Elisabeth Bellamy is operations director at Manchester-based Linder Myers Solicitors, having joined the firm in 2012 when the firm merged with Drummonds. Before taking a management role she worked as a lawyer at Baker & McKenzie and Addleshaw Goddard.
What are the key elements of your role?
My role is wide-ranging and involves both oversight of the HR and compliance departments, and ensuring all back-office functions provide excellent service to fee-earners. As a newly created position, the role continues to develop as the firm grows.
What impact are the structural changes to the UK legal market having on your firm and role?
The competition from new entrants cannot be ignored.
Linder Myers has a strategy for continued growth and my role is to ensure our internal infrastructure is both efficient and cost-effective to allow us to continue offering high-quality legal services at a price clients are willing to pay.
What have been the biggest changes at the firm since you started?
I officially started in this position at the same time as Linder Myers was completing three mergers simultaneously. My main focus initially was to ensure the smooth integration of those firms, which spanned three geographies – Manchester, Lancashire and Chester.
Having integrated the firms and our new colleagues my focus is now on looking for efficiencies and best practice across the business, alongside working with local universities to attract new talent to the firm.
What’s your favourite part of the day?
Although I thoroughly enjoy my role I am a firm believer in having a good work-life balance so my favourite thing is getting home to relax with my husband and family at the end of a busy day.
What have been the key ways in which you have improved the efficiency of the firm?
My role is still in its relative infancy, but I have already been involved in the reorganisation of a number of fee-earning departments and reviewing internal processes.
If you weren’t doing this, what else would you like to be doing?
I consider myself lucky to have survived a large comprehensive school that had a poor academic record at the time, to go on to secure a place at Oxford. I understand the importance of a good education and believe everyone should have access to the top universities so if I could do something else it would be helping deserving students achieve this.
Who would you most like to get stuck in a lift with?
As he’s likely to be reading this I’d better choose my husband, who is one of the equity partners at Linder Myers.
What’s the most important lesson your role has taught you?
That being open to new ways of thinking and being willing to try alternative approaches can help smooth the transition when merging firms and cultures.
By combining the best practices of each of the firms we have merged with we will create a stronger unified business.
Equity partners: 22
Net profit: £5m
Average profit per equity partner: £200,000
How important is branding in the legal profession?
“I believe that the ‘solicitor’ brand will be of increasing importance in the marketplace, and needs to be promoted,” says Bellamy.
“I’m a member of the Law Society’s professional standards and ethics committee and our role is to review professional principles and standards. I think it’s the high value we place on elements such as these that sets our profession apart from other service providers.”
Legal practice management system: Envision (formerly known as LawSoft)