We recognised that we could benefit from a more effective rewards programme for our staff and fee earners in order to reward and further encourage high performance. However, we were unsure about how to structure such a rewards programme in a way which would not have an adverse affect on morale within the firm or the culture of the firm.
We were impressed by the knowledge, experience and awareness of Andy Poole and the specialist legal sector team at Armstrong Watson. They really understood the likely impacts of potential rewards programmes and were able to provide a comprehensive report, suggesting a bonus scheme that was bespoke to our business, helping us to drive performance in our key areas. The presentation of the scheme, suggested rules and financial awareness training delivered to our fee earners has had a positive impact on our business.
Ian Kennerley, Partner, Silk Family Law
In 2016 we engaged the services of Armstrong Watson’s specialist Legal Sector as we sought to change our business structure to reflect our modern approach to Law at our dynamic and growing law firm. Andy Poole and the team were able to guide us through the various structure options to find the structure which met our business needs. The checklist approach used allowed us to delegate tasks to the appropriate people and track what needed to be done and when.
As part of this process we were introduced to one of Armstrong Watson’s Financial Planning team who advised us on ensuring the business and its key stakeholders are adequately protected in the event of death or critical illness and continues to guide us through our pension planning including the use of commercial property. I actually enjoy talking with him and the rest of the Armstrong team!
We were delighted by the forward thinking joined up approach and look forward to our working relationship with the Armstrong Watson team continuing to develop.
Ben Pepperell CEO, Pepperells Solicitors
We moved to Armstrong Watson due to their specific legal sector expertise and knowledge. We have been very pleased with the quality and efficiency of the accountancy, tax and financial advisory services provided by Andy Poole, Graham Poles and the rest of the AW team. We value the fact they truly understand our business and the legal sector as this enables them to provide us with pro-active valued added advice and suggestions to make our business and strategic business planning even better.
Carl Newton, Managing Partner, Myerson
The specialist legal sector team at Armstrong Watson has been instructed by Burnetts Solicitors to prepare the firm’s financial statements, tax returns and SRA Accounts Rules reports as well as the partners’ personal tax returns since 2011. I have been in a joint managing partner position since 1 January 2014 and have worked particularly closely with them since becoming sole managing partner on 1 January 2015. In that time, I have been impressed with their speed of response. When we need something actioned, it is always done within the agreed timetable. That is in part due to their attention to ensure that we provide them with everything that they need in order to help us. Initiatives have been established to ensure that timetables are adhered to and all costs are agreed in advance.
We benefit from their pro-active advice and suggestions; particularly recently regarding our trading structure, law firm alliances and ways to reduce our costs. In addition, they have presented to our people on cross-selling initiatives and improving their understanding of their impact on the success of the firm. They have also offered one to one tax surgeries with each of our partners in order for them to plan their personal affairs, which we will benefit from this year. Their benchmarking analysis of the firm allows us to have strategic conversations with them, and also with my partners internally.
All in all, they help us to improve our business.
Nick Gutteridge, Managing Partner, Burnetts
Having faced a number of approaches from law firms and companies over the years to acquire Pryers, it was important for us to wait patiently for the right opportunity with the right company to forge ahead with. Pure Legal undoubtedly presents that opportunity and I am delighted to get this deal over the line and I look forward to working with Phil and his team.
Thanks to our Accountant, Andy Poole and his team from Armstrong Watson, for their diligent work. We were genuinely impressed with their advice and representation.
Ian Pryer, Managing Partner, Pryers LLP
Having appointed Armstrong Watson to prepare our SRA Accounts Rules reports, we have been extremely impressed with the manner in which they arranged the transfer of responsibilities from our previous accountants. Their specialist legal sector team has been very easy to deal with and they have provided practical solutions to issues, based on experience. The whole process has been unbelievably smooth and we are delighted with the decision that we have made.
Shru Morris, Finance Director, Napthens LLP
We engaged Andy Poole and his specialist legal sector team at Armstrong Watson as our accountants in 2012, only the second firm of accountants we have used in our 18 year history. We found that their management of the handover of responsibilities from our previous accountants was very smooth and constructive.
In the first year, we have been very satisfied with the level of specialisation which they bring to our sector. Our previous accountants were a top 10 UK firm, but we do not feel that they were able to offer the same depth of advice. Andy’s knowledge of the legal market shines through in his pro-active advice and they have been very keen to help to improve our business.
They have already suggested and implemented a change in our business structure to better suit our commercial needs. This should result in very significant tax efficiencies, even though we have not noticed any real changes to the way we run our practice on a day to day basis. We get on with running our practice and they get on with supporting us.
We are very happy with our decision to appoint Armstrong Watson and we are sure that they will bring on-going benefits to our business going forward.
John Gaunt, Senior Partner, John Gaunt & Partners
Andy's knowledge of the legal sector is phenomenal and his in-depth understanding of the issues being faced by lawyers at this time of unprecedented change is undoubtedly of huge help to his clients. He can identify ways of structuring a legal business so as to operate within the confines of a highly regulated environment but whilst making it more effective and more profitable. He is also personable and presents informative and engaging training sessions - which are not always qualities that can be attributed to accountants!
Natalie Saunders, Managing Director, Pharos Legal
On recommendation from a fellow partner, who had experienced similar problems to me, I contacted Andy Poole at Armstrong Watson to see if he could assist me with a share valuation in respect of my shareholding in my former legal practice.
Andy and his team were consummate professionals from the outset. Throughout my dealings with them all my enquiries, and those from my legal team, were dealt with very promptly. Following receipt of an initial favourable advice, Andy was instructed to proceed and prepare a detailed valuation for presentation to the appointed expert pursuant to the terms of the Shareholders Agreement. This was a very detailed and meticulous piece of work. It could not fail to impress.
The other parties produced a very slip shod valuation by comparison, and then some fanciful counter arguments by way of response to Andy’s report. These were dealt with in very short order in Andy’s supplemental report.
When the expert’s fair price valuation of my shareholding came through it was within 4% of Andy’s valuation figure.
Quality always shines through and the quality of the work produced by Andy and his team really shone through.
Sincere thanks once again to Andy and his team at Armstrong Watson.
We engaged the services of Andy Poole of Armstrong Watson to assist us with a proposed merger with another solicitors’ practice. We found Andy Poole to be extremely personable and his considerable experience of similar mergers proved invaluable.