Change has been a constant thread throughout my career and I established BHB Consulting to share my experience of managing and leading through legal sector change to help others achieve their goals and objectives. Whether you’re at the start of your journey and want a helping hand, need help to turnaround, grow or merge or want to kick off a transformation programme I hope I can help: let’s talk.
I’m a legal professional and former senior executive with over three decades of strategic, operational and team leadership experience. With a particular focus on ‘go to market’ through to client on-boarding and experience throughout the lifecycle I have led £MM restructuring, process improvement programmes and ‘business as usual’ operational performance (although remain convinced that ‘business as usual’ is an oxymoron).
Central to my approach to managing through change is designing ways of working that enrich the everyday experience of customers, clients and colleagues; improving access to the law, harnessing technology and investing energy on activity that draws from the continuous improvement mindset, learning from experience and building great working environments.
If you want to know a little more then settle down as it’s a story of three parts:
(1) Private Practice
About 30ish years ago I entered the legal sector. That sounds like a nice orderly planned entrance but it wasn’t at all. It was an unrefined tumble into the role of Junior Secretary back in the days when ‘juniorship’ was something to be celebrated, indicating career pathways, personal growth and “one day you could even work for a partner”. Fairly soon I worked out that the secretarial life was not for me and, thanks to an amazing business sponsor, a legal education beckoned via CILEx Law School and, after years of juggling full time fee-earning and distance learning I qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive: the unrefined tumble had become more like a carefully executed double somersault with just a little wobble on landing. My career started with roles at Graham and Oldham (now Ashton Legal), Loosemores, Buss Murton Law and Colman Coyle Solicitors. I specialised in PI, clinical negligence and group litigation and always worked to improve internal systems and experience of clients.
(2) Operational Leadership and Business Growth
In 2003, I was appointed as Director of Legal Operations of Abstract Legal Holdings, a company that provided marketing, sales and legal process outsourcing to over 200 law firms under the banner ‘Accident Advice Helpline’. I joined the team as the subject matter expert but soon became part of the management team that took the business from start up through growth to maturity and exit. It was a wide ranging role that allowed me to develop skills and experience as I engaged with legal, financial, insurance, political and regulatory stakeholders. I progressed to Group Director in 2012 and, as the business was acquired and integrated into Quindell Plc in 2013 I took the role of Head of Operations and Business Transformation. I was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2014 with remit across the wider group client intake and acquisition functions.
(3) Business Transformation
In 2015, I joined consumer legal services provider Slater and Gordon (SG) as part of the core leadership team that defined post-integration strategy following acquisition of Quindell’s Professional Services Division. During this time, I spearheaded client needs as Head of Client Intake and Experience and then became Head of Client, taking ownership of ‘go to market’ through to on-boarding and CX lifecycle, from 2017 to 2018. My time at SG included a period of intense focus and speculation as the business responded to financial concerns, regulatory reform and the need to radically transform its ways of working to be future fit. In addition to operational leadership, I was business sponsor for one of three transformation workstreams acting as the operational delivery vehicle for restructuring activities. Prior to exiting SG, as the UK entity split from the Australian listed business, I played a key role in re-defining business purpose, vision and executable plan across target sectors.