Most practitioners these days like to brag about how commercial they are, but it is still relatively rare for a lawyer to have the genuine breadth of experience to back up that easily made claim.
However, when Pam Loch, managing partner at Loch Associates, says she offers commercial advice, she means it.
Loch spent six years at Scottish Equitable (now Aegon) after doing a degree in Business Studies and Accountancy. She later retrained as a lawyer, doing stints at Eversheds, Fladgate Fielder (where she made partner a year after joining as an associate) and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, where she built up and launched the US firm’s employment team from scratch. Four years after setting up on her own, Loch’s commercial approach extends to offering virtual HR services courtesy of the firm’s sister enterprise Enablise. Loch claims that the coupling of her firm’s employment law expertise with Enablise’s HR and training services gives her growing boutique an edge.
“Clients can’t always afford a full-time HR person, but issues such as executive exits and disciplinary proceedings can be disruptive, so we can advise on the legal issues and suggest someone to manage the HR process,” Loch says.
Around 70 per cent of the firm’s workload involves contentious matters. “One of the biggest issues clients face now is spurious claims, usually brought by claimants who are unrepresented or badly represented,” Loch says. “These are easy to submit online and tend to involve unfair dismissal or discrimination.”
The increase in employment legislation has led to a rise in Loch’s turnover. At the end of the firm’s most recent financial year last Thursday (31 March), total revenue had grown by 34 per cent on 2009-10’s to around £500,000.
Next year already looks to be off to a flyer thanks to the firm’s merger last month with Tunbridge Wells employment boutique CC Legal, a deal that saw the firm’s sole proprietor Judith Curran join Loch.
Managing partner: Pam Loch Number of partners: Two Number of equity partners: Two Number of fee-earners: Six Turnover: £500,000 Number of offices: Two Locations: London, Tunbridge Wells Main practice area: Employment Key clients: Europa Facilities Management, Cosla, Park Holidays UK, Orchard Information Systems, Police Credit Union