A decade on from its foundation, Bott & Co broke through the £10m turnover barrier in 2010-11, recording growth of more than 20 per cent.
The firm was established in 2001 by managing partner David Bott, formerly a lawyer at Keoghs, together with non-lawyer practice manager Paul Hinchcliffe. Today Bott is the sole equity partner alongside non-equity partner Michael Hankinson, who was a partner at Keoghs.
Bott & Co deals almost exclusively in personal injury work, although it also has a small conveyancing capability. Just 12 of the firm’s 35 fee-earners are qualified lawyers. Bott is committed to providing opportunities for people interested in the legal profession, and does not much care if a fee-earner is a solicitor or not.”We’re not that bothered what route you come from - it’s whether you’re good enough,” Bott says.
Bott & Co has had a trainee scheme in the past, and is currently recruiting for a new crop.
Bott believes that inter-personal relationships are more valuable than pure legal skills. Staff are all compensated for performance, with bonuses paid depending on how much money is brought into the firm rather than how much is billed. He thinks Bott & Co will be able to take advantage of the Legal Services Act by bringing some more senior non-lawyers into the partnership.
“We’re a business that practises law rather than lawyers running a business,” he explains.
Work comes through referrals from insurers and brokers. Bott says the firm is committed to providing a no-win, no-fee service despite the Jackson reforms. He believes the firm will have to grow to survive and is aiming for £30m turnover within five years. However mergers are unlikely and Bott says he wants the firm to be “nimble”.
“It’s going to be really tough in the next few years,” Bott predicts. “It’s going to be hyper-competitive and there’ll be fewer law firms out there.”