6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Business & Professional Life today CLICK HERE

Lunch with the editor: Paul Mourton, Managing Partner at Lodders

PUBLISHED: 14:53 06 March 2018

Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM

Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM

© Thousand Word Media

From law to Land Rovers and the joys of Lego...In a new series of features, Editor Tanya Gledhill has lunch with a leading business figure. This month, it’s the turn of Lodders’ youngest ever Managing Partner, Paul Mourton

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” So said Mark Twain once. And he knew stuff.

It’s a mantra that was drummed into me by my parents and my teachers - particularly the nuns, with whom you didn’t argue.

It’s something which still I subconsciously instil in my children, the students I teach, my nieces and nephews - all of whom are thankfully successful and brilliant in their own right.

Work ethic and what makes someone get up and get on when everyone else around them is eating Haribo in their pyjamas isn’t your usual lunchtime conversation.

But then I was sitting opposite Paul Mourton, who at 39, has just become the youngest Managing Partner in law firm Lodders’ long history.

Lodders has 140 staff and partners across offices in Stratford-on-Avon and Cheltenham, and it’s his work at the latter that has catapulted Paul to this illustrious position.

Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM

He joined the firm in 2005 from rivals Charles Russell, after qualifying at what was Rickerbys, and set his sights on driving the business right from the start.

By 2011, he was made Partner and by 2013 he’d persuaded the board to let him open an office in Cheltenham; pulled some strings to get the perfect address in Imperial Square, and set about building a dynamic team.

“I’m a Cheltenham boy,” he tells me, as we order in the restaurant at Hotel Du Vin, a 10-minute walk from his offices where he deals with high net-worth clients, many in the property sector.

“I was born here, grew up here, went to Cheltenham College. I loved it.”

He reveals BBC Radio Gloucestershire are running an interview on his success and his alma mater later in the afternoon, which he’s excited about.

Isn’t it true, I say, that schooling at Cheltenham, like Malvern or Rugby or Millfield, sets you on a certain trajectory; introduces you to people; paves the path a bit?

Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM

“It’s true,” he says. “It does. But I’m not the most successful old boy, not by far. I mean, I haven’t taken anyone to war and I’m not an Olympic gold medalist.

“But I did spend a lot of time on the rugby and cricket pitches, and that teaches you an awful lot about teamwork, perseverance, picking yourself up when things don’t quite go your way, digging in and getting on with it. Trying to be the best.”

He read law at Nottingham Trent University and always knew he wanted to be a lawyer.

“I think it’s because my dad was an accountant,” he says. “He was Managing Partner at Hazlewoods and I didn’t like numbers. I wanted to become a lawyer, and I did it.”

He says this, as he does everything else, with modesty, clarity and arresting ease.

“It was my idea to open Cheltenham,” he says.

Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM

“Because I’d maintained clients and contacts in the area, and obviously through dad’s connections I knew quite a few people and it seemed like a natural thing to do.

“It was book-ending the Cotswolds. Because we’re very much a private client, high net-worth individuals sort of law firm, we don’t look after PLCs, we look after owner-managed SMEs and property companies….and there are a few of those here and in the Cotswolds. And Warwickshire is an incredibly affluent area.”

Lodders’ influence now stretches north of Birmingham, where the firm has an office in St Paul’s Square thanks to a merger with a niche divorce practice in the summer, down the M40 to Banbury and Oxford and back up to Bristol.

Of the 140 staff, just 30 are in Cheltenham, and the plan is to grow it.

“It’s a big market,” Paul says. “And it’s a big opportunity for us, doing what we do with the high net-worth individuals, to capitalise on that. There’s a huge amount of inward investment coming to Cheltenham, and there’ll be more so with John Lewis.”

There’s a move out of Imperial Square planned for later this year, because the team has outgrown the building, and Paul will soon relinquish day-to-day control of the team - a move I’m sensing he’s finding it difficult to make.

Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM Tanya Gledhill meets Paul Mourton from Lodders (c) Antony Thompson/TWM

“We’ve got some really good people,” he says. “Nick Rowe and Jess Beddows are going to take it forward. It gives them an opportunity to showcase their abilities while I go to Stratford and Birmingham more.”

It brings us on to the massive growth of the Midlands automotive industry, particularly Jaguar Land Rover and its supply chain, and a shared love of the brand.

And then lunch arrives. For him, chipirones and courgette flower fritos - baby squid with anchovy aioli - and a giant Devon crab cake in a glossy puddle of lemon butter sauce, and me, a punchy plate of roasted tiger prawns with pastis and chilli butter and a perfectly cooked fillet of crispy-skinned cod with a smoked salmon and hispi cabbage sauce.

It brings us on to seaside holidays with the children - ditching the laptop and switching off for the first time all year - and the joys of family time and lying on the floor building Lego and encouraging kids into sport.

That work ethic again, showing up, being part of a team, giving your best.

“It’s going to be a busy year,” says Paul. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Visit the Lodders website here.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Cotswold Life

Yesterday, 17:05

The Cotswolds are famous for rolling hills, countryside views and honey-coloured architecture. Here are ten of the best places to catch a glimpse of breathtaking Cotswold scenery.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:50

‘Be loud and proud, and don’t be ashamed of being a feminist’

Read more
Yesterday, 10:38

Why elderflower and gin are the only ingredients you need for this summer’s ultimate Cotswold Cocktail

Read more
Yesterday, 10:09

Enjoy a day in the sunshine at these wonderful Pick Your Own fruit farms in the Cotswolds...

Read more
Yesterday, 10:08

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Yesterday, 10:06

We’ve teamed up with Cheltenham Music Festival to offer a lucky winner a pair of tickets to enjoy the “witty, lavishly costumed spectacle” of Candide at Cheltenham Town Hall

Read more
Mon, 18:17

“It’s about future-proofing the county where we can. We’re part of a discussion over Gloucestershire 2050 and a key aspect in the county is the airport at Staverton.”

Read more
Mon, 18:12

Did you attend the Cirencester Business Awards? You could be in our social photos...

Read more
Mon, 18:11

Did you attend the second Hotel du Vin and Cotswold Life Business Supper Club? You could be in our social photos...

Read more
Mon, 17:47

Decluttering your work and home space will help clear your mind and give you clarity to make those important decisions. Professional organiser Victoria Staff explains how

Read more
Mon, 17:38

When you’re buying a business, the legal approach should reflect the underlying commercial objectives, explains Sophie Martyn, Corporate & Commercial Solicitor at Willans LLP

Read more
Mon, 17:01

An Oxfordshire company has been recognised with a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for its race technology

Read more
Mon, 16:47

From 60 staff to a team of 320, Complete Utilities is going places. Frank Tennyson meets the man who makes it happen

Read more
Mon, 16:39

Ciaran Martin is CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre, attached to GCHQ in Cheltenham. He explains the cyber threats facing the UK and how corporate resilience is at the forefront of the fight against them

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search