Hall Brown Family Law’s £0 to £4.5million turnover growth story

quill case studyBy Legal Futures Associate Quill

Interview with: James Brown, Partner, Hall Brown Family Law

  • Offices: Manchester head office, London and Sheffield.
  • Law area focus: Family law.
  • Quill products used: Case & practice management, and legal accounts software; legal cashiering and outsourced payroll services.
  • Employees: 2 managing directors/partners, 35 solicitors/fee earners and 12 support staff.

Starting their own law firm is the business goal of many lawyers-cum-entrepreneurs. James Brown pursued his professional dreams five years ago and established Hall Brown Family Law with Sam Hall. He offers inspiration to other budding start-ups, and acknowledges the vital role of quality software and outsourced services in realising his ambitions.

The Challenge

James comments: “A big trick that law firms play on their staff is persuading them it’s impossible to go solo. In actuality, it’s a lot easier than it appears thanks to a range of readily available resources and assistance from those who pave the way.

“The biggest worry initially was whether Sam and I could develop a viable business. Essentially, this is about calculating fee income minus overheads. We were deliberately conservative in our estimations, and careful about choosing the right primary supplier to both better manage expenditure and enable us to work smarter.”

The Solution

“We use Quill’s outsourced cashiering and payroll services coupled with its legal accounts and case management software as a complete, compliant time- and bookkeeping solution.

“As part of our supplier selection process, we adopted a simple creed: if outsourcing costs less than our hourly rate, it’s preferable to performing these administrative functions ourselves. Resultingly, we’ve utilised Quill from the day we began trading. The hours burnt dealing with our own accounts and payroll would have cost tens of thousands, not to mention any potential compliance issues.

“There is a stark difference between being cautious about overheads and false economies. What we pay for Quill’s services is worth every penny, keeps us on the straight and narrow, and allows us to predict outbound spends. Quill’s software also streamlines our daily work via its abundant efficiency features. All of this combines to permit us to focus on fee earning and finding business whilst Quill takes care of everything else.”

The Future

“We’ve grown from two people to 45 and from £0 to £4.5million annual turnover in our first five years. Quill’s products are fully scalable which has supported our growth to date and will continue to support us through future expansion.

“My advice to individuals embarking upon their new venture is: with good planning and the best tools – that’s outsourcing services and software – you can do what we’ve done too. Having Quill behind you means you can achieve anything.”

About Quill

Quill helps law firms streamline and run law practices better by providing simple and easy-to-use practice management and legal accounts software, as well as outsourced legal cashiering, bookkeeping, payroll and typing services.

At the heart of our company values is a total commitment to continual service and software development, and maintaining exceptionally high standards of client support and training, which is why Quill is the first choice for many small-to-medium-sized law firms.

Quill is privately owned, staunchly independent and long established since 1978. In its early days, they were just a handful of entrepreneurs and developers selling programmable calculators. Today, Quill is a 100-strong team centred on offices in Manchester and Liverpool.


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