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What a year 2019 has been!

View profile for Ed Voller
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We knew that 2019 was going to be a busy year for us here at Warner Goodman LLP and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  With a new image, new system, new office, promotions and celebrations, it has certainly been a year of change for us.  Ed Voller, our Managing Partner, looks back over the last 12 months and gives a sneak preview as to what 2020 may have in store for us.

A new image

We started off the New Year in style as we launched our new branding and website.  Based on our newly identified brand values of Friendly, Heritage, Human, Innovative, Good Value and Professional, we had a complete overhaul of our signage, website and everything in between.  The re-brand was initially born from a desire to refresh our website, which was outdated and not user friendly for our clients and potential clients.  From this came the realisation that our image no longer reflected who we are as a firm, which is one of innovation with customer satisfaction at the heart of what we do.  After two years of research, development and execution, our new branding truly embodies who we are, giving our employees a brand they can be proud of and our clients a firm they can actively engage with. 

A new system

Six months after launching our new branding and website, we launched our new Practice Management System, Linetime.  This platform connects us with our clients and it is vital that we remain ahead of the game regarding technology and integration. Our IT Department have worked incredibly hard guiding us through the transition.  Linetime will provide us with endless opportunities to work with our colleagues and clients more efficiently, while also opening doors to develop more as new technologies arise.

A new office

February saw the first birthday of our office in Chandler’s Ford.  Primarily working with local people on moving home, our Residential Conveyancing team in the town has gone from strength to strength, and we now see clients utilising the office across all of our individual and commercial departments of the firm.

Following in their success, we decided to open a new office in Waterlooville in June.  It had been nine years since we were in Waterlooville, so it was a pleasure to return to the town where we have been welcomed with open arms.  With a permanent Residential Conveyancing team based in the office, similar to Chandler’s Ford, we have the ability to see any of our clients, across all our client work, in the office.

Celebrations were had

We could not achieve any of our successes as a firm without our wonderful employees and we have been delighted to share in their personal successes this year also.  In January, Lucy Smith was promoted to Team Leader in our Residential Conveyancing team, bringing her years of experience, wisdom and stability to the team.  In March, Joe Taylor qualified as a Solicitor into our Commercial Property team in Portsmouth after being with the firm for four years, and showing a passion and skill for the world of property law. 

May was certainly an exciting month for us as we promoted two employees to Partner status; Jenny Colvin from our Commercial Property team and Naushad Rahman from our Company Commercial team.  In addition to our new Partners, we also saw five employees promoted to Associate status; Lucy Smith, Genni Cooper and Zoe Fellows from our Residential Conveyancing team, Natalie Rawson from our Employment team and Molly Siggs from our Commercial Property team. 

In August, Claire Knight was successful in becoming a Law Society accredited Mediator and now joins Sam Miles in offering Family Mediation services to our clients.  Last but by no means least; Antoinette Merryfield began her Recognised Period of Training in August after spending three years with the firm in various roles, with her first seat in Employment. 

Recognition through awards

While we may not have won awards this year, we have been privileged to have been shortlisted for several amongst some excellent talent in the legal sector.  In May, we were shortlisted for two awards at the CILEx Awards; Promoting Access to the Profession and Law Firm of the Year.

In November, our branding project was shortlisted in the LawNet 2019 Awards for Best BD/Marketing Award.  We are extremely proud of our membership of LawNet, which is only made by invitation from the organisation after meeting strict criteria on client satisfaction, accreditations and service levels, and so to be recognised for our work on such a project was a highlight in our year. 

Charity and fundraising

I am always in awe of how generous our employees are with their time when it comes to helping those in the local community.  This March was our sixth year of working with Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association on their social media campaign.  During National Down Syndrome Awareness Week, we work closely with the charity to raise awareness of their social media platforms and grow the number of likes.  At the end of the week, we donate £1 for every new like, and this year we once again beat our target of reaching 2,000 new likes.  In October, we also supported the charity when 15 members of staff took part in the Great South Run and raised over £5,000 in total.

In addition to the valiant work for Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association, eight members of the Southampton office took part in the Southampton Legal Walk in September, raising over £500 for local advice agencies.  Three members of our Southampton office also took part in the Pretty Mudder event in June raising over £200 for Cancer Research UK. 

What does 2020 have in store?

While 2019 was a year of change, 2020 will be a year of stability and growth as our new image and new system shape the way of the future.  We will continue to develop and embrace new technologies to provide a seamless service for our clients, and will continue to grow new opportunities and partnerships for the benefit of our clients and employees.  It certainly is an exciting time to be Managing Partner of such a dynamic firm and I am looking forward to what I will be saying this time next year when I reflect on 2020!

To find out more about our year, you can visit our News pages, or if you would like to join us at this time, you can explore our current vacancies.