andrew has been advising london businesses for fifteen years.
He started out at highly regarded UK and US firms in the City carrying out public company share offerings and cross border M&A
more hands-on, he found himself working more with owner-managed businesses, and in 2005 he took on an ailing West End commercial practice from which he built his own client-base of over 60 businesses and not-for-profits, covering communications, technology, media, pharmaceutical as well as local authorities and colleges. After a few years he was asked to develop a corporate law capacity in a West End practise. However by this time he was witnessing the outworkings of the biggest changes to the legal services landscape for many generations, and so in response he put together for his clients the new Lexham Legal approach to corporate advisory services.
By growing his own business at the same time as advising many shareholder-directors on the same journey, he has a useful insight into the real world of business.
Whilst our principal adviser has been advising clients as a solicitor during the bulk of the last 16 years in London, he has stepped back from being a solicitor. Similarly, Lexham Legal is not a solicitor's practice and so it is not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. So when we were asked, "Why not?" we went back a stage and ask, "Why (be regulated)?" In our experience, whilst professional regulation can have a role to play, it may be perhaps a more modest role than it claims. Despite great intentions, our experience is that it sets the bar too low. It cannot demand or inspire first class work, which is what clients are looking for. So rather than look to a regulatory stamp of approval, Lexham Legal has preferred to stand on its own credentials by delivering quality. We are only as good as our last clients think we are, so we expect to give them something first class.
Our main adviser has built up and managed his own Fleet Street legal practise, and is now building up Lexham Legal as a new model. He understands the pressures of growing a small business as well as being innovative. This keeps the firm very much in the real world, with the client, and clients expect Lexham Legal to talk about the solutions, not just the problems.
It seems we are not the only ones thinking this way. In the biggest liberalisation for very many generations, the legal services marketplace has been opened up to the government to non-solicitors. Companies looking for advice in this new choice-driven marketplace are following suit, demanding greater specialisation and flexibility. This is why a less regulated, more entrepreneurial specialist such as Lexham Legal is well placed to work closely alongside those businesses, whether coming on board to achieve more 'risk mitigation' or 'value enhancement/capital release' outcomes.
However we think clients will notice the odd difference. Firstly, we cant rely on any type of professional approval as such - we are only as good as what a client says about our last job. And that more than anything else keeps us delivering top solutions for the client! Also, we dont need to pay regulatory fees and we buy our insurance and other back office services on a more open market than that available to solicitors. This means we can be much more competitive on fees, as we try to pass that value on to our clients. Thirdly, because we are not looking over our shoulder at the mountain of regulation (our last handbook of solicitors' rules and guidance stood at 936 pages!), we have worked out what actually helps, and doesnt hinder, us from working well for you. We have then just made that our one-page terms of business. So as regulatory bodies (a bit like governments) tend to just grow and grow, we don’t need to worry about death by regulation. We can just get on without distraction in providing you with a first class service.
Documenting your new business ventures and investments
Buying and selling owner-managed businesses
A company law adviser with a difference
Lexham Legal clients have come to expect corporate law support from someone who has run his own business, and appreciates something of those pressures. It seems that most clients expect their advisers to be legally competent, to be on top of the law, but should they not also expect some business likemindedness?
Businesses are selling into faster-moving and more competitive markets than ever before, and they expect their legal support to be moving in the same direction. The goverment has now recognised this and opened up the traditional 'solicitor firm' model to competition, allowing providers like Lexham Legal to partner more effectively and flexibly with clients than ever before.
Lexham Legal is not a solicitor firm, and so it sits independent from the standard regulatory regime. This means we have more choice as to
how we do what we do, which seems to work for everyone. Hundreds of pages of internal regulation are replaced with a single sheet of our business terms. This means we can just get on with it, delivering a first class service, no fuss.
"We own several businesses and Andrew helped on two occasions, once with legal services required to help set up staff procedures and legal requirements for our new business and later, some personal work. I would not hesitate to recommend him"
Company Director (general corporate advice)
"Thanks for your advice as I have never been in this position before but was so relieved reading through what you helped us with a few months back as it is very clearly written document and helpful..."
Company Director (shareholders restructuring advice)