The Lawyer Management: Howard Kennedy

Basil Bagunaid joined Howard Kennedy as an office clerk in 1989 and became facilities director in 2001. He previously worked at Royal Mail and was an insurance clerk at CT Bowring, having graduated in business studies from City of London Polytechnic.


Basil Bagunaid
Basil Bagunaid

Describe the key elements of your role:

My key responsibilities can be summarised under two groupings. The first is ensuring that the business is running its core services effectively. Those services include facilities – postroom, reception, switchboard and printroom – maintenance, health and safety, the setting up of new offices and refurbishment and decoration works.

The second grouping includes maintaining awareness of the building, including various office insurances, and working with managing agents and landlords.


How many people do you have in your core team and who are they?

There are 10 people in the core team. They are the health and safety manager, the facilities supervisor plus four facilities assistants and the client reception supervisor, along with three receptionists.


What are your team’s core responsibilities?

Responsibilities break down into three core teams, so for health and safety it’s compliance with regulations, risk assessment, workplace ­assessment and things such as ­expectant mother assessments. For facilities it’s ensuring the smooth running of internal office services, setting up new office space, managing stock and general maintenance, and for the reception team it’s all about providing a professional and friendly welcome to visitors and clients in person and on the phone.


What’s in your in-tray?

Several things, including Harcourt House Tenants’ Association correspondence, information about internal office moves and Olympic Games planning. I am also a member of a number of legal support groups, such as the Legal Support Network, so I often get invitations to discuss current topics.

What have been the key ways in which you have improved the efficiency of your firm?

These include the complete refurbishment of our client reception area, ensuring that projects are completed on deadline and reducing costs from our suppliers without services being affected.

I also have weekly meetings with my supervisors.

What was the most pressing item you faced relating to the running of the firm last year and how did you resolve it?

Simultaneously with contributing to the LLP conversion work I project-managed the refurbishment of our client reception area and the setting up of a temporary client reception point for the duration of the refurbishment works.


What are the most significant external issues that have an impact on your role?

Negotiating our relationship with our landlords and the managing agents of our offices. We also continually monitor the services from our external suppliers with a view to possible improvement.


Briefly describe the management structure of your organisation

We have a chief executive [Mark Dembovsky] who sits on the management committee along with a small number of equity partners, the head of practice management and the ­finance director. The heads of the support teams all report in to the head of practice management.


Which board/s do you sit on?

None, but I do sit on a number of committees within the firm. 


What’s the most important lesson your role has taught you?

Always take a pad and pen with you when you go into a meeting.



Turnover: £29.5m

Earnings per partner:


Profit per equity partner: £250,000

Top of equity:£526,000

Bottom of equity:£114,000

Financial management

Howard Kennedy has gone through a period of significant change in the past year, symbolised by the appointment of Mark Dembovsky as the firm’s first non-lawyer chief executive and the conversion to LLP status.

Following its conversion to an LLP organisation, the firm disclosed its year-end financial information for the first time in 2010-11.


CRM: None

PMS: Elite

DMS: Worldox GX