West Midlands lawyer Kim Carr of FBC Manby Bowdler has been named as the new chairman of LawNet, the independent law firm network.
The first woman to hold the role in the network’s 26 year history, LawNet says her leadership of the member-run board will be key to the network’s strategy and future growth plans.
FBC Manby Bowdler LLP was a founder member of LawNet in 1989 and the 29-partner firm employs over 160 staff at five offices across the West Midlands and Shropshire.
Alongside its professional rankings in the Legal 500 and Chambers, it was named firm of the year in 2014 by its regional Law Society and has regularly appeared in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For listings under Kim’s stewardship.
Kim Carr has been managing partner of the firm since 2005, joining the firm as a trainee and heading the private client department, before leading the merger of FBC Solicitors with Manby Steward Bowdler LLP in 2008. She was named LawNet managing partner of the year in 2012.
Said Kim Carr: “It’s a great opportunity for me to play a part in the network’s future development. There are big challenges in the sector, with consolidation continuing, but it’s a time that offers LawNet firms huge opportunities, if we are commercially focussed and differentiate ourselves. I believe outstanding customer service lies at the heart of that.
“As an independent firm we have always seen big benefits in being part of the LawNet family and I’ll be working with the board and the team at LawNet HQ to see how we can build on that strength for our members, as we grow the network.”
Welcoming Kim to the role, LawNet chief executive Chris Marston said: “It’s great news for the network that Kim has agreed to take on this key role.
“We’ve seen our network grow over the past year, and our proposition remains rooted in supporting firms to deliver great customer service, providing high quality learning and keeping the lid on PII premiums through a strong risk management culture.
“We’ve got big ambitions for the future, constrained only by the number of firms that will match up to our selection criteria.”
The LawNet network was established in 1989 to enable a collaborative, mutually-owned national network where independent law firms can access big firm resources and benefit from collective purchasing, shared knowledge, best practice and expertise.
As well as quality and risk management accreditation, the network provides training in legal practice and management skills, marketing support and access to a range of office support services. It also provides a group professional indemnity insurance scheme for members.