East Anglia: Fosters Solicitors responds to ‘Tesco law’ changes

EAST Anglia law firm Fosters Solicitors has adopted a new management structure to prepare itself for change in the legal marketplace.

A new executive committee has been appointed to take over the day-to-day running of the business which employs 120 staff and has offices in Bungay, Bury St Edmunds, Gorleston, Ipswich, Lowestoft, Norwich, Thetford and Wymondham.

The executive directors on the committee, Chris Brown, Lucy Simpson and Andrea Spooner, have all been with the firm since the mid 1990s.

They will retain their existing roles of head of crime & defence; joint head of family law and practice director respectively. Former managing partner Andrew Saul and deputy Steve Green remain as board members.

Fosters says the move follows extensive consultation with clients and the desire to make sure the practice is in the best shape to take advantage of the changing face of the legal system.

“Clients tell us they are more comfortable dealing with a legal practice which has a familiar commercial structure,” said chief executive Chris Brown.

“As Fosters continues to grow the executive committee can set about delivering the vision of the Board- a modern, forward thinking legal practice, putting clients at the heart of the decisions we make.

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“In the last 12 months we have extended our areas of practice, merged with a north Suffolk firm and become the official legal partner to Norwich City Football Club. All of these changes have led us to consider how our management structure should reflect that aim.”

At the end of last year the so called “Tesco Law” Legal Services Act enabled legal services to be offered by a wide range of businesses.

“To date the massive changes predicted by many have not yet materialised but that does not mean they will not in the future and we are already altering the way we offer our services to reflect this,” said Lucy Simpson.

“Our residential property department is already open seven days a week, while we offer a round the clock service when it comes to criminal and family matters,” added Andrea Spooner, who became one of the first non-solicitor owners of a law firm in 2009.

“We are continually looking at options as to how other departments can similarly extend their customer service. But at all times we need to be open and flexible, listen to what clients want and then be prepared to deliver it.”