Explaining the decision to relocate to the heart of the city’s independent stores sector, partner Janet Milton said:
“We are a small practice offering a very personal service to our private and business clients and as such we have a very different ethos to many of the larger, corporate legal firms. When looking for new premises we wanted somewhere which reflected this.
“Gandy Street is a perfect new location for us; being the home of small, independent shops and businesses that offer something just a little bit different without compromising on quality.
“We were amused when we realised that Gandy Street was the inspiration for Diagon Alley of Harry Potter fame – a little bit of magic would certainly have helped ease the upheaval of an office move!”
Partner Mervyn Rundle, Exeter born and bred, is also delighted by the move from their old South Street offices. A former pupil of Clyst St Mary primary and Exeter School, he returned to the city after university.
He said: “Exeter is the kind of place people always come back to. Gandy Street is an iconic Exeter street which today offers a quality, up-market feel which is an alternative to the mainstream. We are already feeling very much at home here: we are ‘Gandy Street people’.
“When looking for new offices we were keen to avoid a ‘glass palace’: they can be very expensive and we don’t want to have to pass on unnecessary costs to our clients.”
Previously based at 92 South Street, the firm has moved to 17 Gandy Street, taking two floors above the Moko shop.
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All of the team at Solicitors Title are delighted that the firm is a finalist in this year’s Western Gazette Business Awards. Partner, Richard James, said “having only had our office in Yeovil for just over a year, this is great local recognition for what we originally set out to do in opening our second office.”
This year, Solicitors Title is a finalist in the Best Business Website category, a new award for 2014. The majority of law firm websites that we looked at simply talked about the firm and how expert they were in various areas, but they seemed to miss the point that the purpose of their website is to help existing and prospective clients understand how hiring a lawyer can help them, whether they have a personal issue or a business one. We build long-term relationships with our clients and therefore needed the website to reflect how we not only add value to our clients’ interests but also to demonstrate how we manage to achieve this by being different from our competitors. Our charging structure reflects a modern approach and we generally take a longer-term view when talking to new clients about moving their business to us, as a number of Somerset clients have now done – we’re not just another service-provider; we act as a business partner and this seems to be working.
Although we knew a number of web companies (understandable given our specialisms in technology and media law), we needed a company that would build us a site that was much more than just a glossy brochure. The site had to work too; from effective search-engine optimisation to social media integration.
So we chose Purplebox Media over a number of other web development companies, as we had the confidence they would deliver for us. On 7 November last year, at our opening event shared with many clients, professional contacts and friends, Purplebox Media helped us launch the site live at our event held at the Yeovil Innovation Centre. “Not only did they meet the tight deadline” says Richard James, “but they also worked extremely hard to ensure that they delivered the effective online presence that we needed as part of our future strategy. Managing Director Richard Franklin and his team really went the extra mile for us and therefore we would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone needing a web company that takes time to understand their needs and is able to deliver options effectively, always in a way that you understand.”
We wish all of the finalists the best of luck for Thursday, at the awards ceremony to be held at Westlands Leisure Complex, where the winners will be announced!
After only their first year in Yeovil, the team at South West law firm Solicitors Title were thrilled at receiving a Business Excellence Award at this year’s 2014 Western Gazette Business Awards.
Recognising the Best Business Website (a new award this year), the judges were particularly interested in companies which showed they understood how important their website and online presence are as a vital factor in driving their business forward, giving them competitive advantage.
“As a law firm focussed on being as up-to-date as we can be (and therefore having left behind many of the old-fashioned ways of working that the majority of other law firms continue to adopt), our website had to reflect how people now choose to interact” said Richard James, the Partner responsible for marketing at Solicitors Title LLP. “With more people now accessing the internet on mobile devises rather than desktops, the excellent advice and support which we received from Purplebox Media ensured that our new site was designed to be mobile-responsive, meaning that its’ layout is tailored for phones, tablets and other devices that people now choose to use. Led by managing director, Richard Franklin, the Purplebox Media team not only took time to understand our overall strategy but also delivered an online presence which is not only user-friendly and modern but one which intelligently employs search-engine optimisation and facilitates social-media integration; together, we are now helping to lead the way in our industry by fully embracing the latest technology.”
Legal specialism alone is simply not enough to impress clients; they are looking for great customer service which also acknowledges the need for modern businesses to work to a budget; “We therefore work hard to develop long-term relationships with our clients, consistently delivering value for money in addition to excellent advice – much of our work is now based on fixed-fees, for example, as this is what clients tell us they want.”
Proving how we deliver needed to be a key element of our site; it needed to be much more than simply a glossy brochure. “We explained why clients like working with us and backed this up with testimonials in our clients’ own words as we believed this is what prospective clients really judge us on – how we genuinely deliver great service that meets their needs. On our testimonials page itself, we make clear that we appreciate it is how our clients feel after they have worked with us that counts, not how expert we claim to be in certain areas.”
Partner, Janet Milton, former in-house counsel at Bradford & Bingley and who now heads up Solicitors Title LLP’s successful property and lending practice, said “Expanding into a new area is always a big step for any business. For us, however, it was the obvious move to make once Richard joined us; having worked for another firm in Somerset and Dorset. We knew we would need presence in the region, so that clients and contacts could come and see us and we could get out to see them; and only a year after opening our office in Yeovil, feedback suggests we are building a name locally, and this award helps to endorse the fact that our efforts seem to be working!”
“Thursday’s Award Ceremony was an excellent showcase of the quality of business being done in the region and The Western Gazette, alongside Westlands Leisure Complex, should be applauded for organising a truly fantastic and professional event.
“Finally, together with our guests, including Jim Durrant (Handelsbanken), Richard Franklin (Purplebox Media), Alan Bunter (Remous Print), Louise Blackburn (Honour Jewellery) and Brian Ritchie (Raith Associates) who kindly celebrated with us on the night, we congratulate all of the awards finalists and winners and look forward to being back again next year!”
If you buy or sell online, take note! The distance selling laws that governed these transactions changed this month, reports Richard James, a Partner at Yeovil-based Solicitors Title. The new law gives added protection to consumers and will be followed by one of the biggest updates to consumer law in 30 years.
The changes this month mean that consumers now have a longer cooling-off period – 14 days instead of the previous 7 working days – to cancel a purchase made online, or in other situations where the buyer and seller are not face-to-face. To ensure consumers know who they are dealing with, the requirement for up-front information is also extended – on top of a trader’s identity and contact information, sellers must now provide details of any after-sales service, complaints-handling policy or guarantees that will apply – if they don’t, the cancellation period is extended to a year. For traders that don’t comply, they leave themselves open to problems later; perhaps having to refund an item months after it was originally purchased.
But for traders, returns are now fairer. A consumer who chooses to return goods will now have to wait for a refund – either until the goods have been returned or until they have provided some evidence that a return has been made – allowing traders to inspect the goods and in some cases make a deduction for any damage; under the previous regime, this was a costly issue for sellers.
What to do now? Businesses need to consider their sales process and what their online terms currently say – they may not now be compliant. As specialists in online and technology law, Solicitors Title will be rolling out a number of free seminars to update local businesses on the changes and how they apply.