The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Rod Bird, managing partner at Midlands firm Lodders, believes the location of the firm's head office at Stratford-upon-Avon makes it the perfect base for corporate property and agricultural work.
"We're not very far from Birmingham, which is 22 miles up the road, and Coventry is just 19 miles away," he says. "It's quite a vibrant region. There's the rural area south of us and north there's the motorway and distribution links. It's very central."
Bird feels the firm has experienced growth during the past three years, something he says can mainly be attributed to its strong commercial property team.
"I think it's because we concentrate on our strengths and our key areas," Bird explains. "In the areas we specialise in we do as good work as anybody else; consequently we're able to hold our own with larger firms."
Lodders was established in Henley-in-Arden, which is now a secondary office, and moved its headquarters to Stratford 15 years ago.
Around five years after the move the firm merged with FB Hancock & Co, but retained the Lodders name.
Bird says Lodders attracts lawyers from big City firms who are looking to do a wider range of work.
"You find that people get to a certain point in their career at the bigger firms and they don't want to get pigeonholed into retail property or working for a particular client in retail property," he explains. "They want more client contact and want to use a broader range of skills."
He claims that fee-earners who want to work in other areas of the firm's business have a chance to learn new skills, such as marketing.
"They're still primarily lawyers, but if they want to take on other responsibilities within our business then this is encouraged," says Bird. "I personally think it's valuable because it gives them better insights so when they talk to clients they can understand what the legal and business matters are."
Bird says the firm also offers flexible working arrangements should staff require them.
"We do some flexible working, especially with female members of staff who are bringing up families," he says.
The firm's main revenue comes from private client work (28 per cent), residential property (18 per cent) and commercial property (25 per cent).
"I think what we try to do is create an environment of quality work that attracts quality people to do it," he sums up.
Managing partner: Rod Bird Turnover: £6.2m Number of equity partners: Nine Total number of partners: 16 Total number of lawyers: 45 Main practice areas: Agriculture, commercial property, corporate, private client Key clients: Pettifer Group, IM Properties, Cala Homes, Craigard, Stoford Developments Number of offices: Two Locations: Stratford-upon-Avon, Henley-in-Arden