Feel Good Friday – Parker Bullen, O’Neill Patient & Bell Lamb & Joynson

There has been lots of positive things happening across the sector this week, so we wanted to share these good vibes with you as part of our ‘Feel Good Friday’ news items. 

Here is a little snap shot of what’s been going on.

Virtual Graduation ceremony held by Parker Bullen

Eight trainee solicitors, a paralegal and a chartered legal executive have graduated from the 2020 Parker Bullen Training Academy, in a ‘Zoom’ ceremony attended by Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Helen Birchenough.

Mark Lello, Partner, Parker Bullen, who oversaw the training explains:

“This year has presented challenges and opportunities. The adaptation to remote learning as a result of Covid 19 was easier than we anticipated and proved very successful, it also allowed us to open the Academy to other organisations and we were pleased to welcome Jessica Few, a trainee solicitor from Hereford based Longmores solicitors. The biggest opportunity was our ability to tailor the training to reflect the extraordinary challenges and legal implications that both individuals and businesses were facing as a result of Covid 19”.

Testament to the success of the Training Academy is the fact that we have already had interest from other legal and accountancy firms from across the UK.

I would like to thank Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Helen Birchenough, who is also chair of Arts Council England South West for her support presenting the awards to our graduates in the virtual world that we currently inhabit”.

Molly Dilling, trainee solicitor and academy graduate commented:

“During the furlough period the academy provided me with a sense of purpose and a means of developing both professionally and personally. The interactive seminars developed my legal skills and provided insight into my future career and law as a business. I have learnt crisis management first hand and how it impacts clients, decision making techniques to get the most out of myself and my colleagues. I am proud to work for a firm that cares so much about our development”.

Katherine Jenson, trainee solicitor, who also graduated, added:

“What really stood out for me is how progressive this sort of training is. Not only have we been involved in meaningful client work in our respective seats, but the PBTA has also taught us many other vital skills. Notable examples for me personally include how to contract a successful meeting, how best to engage in marketing for the firm, and conducting a mock negotiation exercise. I know that these additional skills will be invaluable in our careers upon qualification. Thank you very much to Mark for fronting this initiative!”

Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors credits technology for success in lockdown

Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors has credited the use of technology for its resilience during the UK’s lockdown, having recently passed its annual Lexcel practice management audit with exceptional results, highlighting 20 areas of ‘good practice’.

The report marks legal providers against required rules and guidelines to promote a quality approach to practice management and client care, praising the North West solicitors firm for its strong security protocol in line with Cyber Essentials, while investment into innovative IT solutions was documented as a notable strength.

Since strict measures around social distancing were introduced in March, the firm has continued to work remotely across all areas of law including conveyancing, having secured ongoing instructions with a 70% increase in June compared to the same period last year.

Managing Partner Mike Leeman thanks a digital approach and implementation of state-of-the-art software for the firm’s continued success throughout the pandemic.

Mike said:

“We are delighted with the results of our practice management audit which not only highlights our use of technology but also our attitude towards client care and our ability to communicate across teams while remote working, which is something that we have instilled as part of company culture for years now. As a firm, we recognised early on that we needed to adopt a more progressive approach in line with changing client behaviours and expectations. As the world around us became more digital we had to follow suit and that head start has enabled us to successfully navigate the challenges that we’ve faced as a result of Covid-19.

“Our team are equipped with the right training and the tools to carry on with their jobs from home and continue to support our clients when they need our help the most. Having resources already in place has meant that we’ve been able to use this time effectively to trial new software and explore opportunities to improve our offering with more advanced ways of working and communicating across the board.”

The firm, which has office locations in Liverpool, Runcorn and Warrington, has continued to deliver legal services across all departments including criminal, family and road traffic law and wills and probate despite limitations on face-to-face appointments due to Covid-19.

Bell Lamb & Joynson Solicitors is looking ahead to its 200th business anniversary in 2021 as the team plans for further growth throughout the rest of the year.

Mike added:

“Despite being one of the oldest firms in the region nearing 200 years in business, we believe in taking a modern and forward-thinking approach to benefit our employees as well as our clients. Our methods of digital communication between team members made things much easier for us when we were faced with the reality of working from home. Not only has this enabled the team to proactively engage with each other but it means that we can still hold department-wide meetings and offer important training in these unusual circumstances.

“We believe that this new way of working will change attitudes across the legal sector and we are confident that more firms will implement the use of technology going forward. This is something that we have encouraged and supported for years now and ultimately we would like to see the legal industry become completely paperless in the near future.”

Record month for O’Neill Patient shows property market rebounding strongly from lockdown

Leading tech-driven conveyancing firm, O’Neill Patient LLP (ONP), has recorded a significant increase in enquiries, instructions and completions in June, compared to the same month last year. The figures provide evidence of a market rebounding strongly from the damage caused by Covid-19.

Completions were up by nearly a quarter (23.7%), with the biggest rise coming in the remortgage market, where ONP’s figures were up by more than a third (33.5%) compared to June 2019.

New instructions also showed a significant rise: up by 28.8% for remortgages and 30.1% for conveyancing. The increase in demand was also evident from a spike in new enquiries, which were up by an astounding 160% on the same time last year.

Adam Forshaw, Managing Director of ONP says:

“Against the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, this strong performance is evidence of the resilience and versatility of our staff who continue to provide high levels of customer service from home.

“It is also testament to the resilience of ONP’s technology-driven approach in the face of the difficulties posed for the property market by Covid-19.

“Demand is coming back to the market strongly after the hiatus caused by Covid-19. ONP’s technology-led model gives clients and customers a high-quality experience and service, and puts us in prime position to benefit from the recovery.

“We have well-advanced plans to enhance that tech offering further in the weeks and months to come, making the conveyancing journey even smoother and simpler for our clients.”

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