Sector specialist announced as new head of LawNet

09 Apr Sector specialist announced as new head of LawNet

Chris Marston appointed chief executive of LawNet April 2014

Chris Marston appointed chief executive of LawNet April 2014

Chris Marston has been appointed as the new chief executive of member network LawNet, one of the leading providers of specialist support for law firms in the UK and Ireland.

He will start in the new role in July, taking over from outgoing chief executive John Thomas, who is stepping down after fifteen years at the helm.

A career banker, Marston is currently head of professional practices at Lloyds Banking Group, leading a team of specialist bankers, in a role that was established at his instigation. He is a member of the Law Society’s Law Management Section and recently participated in the ‘Survive & Thrive’ roadshows delivered by the LMS around the country.  As well as a long history of working with the legal sector, he spent many years in commercial banking, working with owner-managed businesses of all sizes.

The appointment was made by the LawNet board, whose directors are drawn from firms within the membership of the network, which operates on a non-profit making, mutual basis.

In announcing the change at the top of LawNet, chairman Rob Salisbury, senior partner of Gamlins in North Wales, said: “John has led LawNet for the past fifteen years, during which time he has focused on continually improving member benefits, growth of the network and financial stability. He leaves a strong legacy and I know Chris is looking forward to the challenges ahead, ensuring the network continues to progress and grow.”

Retiring chief executive John Thomas said:  “It has been a privilege to lead LawNet and see it develop and mature and it is comforting to be leaving it in very capable hands.”

Chris Marston added: “It’s an honour to step into John’s shoes and they are big ones to fill.  I am looking forward to working with the central team and the membership to continue to grow the network.

“I’ve been closely involved with law firms throughout the recent seismic changes experienced by the sector.  We’ve seen more change in the past 5 years than in the previous 100, so I understand the challenges, but also the need for commerciality.  That’s where I’ll be focussed in driving forward the LawNet proposition in future.”

Marston will be working with LawNet’s head office central team, including Helen Hamilton Shaw, who continues in the role of director of services and Peter Riddleston, recently appointed head of learning.

LawNet currently comprises 64 member firms, with a combined turnover in excess of £250m that gives weight to the network’s buying power and its well-regarded professional indemnity insurance scheme. The network also gives members a route to ISO 9001 quality accreditation, a client service charter and free CPD training plus a host of flexible benefits.



For further information, please contact:

Press information:
Maggie Taylor, Prima PR & Marketing

Direct line: 01400 251557  Mobile: 0797 3767602 Email:

Helen Hamilton-Shaw, Director of Services, LawNet

Direct line: 01926 834622                Email:

Notes to Editor:


About LawNet:

LawNet was established in 1989 to enable a collaborative, non-competing national network where independent law firms could access big firm resources and benefit from collective purchasing, shared knowledge, best practice and expertise.

All members share a commitment to excellence and must achieve and maintain LawNet’s own ISO.9001 standard and the associated Mark of Excellence in client service.

The combined income of the 64 firms comprising LawNet is currently in excess of £250m – equivalent to a UK Top 15 law firm – with members ranging from £2m to £15m turnover.

Independent research shows LawNet is most highly valued by members for delivering in six key areas – training, networking, PII, practice development, marketing and compliance.  It currently places some £1.2bn worth of PI cover alone for members each year, which helps stabilise premiums for firms.

Twitter: @LawNetUK