By Legal Futures’ Associate CILEx Regulation
Jamie wanted to be an astronaut, Sylvia wanted to be a fashion designer and Patrick thought he might want to be a joiner. But after successful careers in the law, in early 2019 they opened the doors of their new firm, BCM Law, based in Stockport. Here’s their story.
How did it feel to start your own firm?
We certainly had enough experience! James has been a solicitor for almost 30 years, Patrick has been a solicitor for over 14 years and Sylvia has been in litigation for over 30 years. Last summer we decided to go for it and we spent most of our waking hours in full preparation mode. Our home kitchens became our operation rooms where we hatched our plan to take over the legal world! Not quite, but in our kitchens, we set about mixing the ingredients of BCM Law.
Before we started it was a major concern that we were all giving up full-time, secure jobs for a leap in the dark without guarantee. But the excitement of setting up was greater than the worry of leaving behind a regular secure income.
Our first decision was to choose our regulator. As solicitors, the most obvious choice was the SRA and if we are honest, before August 2018 we hadn’t realised that we could chose CILEx Regulation! After much research and consideration, we chose CILEx as we felt they were the best fit for our business.
How did you find preparing your application?
James worked long and hard to draft our office manual, which is a blueprint to running our firm covering everything from our LLP, website, GDPR, employee contracts and our company ethos.
We received great guidance from CILEx Regulation during the regulation process. We spoke to a number of other firms who were all extremely complimentary about CILEx Regulation. CILEx Regulation were insightful, helpful and provided support in our journey to become regulated. We were admitted as a ClLEx authorised entity on 7 December 2018.
What is running your firm actually like?
Four words: hard work but rewarding!
As your own boss, there is no other person above you to sort a problem. If there is an issue, we resolve it together. One day we could be in the employment tribunal or Magistrates Court. The next day we could be ordering stationery or answering the phones.
The working day just flies by and we can’t believe that when we had our 6-month inspection visit – we are happy to say we passed with flying colours. We know we are doing things properly, but it is good to have it confirmed by our regulator!
We are lucky to have wonderful premises contained within a restored industrial cotton mill. Clients love the free parking.
What happens next?
To continue to grow the business. We have a wonderful website and have many fantastic Google reviews from our clients which we are very proud of.
Our ethos is to be a dynamic, ethical and innovative law firm and we believe we are well on the way to achieving and surpassing this.
As our business grows, we are becoming more established. One day we are in the Magistrates Court, the next the County Court, or the Employment Tribunal and we have even been instructed to appear in the Coroners Court.
It has been a wonderful journey so far and we are looking forward to the future.
You can find out more about us in our video.