Big news! Welcome to Bridget Garrood; Hello new Head Office; New locations! New Website!

Big news!

2019 has been a massive year for Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors. We have previously posted about an impending move and earlier additions to our team. The last couple of weeks have been particularly busy and we have some very exciting news to share…

Welcome Bridget Garrood

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Bridget Garrood has today joined our team as a consultant solicitor.

Bridget specialises in complex divorce and cohabitation cases and LGBT+ family law.

Bridget is a former Chair of the Devon Region of Resolution and is a current committee member for The Law Society’s LGBT+ Lawyers Division.

Bridget is well liked and highly respected among her peers and regularly acts for clients from London and the Home Counties as well as the South West.

Ian Walker says;

I have known Bridget for over 20 years. She is one of the outstanding family law solicitors in the South West and I am truly delighted that she has agreed to join our team.

The core of our team has known each other for a very long time indeed and this has been important in maintaining a very supportive and enjoyable working environment.

Together with recent joiners; Lauren Preedy (Head of Divorce), Kris Seed, Briony Kingston and accountant Paul Jacobs;  and our existing team members; Fiona Griffin, David Howell-Richardson, Karen Elliott and Sandy Powell, we now have a divorce team which in my view is a strong as anyone else in the South-West.

(We also have an incredibly strong children law team).

I am really excited that we now have in place a team (including a couple of new faces to follow) which is not just made up of outstanding lawyers but which works so well together and who are good to be around.

New head office Vantage Point, Pynes Hill, Exeter EX2 5FD.Hello new Head Office

We currently settling into our new head office at Vantage Point, Pynes Hill, Exeter EX2 5FD.

We had clearly outgrown our previous office space. We all agree that our new office is the best workspace that any of us have worked in. (And this is before the office sofas and pool table have arrived!).

These are modern offices truly fit for the winners of the Modern Law Awards 2020; Boutique Law Firm (11+ employees).

The offices are well located on the edge of Exeter (near IKEA) – and are easily accessible from the M5 and A3015 (Rydon Lane)/A379 (Bridge Road). We also have lots of parking. This means that clients can easily access us from across Devon and Somerset – but can avoid the normal Exeter city centre congestion and parking charges.

We have well fitted out conference rooms and this is a base where we really can offer an excellent level of client experience.

…. We are currently working out how to best hold a moving in do… More to follow.

Taunton officeNew locations

We have also expanded our location network such that it now allows us to meet with clients across the South-West and in the following locations:

Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Honiton, Plymouth, Shaftesbury, Taunton, Wells, Weston-Super-Mare and Yeovil. This means we have retained some office space in Honiton. We will continue to meet clients in Honiton by appointment,

We are are able to assist clients across the South-West

Whilst it is really important to have a good base – we have always been big on homeworking and flexible working and we fully recognise that it is important to see clients where it is convenient to them – whether that is in the office or on video conference. We have added some fantastic locations to our network and we have in place the framework for the next stage of the firm’s development.

We remain committed to our ongoing aim to be combining the benefits of niche practice expertise with the accessibility of the high street and the focus on quality of corporate practice. We remain absolutely committed to the values of Resolution and to access to justice and corporate social responsibility.

New website http://dot-design.co.uk/Updated Website: now live

Our new website is now live.

Our original website was launched with the practice in 2013. It has been very popular. The feedback that we have received is that it was accessible and contained a lot of very helpful information.

As time passed the website grew and grew (as has our practice) and in 2019 we reach the point where adding extra buttons and sections here and there was starting to make the the site not as user-friendly of functional as we would have liked.

Making our website even better

Since 2019 our design and coding team have been working tirelessly at building a new version of our website. This is now live from today. Most of the content has moved over from the old site – but there is additional content that has been added and there is more new content to follow.

Because of the demands of running the practice through Covid 19 and managing the office move, it is not been possible to finalise all of the new content we have planned. The new website is therefore a work in progress – albeit at an advanced stage and very usable. There will be a lot of tweaking and adding extra content over the next few months.

More content to follow…

Unfortunately the promotional video we shot last summer is now out of date – not least because we have moved our head office – but it is still correct in terms of gist and values. Just we now have a bigger team serving a bigger area from a better head office.

Hopefully you will like what you see. Feedback is always welcomed. But if you like the new website now, it will be even better next month and it will be even better again the month after that et cetera.

Solicitor teamJoin our team

We are busy and we fully expect this to continue. Our projected turnover for our current financial year (ending November 2020) is on track to be more than double what it was in year ending November 2018.

Our growth comes from having a team of outstanding lawyers who clients want to instruct.

The coronavirus lockdown has accelerated changes to the legal services market which were already in the pipeline.

 

A modern law firm – making best use of technology

Digital Working Is Now Well and Truly with us. Our practice model has always focused upon flexible working/smart working and maximising the use of technology. This meant that we move seamlessly into homeworking as the country moved into lockdown. None of our lawyers were furloughed. A couple of our support team were furloughed – but all have now rejoined the team and we have emerged from the coronavirus lockdown with a bigger team than when we started.

We think that the future of family law is in niche practice. Our model is to give clients the accessibility of high Street practice, combined with the expertise of specialist practice and the quality controls/discipline of corporate practice. Most of our team have worked for firms that would consider themselves to be corporate practices. Indeed our newly recruited finance manager is Paul Jacobs who is a management accountant who has joined us from Foot Anstey.

Safety in numbers for family lawyers

We think that clients will increasingly prefer to instruct larger specialist family law teams and will happily continue to use videoconferencing. We think that clients will still want and need to be seen face-to-face, and so will value seeing their lawyer at a convenient location. Although our head office is now on the edge of Exeter – our team live across Devon and Somerset and in Bristol and it is therefore easy for us to service our expanded location network. It will be easy to add to our location network if we want to.

Please do get in touch

We are always interested to hear from family lawyers who would like to work with us either on an employed basis or as fee share consultant’s and who share our values. This could include lawyers who are based anywhere within our expanded network – or who are based slightly beyond. Our new website boasts a careers page and an employee promise

 

If you are interested to know more email me on ianwalker@familylawandmediation.co.uk

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