Jersey-headquartered Bedell Cristin had another good year, reporting financial growth of five per cent (on top of a five per cent increase between 2012 and 2013) and also adding to its headcount.
The firm made a lateral hire in Jersey in 2013, picking up Ogier partner Peter Bertram to boost its commercial property team.
Last year was a significant year of investment for Bedell Cristin, with funds being poured into operational systems. The firm kicked off an upgrade programme for its core systems, including document and practice management and desktop software. More than 75 per cent of systems are now running virtually, giving the firm more security as well as cutting energy costs.
Bedell also invested in a bespoke system to streamline the process of taking on new business. Separately, clients are now offered access to a secure site that allows the sharing of documents with their lawyers. The firm also developed its own system, bringing together information and content into a single source, making everything more streamlined for fee earners.
While Jersey remains by far Bedell's biggest office, with 120 of the firm's 157 legal staff based there, the firm is becoming ever-more international. It leads service delivery on a jurisdictional basis, but business lines between locations co-ordinate closely and the firm is increasing investment in cross-border service expertise.
Further investment overseas is planned for the next five years and the firm will focus on business development. Managing partner Richard Gerwat says this will primarily see Bedell Cristin use its presence in jurisdictions such as Singapore and Mauritius to access new markets, particularly developing countries in Africa and Asia.
Meanwhile, the Bedell group is moving to separate its back-office functions for the law firm and its fiduciary, the Bedell Trust. While there are no plans to sell the fiduciary, there are now fewer people providing support functions for both businesses, enabling each to expand as it needs.
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