West Midlands firm Higgs & Sons prides itself on being able to retain its staff, something senior partner Ian Shovlin has personal experience of.
Having trained with the firm, Shovlin, who is also head of personal injury (PI), is within the majority at Higgs by still being there as an equity partner.
“Out of the 16 equity partners, 10 began as trainees with the firm,” he says. “We have a very low turnover, from secretaries to solicitors, so we’re doing something right.”
Higgs was founded in 1875 and is one of the largest firms in the Black Country. It has more than 150 staff, who operate out of its Kingswinford office and its new 30,000sq ft headquarters in Brierley Hill.
“We had two offices consolidate into Brierley Hill and we’re currently coming to the end of our lease on a third property we have in Dudley, which is empty and only used as a training centre,” explains Shovlin.
The firm has seen turnover increase year-on-year since 2007-08, going from £8.4m to £9m in 2009-10, earning itself a position at number 175 in The Lawyer UK 200 Annual Report 2010.
The firm’s main focus is private client, which accounts for 24 per cent of turnover, with PI the next biggest contributor at 19 per cent. The firm also has sizeable dispute resolution, corporate and commercial property groups as well as a small focus on crime.
The firm’s client base is drawn mainly from the Black Country and the West Midlands, but Shovlin says it often reaches far beyond that. For example, major clients include Claimar Care Group, Computeach International and Folkes Group.
“We aren’t redefining what we’re doing,” he continues. “We’ve always been a Black Country firm, but we’ve acted for clients throughout the country. We have a reputation in the West Midlands for providing a quality, cost-effective and partner-led service, which we want to continue.”
Senior partner: Ian Shovlin
Number of partners: 27
Number of staff: 150
Main practice areas: Commercial property, company and commercial, employment, family, insolvency, litigation, personal injury, residential property, trusts, tax
Key clients: Claimar Care Group, Computeach International, Folkes Group
Number of offices: Two
Locations: Brierley Hill, Kingswinford