The Law of Nothing-Average
PUBLISHED: 10:08 08 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:08 08 January 2016
When it comes to providing legal advice to the region's mould-breakers, BPE tells us why one size most definitely does not fit all.
“Smashing stereotypes might well become one of the Cotswolds’ most distinctive characteristics,” according to John Workman, Senior Partner of BPE Solicitors.
With a client list that reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Cotswold entrepreneurs and innovators, the top 200 law firm has long understood the capacity for excellence within the region’s business community.
“Ours is a region of beauty and brains,” says John. “And the really exceptional talents that call the Cotswolds home are challenging the clichés of the past.
“The region is becoming better known for its industrious, entrepreneurial streak; qualities which the team at BPE shares and understands.
“We have a track record for the effective support of young businesses that progress to become multi-million, multi-national operations. Some have become worldwide brands, like SuperGroup, while others are ground-breakers within their sectors, such as Creed Foodservice, Mears Group, Fabric Architecture or Pro-Bolt.
“It’s not just about knowing the law, it’s about knowing the client’s business and drivers that’s fundamental for everyone at BPE,” explains John.
Headquartered in Cheltenham and with an office in London (with satellite facilities in Cirencester, Oxford and Bristol), such has been the firm’s growth in supporting clients across South Gloucestershire and the Five Valleys, that BPE recently moved into new larger premises in Bond’s Mill, Stonehouse.
The 20-strong team there, headed up by partner Cheryl Leigh, provides legal support to private clients and businesses, and is developing a particular affinity with the burgeoning entrepreneurial culture in the Five Valleys.
“Our team brings a real depth of legal expertise to some exceptional people and businesses,” says Cheryl. “Our commercial clients often turn to us for personal legal matters too, whether that’s planning for the future, buying properties or handling complex and sensitive family or relationship issues.
“The breadth of specialists within BPE means we can ‘join the dots’ to provide imaginative and technically expert responses to every aspect of law that our clients may face.”
There’s perhaps no clearer illustration of this approach, than meeting Liz Saunders, who leads the family team.
“My business background makes me unique as a family lawyer because I understand how businesses operate and the way business people want to work with their advisers,” says Liz. “I work with my clients and their accountants to find creative and often highly novel solutions on separation or divorce, to help them protect and preserve their wealth.
“One of the painful consequences of a marriage break-up can include the impacts on a business owned by the client. By working with my colleagues in the commercial and corporate teams we’ve been able to restructure businesses to meet the other party’s claims and avoid the business having to be sold.”
Speak to Liz, Cheryl, John, or any one of BPE’s 57 lawyers and 130 staff, and it’s apparent that it’s not only their clients who are breaking moulds and challenging preconceptions.