impact of Cheshire West. We also set up new MCA/DoLS networks in the North West and the South West, which meet quarterly and provide clients and contacts with the opportunity to share best practice and receive updates on key developments. health “Browne Jacobson LLP is ‘exceptional’, ‘efficient’ and ‘good value for money’ for its healthcare service. It handles both contentious and non-contentious work for a large public and private client base, including NHS England and a multitude of CCGs.” Legal 500 Simon Tait Partner, Health +44 (0)115 976 6559 simon.tait@brownejacobson.com
  17. 17. page | 17Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus mid-market Browne Jacobson continues to have a strong focus on the private sector in the Midlands region – maintaining and consolidating our position as market leaders. We work with clients in the retail, manufacturing, financial services, food drink, technology and sports sectors, advising owner managed businesses and high net worth individuals through to FTSE 100 companies. This year we have acted for a range of new clients from development capital providers such as the Business Growth Fund to international major corporates like Meridian Bioscience International. Our two Midlands offices offer real strength in depth for our corporate and private clients and both have been at the centre of the firm’s rapid expansion in recent years. They are an integral part of our national footprint and we continue to attract an impressive and loyal private sector client base. Our commitment to this market is endorsed by our 2015 legal directory rankings; we have maintained our dominant position as the only regional heavyweight in the East Midlands, where we were ranked 1st or joint 1st in 23 practice areas in the region, more than any other law firm. We are also committed to working with our local business communities through a range of memberships and sponsorships. These have included sponsoring the ‘Company of the Year’ award at the Nottingham Post Business Awards and, in the West Midlands, we have taken up an arts sponsorship with the Town Hall/Symphony Hall, the leading concert halls in the region. We are also key sponsors of Birmingham Future, part of BPS Birmingham, which aims to build business leaders of the future. In Exeter, we sponsor the Northcott Theatre and our team in Manchester are active members of Pro Manchester and the local Chamber of Commerce. Mark Aldrich Partner, Property Litigation +44 (0)115 976 6129 mark.aldrich@brownejacobson.com Gavin Cummings Partner, Corporate +44 (0)115 976 6157 gavin.cummings@brownejacobson.com “Widely regarded as one of the leading firms in the region... the firm is strong across the board and is particularly noted for its strength on the corporate side.” Legal 500
  18. 18. page | 18Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus We saw a rapid expansion in this area in 2014/15 with over 21% of our overall growth coming from our work on international fraud, asset recovery and complex cross border litigation matters. We are also working for more clients who require advice to deal with multi-jurisdiction MA transactions, international commercial agreements and contractual law matters. As a result of our work in these areas, we now have a deserved reputation as an alternative to the magic circle and city firms. For example, we act as counsel in the UK, Commonwealth and Europe to the trustees of Bernard Madoff in relation to investors’ funds following the collapse of the $40bn-plus Ponzi fraud scheme. And we have recently been invited to speak at the New York State Bar Association’s International annual meeting in Brazil in October 2015 on international asset tracing. As a founder member, we are integral to the continued development of Pangea Net, a network of member firms around the world who share the same aim of providing the highest levels of client service. The network has provided us with some excellent opportunities, including advising Bruno Iksil, the former J.P Morgan trader. We have also hosted meetings for the Pangea IP group and, in September this year, will be welcoming the corporate group into our London office for a two day conference. We have advised and assisted French inward investment companies for many years now and this service continues to grow and develop, generating additional opportunities in cross-border MA, property and employment work. Led by Dominique Tai, this team has been instrumental in our London office development and has brought in major clients for our retail and brands sectors over the years. Derek Bambury Partner, Professional Negligence +44 (0)20 7337 1006 derek.bambury@brownejacobson.com international Our new London office will act as a springboard for our international practice and we will continue to drive growth in this area of our business through targeted investment and BD activity in the coming year. Declan Cushley Partner, IP +44 (0)20 7337 1042 declan.cushley@brownejacobson.com
  19. 19. page | 19Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus We were delighted to win new clients including Assouline, a luxury international bookseller and publisher, assisting them with their first UK flagship store, The Cash Shop, Castle Rock and Floris Estates. We also advised a premier cash management specialist on a £20m+ contract to service 3,700 ATMs for a large supermarket across the UK. We have seen a substantial increase in the quantity and scope of work – especially for one of the world’s largest conglomerates - many of which are high profile, strategically important transactions. These included advising a high value retailer on the opening of its first European Airport store. Other high profile instructions included advising Donington Park Racing Circuit on arrangements for the construction of global headquarters and team testing facilities of the new electric race car championship, FIA Formula E, as well as on the construction of the new stand at Welford Road for Leicester Tigers Rugby Club. For the second year in a row we hosted the Property Managers Association’s annual legal seminar, attended by over 50 leading retail estates managers and key decision makers. We were also the only UK law firm to be invited to speak at the Shopping Centre Forum in Warsaw on the effect of omni-channel retailing on lease agreements. Caroline Green Partner, Property +44 (0)20 7337 1026 caroline.green@brownejacobson.com Sarah Parkinson Partner, Property +44 (0)115 976 6575 sarah.parkinson@brownejacobson.com “The retail team has ‘extensive and specific knowledge of the retail fashion industry.” Legal 500 retail We have seen many new instructions from our long and successful relationships with our high end luxury and fashion clients and high street retailers such as Alliance Boots, Cash Generator, 99p Stores and Paperchase as well as advising leisure organisations such as Donington Park.
  20. 20. Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus page | 20 Our in-house lawyers group continues to build on their reputation of offering valued support to general counsel and in-house legal teams in both the private and public sector through monthly updates, tailored products and a dedicated forum to exchange thoughts, ideas, and experience with their peers. in-house lawyers Each forum meeting centres on a series of legal updates in areas such as employment, IT, corporate, public, consumer and competition law. Last year, our eight in-house lawyer forums in London, Nottingham, Manchester and Birmingham attracted over 450 in-house counsel, leading to a spate of new instructions. Our extensive product portfolio sits alongside the in-house lawyers forum. These products are tailored to meet the specific needs of our clients, for example, our ‘checker’ product is designed to help in-house lawyers get a fast and practical second opinion when timing is a critical factor. It is the equivalent of going to the desk of a specialist in private practice and seeking a view and, in the last 12 months, around a third of our in-house forum attendees have utilised this product. In 2014/15 we also developed a strategic partnership with BCL Legal, one of the UK’s leading in-house recruitment agencies, to assist us in promoting our forums to their extensive client base. Richard Nicholas Partner, IP IT Law +44 (0)121 237 3992 richard.nicholas@brownejacobson.com
  21. 21. Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus page | 21 Against this backdrop, 2014/15 saw our team achieve their best financial results to date – with revenue of £4.6m, equating to growth of almost 15%. The team have now completed over 700 academy conversions, a market share of 16% of the total to date. The year saw a number of further client wins to add to our already impressive list, including being appointed as one of three approved legal suppliers to Churchmarketplace, a purchasing consortium created by the Catholic Church in England and Wales to support Catholic education establishments with their purchasing and procurement needs. Working in partnership with the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), we unveiled the findings of our second annual school leaders survey in November 2014. This proved an invaluable barometer of opinion from over 400 school leaders nationally on a variety of topical issues, ranging from the coalition government’s education policy and special education needs provision to forthcoming priorities and levels of confidence in the future for their learners and schools. As technology becomes increasingly important in schools, accessing free support quickly and online is a priority for school leaders. This is reflected in the number of visitors to our specialist education portal, which increased by over 35,000 compared to the same period last year. Among the 135 events that the team organised, spoke or exhibited at last year, our HR conference (October) and education law conferences (March) are fast becoming ‘must attend’ events within the sector, giving senior leadership teams the chance to benefit from high quality training and networking. Mark Blois Partner, Education +44 (0)115 976 6087 mark.blois@brownejacobson.com Browne Jacobson manage to blend professionalism, pragmatism and service with a genuine commitment to improving communication and trust that sets them apart. They are people first and lawyers second and that makes them a joy to work with. Hugh Greenway, Managing Director, The Elliot Foundation ” “ education Schools are under increasing budget pressures against a backdrop of rising costs. They need expert legal and HR advice and strategic support; our full service offer means our clients can rely on getting the advice they need, at a cost that provides genuine value for money.
  22. 22. page | 22Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus This has continued throughout 2014/15 with a number of strategic recruits alongside key panel appointments including Cornwall Council, City of Lincoln Council, Marine Management Organisation, the Surrey Framework and Worcestershire County Council, as well as reappointments to the likes of the Homes Communities Agency panel and servicing existing panels such as the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) and the Welsh Government. The team have attended, spoken or exhibited at over 60 seminars, conferences and exhibitions throughout the year, where they have been updating people on areas such as procurement, planning, commercial contracts, criminal law and state aid to name a few. Devolution of greater powers to the regions is likely to be one of the most important issues for local authorities in the near future as they struggle to provide services in a landscape of continuing austerity. With this in mind, we held a roundtable discussion attended by local and central government leaders, policy influencers and stakeholders and chaired by Sir Paul Jenkins, former Treasury Solicitor, where the path to greater regional devolution was discussed. Based on our research, experience and the discussion at our roundtable meeting, a report was produced which outlined the key questions, themes and recommendations which could assist both local and central government in achieving a sustainable settlement for devolution in England. public sector Richard Barlow Partner, Environmental Admin Law +44 (0)115 976 6208 richard.barlow@brownejacobson.com Despite the fiscal reduction measures affecting our clients, our public sector practice grew by over 25% year-on-year. Acting for over 150 local authorities and more than 15 central government bodies, we have built a strong reputation for advising local and central government. We have worked with Browne Jacobson for over a year now and we have found their service and personal attention extraordinary. The quick turnaround and high quality legal advice has always met our expectations. Kuljit Sandhu, Managing Director, RISE Mutual ” “
  23. 23. Our year 2014/15 | Sector focus page | 23 While the move to our new London office signalled the firm’s overall ambition and growth plans, the fact that it is a mere stone’s throw from Lloyds of London means our insurance clients will enjoy ease of access to our teams, enabling us to capitalise on our strong reputation. Our team achieved growth of 6.6% in 2014/15 in an ever-tightening market due to the pressures on costs brought about by legislative changes. This continued the upward trend of recent years and was achieved organically, reflecting the strength of our client relationships and our continued tier 1 ranking in Legal 500 for professional negligence and personal injury. We are seen as the ‘go to’ firm for abuse claims; regarded as leaders in new, emerging issues and highly rated by our clients for policy coverage, drafting wordings, catastrophic injury and regulatory claims. Our expertise runs far deeper than specialist claims defence and policy coverage. In the last year we have delivered a range of bespoke services to add real value to our clients. These include advising on the impact of the FCA’s thematic review into insurers’ delegation of authority; providing an outsourced policy wordings solution for underwriters; advising clients on their contractual terms with third parties; and supporting the president of the Chartered Insurance Institute in discussions with the Law Commissioner on the insurance law reforms. insurance Derek Bambury Partner, Professional Negligence +44 (0)20 7337 1006 derek.bambury@brownejacobson.com We have further developed our online insurance law portal – www.bjinsurancelaw.com, regularly updating it with key developments, including a dedicated area for the Insurance Act 2015. We also hold several external positions on committees and bodies; in November 2014, Nick Parsons took up his role as President of FOIL and we have representatives on various FOIL committees including their local authority, DO and clinical negligence groups.
  24. 24. Re-defining client service Our year 2014/15 | Re-defining client service page | 24 Achieving a 3-star exceptional rating for our client service from Investor in Customers in May 2014 was a significant milestone for our ECS programme and this was quickly followed by the Law Society’s ‘Excellence in Client Service’ award in October 2014. Building on the success of an idea which was started by our business and professional risk teams in relation to ECS, we introduced our monthly reward scheme in August 2014 and we had 93 submissions across the nine months to April 2015. The monthly winners, across legal and professional support categories, are selected by our ECS champions team and receive £250 of vouchers of their choice. A shortlist of three was drawn up in each category and a firmwide vote selected Joshua Gregory, Martin Tighe and Andy Williams as our annual ECS award winners for their outstanding contributions to making our external and internal clients’ lives easier. Our ‘little book of wow’ was compiled from these monthly ECS submissions and also from unsolicited feedback from clients who regularly contact us to express their gratitude. There is nothing more heart-warming than to receive such feedback, which is consistent across all of our offices, teams and sectors. In the coming year we will be building on our ECS programme by introducing monthly net promoter surveys with our clients, continuing with our ECS reward scheme and preparing for our re-accreditation with Investor in Customers. The implementation of the key IT projects we have underway and the new ways of working we will be introducing will enhance our client service delivery and further strengthen our client relationships. ECS will continue to be central to team away day agendas, with our annual partner and senior manager conference in September 2015 focusing exclusively on this. “Exceptional client service is all about a mindset, requiring us to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes and regularly exceed their expectations. The nominations we have had for our monthly award are testament to the way our truly exceptional team have delivered ECS to our clients over and over again during the past year.” Jackie Carter Head of BD Client Care + 44 (0)115 908 4879 jackie.carter@brownejacobson.com
  25. 25. page | 25Our year 2014/15 | Re-defining client service “For us, ECS is all about providing everyone in the firm with a seamless IT experience, all day and every day. We spend quite a bit of time fixing things that people don’t know have been broken – flying under the radar so to speak – so to be recognised so transparently for something that we just regarded as ‘doing our job’ was fantastic for us and the wider IT team. It really makes you feel valued and appreciated.” ECS winners - Martin Tighe, IT Technical Manager and Andy Williams, IT Technical Services Engineer “I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity to go and work directly with a client as part of their insurance claims team and the experience I gained from that, so early in my career, is invaluable. Being voted as one of the winners of our ECS annual award by the rest of the firm and knowing that this was based on the feedback from the client for the work I did with them is a real honour for me.” ECS winner - Joshua Gregory, Legal Assistant Our annual ECS award winners Martin Tighe, Joshua Gregory and Andy Williams
  26. 26. Quality in our people The legal market has changed dramatically with salaries on the increase and even greater competition for talent now being the norm. Over the course of 2014/15 we set ourselves the objective of recruiting and retaining quality people, who feel part of the business and who are, in turn, motivated to play their part to their full potential. At the end of the financial year the firm’s headcount was 807, representing growth of just under 8% - double that of the previous year. Our year 2014/15 | Quality in our people page | 26 To help the firm attract the best talent available we have developed our social media footprint with a dedicated LinkedIn careers page, a Browne Jacobson alumni group and an online recruitment portal to engage a wider audience. In total, our new starters underwent almost 458 days’ worth of induction training in total, covering firmwide information as well as specific training to welcome them into their particular role and department. New partner hires in the past 18 months are Anthony Nagle and Stephen Matthew (London), Jonathan Fuggle (Birmingham), Tom Armstrong (Nottingham), Nigel Lyons, Lynne Rathbone and Dale Collins (Exeter) and, since the year end, we have recruited Kerren Daly into our Manchester office. We also appointed a new finance director, Kit Doleman. As well as recruiting into strategically important areas, we firmly believe in rewarding the efforts and achievements of our existing people. We announced a record number of internal promotions, with seven new partners being made up alongside 14 new associates and four of our professional team were promoted to the role of ‘head of’. Kerren Daly Dale Collins
  27. 27. page | 27Our year 2014/15 | Quality in our people ranked in The Guardian UK’s top 300 graduate employers300 4 new central ‘heads of’ 7 partner promotions 7.8%headcount growth 14 associate promotions 103partners 400+lawyers 458 induction days 807people
  28. 28. Our year 2014/15 | Quality in our people page | 28 2014/15 also marked the third successful year of our apprentice programme and it has been a busy year for our 12 apprentices in terms of their development. In January 2015 they sat their first exam with CILEx with many achieving merits and distinctions. Following on from his national award last year, George Denton was invited to speak at the Education Funding Agency Conference about his apprenticeship journey so far and took the opportunity to deliver a powerful message to government about the value of apprenticeships. Browne Jacobson also remains very committed to the ongoing development of the ‘apprenticeship Trailblazers’ initiative and we continue to work with the Department for Business, Innovation Skills in creating the new legal apprentice framework for 2017. These new routes will allow progression from school leaver to qualified solicitor and will open up opportunities into the legal sector that did not previously exist. The high regard that our lawyers are held in also resulted in a number of accolades. Derek Bambury, our senior partner, was presented with the Solicitor of the Year Award by Nottinghamshire Law Society. Mark Fowles, a partner in our Exeter office, was appointed president of the Insurance Institute of Exeter whilst Nick Parsons, head of insurance, was elected chair of FOIL - the Forum of Insurance Lawyers. 2014/15 marked the third successful year of our apprentice programme Mark Fowles George Denton Nick Parsons
  29. 29. Our year 2014/15 | Quality in our people Our annual wellbeing fairs across our five offices are an important way for people to learn about what benefits are available to them and have recently included presentations by childcare voucher provider Kiddivouchers and emotional resilience workshops in partnership with Aviva. The firm has also worked with local organisations to deliver cycle maintenance sessions and provide advice on green routes. We have broadened our flexible benefits scheme to include an online healthy eating programme called Body Chef, as well as life assurance and critical illness insurance for employees’ partners. Our sports and social committees run a variety of workplace activities across the offices and all of our people are entitled to take up to two days out of work to take part in community projects or volunteering activities. This is supported by our community action committees and generally includes working with local schools, hospitals and community centres. In March 2015 we carried out our annual wellbeing survey. The results show that our efforts are making a difference, with seven out of 10 respondents believing they have a good work/life balance at Browne Jacobson and 66% feeling that their wellbeing was considered important by the firm. workplace wellbeing As a caring employer we are also conscious of our responsibility towards our people and work hard each year to promote the importance of workplace wellbeing. “We are operating in a fast-paced legal environment - we have targets to meet and clients to support through exceptional client service; having well-engaged people here is critical to our business.” Eileen Henry Director of Human Resources +44 (0)115 976 6267 eileen.henry@brownejacobson.com page | 29
  30. 30. Caring about our communities Giving back to the communities we work in remains an important part of our ethos as a business. Over the years we have raised thousands of pounds for a number of good causes and our teams have spent hundreds of hours on volunteering and pro-bono activities. Over the past year we have been working alongside a host of local and national charities from Children’s Hospice South West and Exeter based Hospiscare to St Josephs and Bede House in London, Nottingham Hospitals Charity, Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity in Manchester to name just a few. We were delighted when Browne Jacobson chose Bede to be its charity of the year. As a small local charity, helping people overcome hardships due to very low incomes, disability or difficult situations at home, we can do a lot with a little! The team at Browne Jacobson have some great fundraising ideas, and we also hope their experience will enable us to improve the chances of some unemployed local people of getting jobs. We’re looking forward to having a great partnership with Browne Jacobson over the coming year! ” “ Nick Dunne, Director, Bede page | 30Our year 2014/15 | Caring about our communities We are so grateful to Browne Jacobson for all of their brilliant fundraising efforts over the last year. The money raised will support important lymphoma research which helps to assist early diagnosis of leukaemia and lymphatic cancer and improves treatment for patients. Nick Lawford, Nottingham Hospitals Charity “ ”
  31. 31. In 2014/15 we have also had a particular focus on supporting the British Heart Foundation (BHF). This is of particular poignancy as our support is in memory of our colleague Iain Patterson who sadly passed away very suddenly at the end of 2014. One of the big events we have done to support the BHF involved 19 of our people who took part in the Great Birmingham 10k run. That wasn’t the only gruelling event on our radar though... a team of seven took on the Igloo Cyclo-Sportive Challenge, cycling an 80 mile journey over steep terrain through the heart of the Peak District. Colleagues will also be running a half marathon later in the year to continue to support the cause. Rather more sedately, the whole firm participated in the BHF’s ‘wear it red’ day, raising further much needed funds for this charity. Whether it is jumping 13,000 feet out of an aeroplane as part of the Oompa-Loompa Skydive for the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, persuading our managing partner to take the ice bucket challenge, raising over £5,000 for Nottingham Hospitals Charity Leukaemia Research Fund or simply a few hundred pounds from a cake baking event, we believe that every little counts and our charity partners are always extremely thankful for the part we play in ensuring they are able to carry on with the invaluable work they do in the community. But it is not just fundraising that keeps us busy. From taking part in the reading in schools scheme and donating over 170 selection boxes to children in hospice care at Chrsitmas, to supporting the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register and collecting vouchers for schools, our people are passionate about working with their local communities to make a positive difference. Our year 2014/15 | Caring about our communities page | 31 community action Our team who took part in the BHF Great Birmingham 10k run Iain Patterson wear it red day, London
  32. 32. Our year 2014/15 | Caring about our communities page | 32 Our North West Schools Arts Competition has been running for three years and has seen over 90 schools taking part and submitting more than 2,700 pieces of art in that time. The competition has been supported by the Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and the Sale Sharks, alongside a series of distinguished judges including Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, co-founder of the book ‘The Good Old Drawing’, Philip Hodgkinson and well-known children’s illustrator, Martin Impey. This year’s theme was focused on the environment and, as in previous years, the shortlisted entries on display in the Museum of Science Industry were of the highest quality. for the sake of art... I really enjoyed the art competition. When I heard that I had won first place my mouth dropped to the floor. ” “ Katie Holt, Helmshore Primary School, winner of the 4 - 7 age category Helmshore Primary School views creativity as the heart of excellent learning. The Browne Jacobson Art Competition is an exciting way to showcase children’s talents and promote creativity across the school. ” “ Mr Walker, Year 2 Teacher, Helmshore Primary School competition winners winning artwork
  33. 33. Our year 2014/15 | Caring about our communities page | 33 We believe in not just talking about the importance of being green but acting on our convictions. For example, our new grade A London office has a BREEAM Excellent rating over all floors and we have an established national network of ‘greene champions’ who are tasked with driving our environmental and sustainability strategy across all our offices. ‘greene’ is the new ‘browne’ We also work in partnership with our suppliers to make further energy savings and efficiencies. A number of our key suppliers are ISO14001 accredited, ensuring they meet stringent environmental procurement standards. We also work with these companies to recycle products such as batteries, toner cartridges and UPS units. But for us, it is more than making sure we meet exacting environmental standards. It is about encouraging our people to embrace a positive lifestyle change, so we actively promote a cycle to work scheme as well as having annual work place challenges encouraging employees to leave their car at home. Each year sees more participants taking part and, in turn, encourages people to think about the energy they use. No44, our catering facility on site in our Nottingham office, is committed to sourcing locally produced fresh products alongside using biodegradable and reusable supplies. Going forward, there are proposals to introduce re-cycling of food waste, the development of a herb garden and a ‘grow your own’ campaign to encourage colleagues to share their home grown excess produce for use in No44. Other initiatives across our office network have included: • using zip taps instead of kettles for hot water • replacing individual waste bins with communal bins • separating recyclable and non-recyclable waste • installing extensive VC equipment connecting each office and externally to reduce the amount of travel required. Over the coming months we will be taking part in the government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, designed to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint and, in the process, become less ‘Browne’, and more ‘Greene’ Jacobson. The roof terrace at 6 Bevis Marks
  34. 34. Our year 2014/15 | Caring about our communities page | 34 our greene champions are driving our environmental sustainability strategy across all our offices The garden at Mowbray House
  35. 35. © Browne Jacobson LLP 2015 – The information contained within this report is and shall remain the property of Browne Jacobson. This document may not be reproduced without the prior consent of Browne Jacobson.
  36. 36. www.brownejacobson.com 0370 270 6000 Birmingham | Exeter | London | Manchester | Nottingham

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