17 Nov Newest member talks about why they chose LawNet
Employing 20 lawyers and with five partners, Grant Saw provides legal services to a private and corporate customer base across south east London and the Docklands and has ambitions to significantly increase its share of commercial work.
Ray explains why they chose to join LawNet:
“Now seemed the right time to join LawNet for us. We’ve got serious ambitions to grow the firm and want to significantly increase our share of commercial work. By joining LawNet we see it as offering us an opportunity to grow, by learning from other larger firms, sharing resources and cutting our internal costs through group discounted services.
Over the last few years we have made a concerted effort to expand. We moved into some modern offices in 2003, got our first web site running in 2005 and then secured Lexcel in 2007. We did all that and then, like most of the sector, went into recession survival mode for a while.
But then you look around and see the changes coming in around ABS and everything that we’re all contending with and we started thinking about how strategic partnerships might provide value. We want to ramp up on both contentious and non contentious commercial work, and particularly company commercial, and need to find the route to achieve that.
We had had some discussions with LawNet once before, but we were in the process of merging with another firm and it didn’t feel the right time. We were in a state of change, not sure what we’d look like at the other end and certainly a smaller player by comparison with others in the network.
We investigated other networks and collaborative initiatives, and trialled one for a year to see how it might help our ambitions. In the end we reached the conclusion that it wasn’t going to be right for us.
So that’s when we came back to talk to LawNet. There are larger firms than us in the network, and that matches our aspirations. Seeing what we get, we were really impressed.
Lawnet appears to be lawyer driven. We like the not-for-profit model and the fact that any surplus gets ploughed back into member services. The collective bargaining power brings real cost benefits; and these are all firms that we wish to be associated with.
We want to be around bigger firms to learn from them. There’s a risk in being one of the larger fish in your own pond, that you start thinking the others on your patch are your competition, but you need to have a bigger picture and look at what is being done at the level where you are really competing.
We are very committed to best practice and think it is vital for our future success. Customer service is important – if we do things well, the client will see the benefit. But we need to explore new ways of doing things and that’s where it becomes important to speak with other law firms and other lawyers in a non competing environment. The chance to do that is limited elsewhere.
We want to share resources and grow. That’s what we’re looking to achieve by being part of LawNet.”
Ray Crudgington: Managing Partner and Head of Commercial & Probate Departments at LawNet member firm Grant Saw LLP. Ray qualified as a solicitor in 1991 after graduating from Leicester University and training with a major City firm. Since qualifying he has dealt mainly with company/commercial work and commercial property. He joined Grant Saw at the end of 1997 following several years with a Central London firm and is the head of the firm’s commercial and probate departments. Ray is the Honorary Solicitor for the South East London Chamber of Commerce and a member of The Law Management Section of The Law Society.