Consumer claims firm aims to treble headcount in two years

Hampson: People over profits

A consumer claims law firm in Liverpool that has doubled its headcount to 65 in 12 months despite Covid is set for massive expansion by trebling in size over the next two years.

But Jessica Hampson, the 32-year-old solicitor who owns CEL Solicitors, has set herself the goal of seeing if it can be done in half that time.

A former defendant lawyer, she set up CEL on 8 March 2017 with the aim of building a modern law firm which valued working mothers, and has now leased an extra floor in its office block, which can accommodate a further 120 staff.

Initially specialising in housing disrepair claims, the firm now also handles claims for data breaches, Japanese knotweed, financial mis-selling, land boundary disputes, fraud prevention (recovering money lost to fraud or scams) and business interruption insurance.

Despite having worked for leading defendant firms like Weightmans, Parabis (as was) and DWF, Ms Hampson described herself as “always a claimant lawyer at heart”, but said it helped to understand how defendants operated.

She attributed the growth to a strong ‘people before profits’ ethos and heavy investment in technology.

The solicitor puts a huge emphasis on culture: there are twice-weekly all-staff meetings in the office’s ‘amphitheatre’, every member of staff has a ‘wellness check’ with her or another director every six weeks, and the office has fully stocked bars which open at 3.30pm on Fridays for staff to wind down.

The office also features two ‘think swings’ – swing seats where people can talk – and a pool table, while all staff sign ‘kindness contracts’.

One of the three office bars

Initial plans for the new floor include a seven-metre-long aquarium, and further games and chill-out areas.

“We wanted the office to be somewhere that the team look forward to coming to,” Ms Hampson said. “Happy staff make for happy clients make for happy profits.”

This meant that, when lockdown was introduced last year, the firm still managed to record its best-ever month.

A future move, Ms Hampson said, could be some form of employee ownership, a trend that is very slowly starting to catch on in the legal profession.

She said she was not worried about growing too fast, and highlighted the role of technology and automation – “something law firms, especially in the North-West, don’t do enough” – in allowing the firm to handle high volumes of matters and scale up quickly.

“Working with Barclay Eagle Labs, we’re now exploring how we step up our already innovative approach to client-handling using technology such as AI,” Ms Hampson said.

Her husband is Paul Hampson, a director of well-known personal injury firm Hampson Hughes, but the two firms are completely separate.

    Readers Comments

  • Davo says:

    I think you will find Paul Hampson is the MD of CEL Solicitors and is no longer at Hampson Hughes!

Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


How could instant messaging transform your law firm?

The vast majority of law firms have no instant messaging capability. In what other sector is that the case? Most stick to traditional communications channels. In 2021 there’s no good reason for that.

From cost saving to revenue making – post-pandemic commercial success

Commercial success is the driving force for ambitious law firms and it should come as no surprise that many have a renewed determination to re-evaluate their businesses in the wake of Covid-19.

Success in-house – what people don’t tell you about how to get there

TV dramas have made many people think that the legal profession consists of heroes (or villains) in high-flying firms or public prosecution. In reality, nearly a quarter of solicitors work in-house.

Loading animation