An innovative Hereford-based alternative business structure has set up a joint venture with a Welsh accountancy firm, joining nine other branded businesses in the Kidwell Group.
They cover an extraordinary range – from Kidwells House, Hereford’s largest guest house, to Kidwells Nexus, a marketing company and Kidwell Legal Loans.
The law firm became an alternative business structure in October 2013, and by this time already had spawned a barrister’s chambers and a gym for staff, clients and others.
Michael Horne, solicitor and managing director of the Kidwell Group, said he believed the new joint venture, Kidwells Whittakers Accounting, would mirror the success of Kidwell Law Solicitors.
Both Whittaker & Co and Kidwells specialise in serving former members of the armed services, and the accountancy firm, based over the border in Newtown, opened an office in Hereford earlier this summer.
“We chose them because they’ve got the same ethos as us, in terms of putting clients first and being interactive,” Mr Horne said.
He said the accountancy and book-keeping business aimed to be a “market leader” in Herefordshire and would work with other businesses in the group, such as its loans company.
Mr Horne said the joint venture has gathered over 140 clients in only a week since its formation was announced on social media. It will be formally launched later this month, with 10 staff.
The new business is being marketed through KidwellsNexus, a marketing firm launced last year.
Mr Horne described KidwellsNexus as a “stand-alone company”, which was aimed not only at clients of the law firm but “any business in Herefordshire”.
The marketing firm works with KidwellsRated, which gives approved local businesses the chance to feature on its website use the “Kidwells K” on all merchandise for a fee of £1,000 per year.
“In the event of a complaint or a dispute between that business we have rated and a customer who contracts through the rated website, Kidwells will mediate at no extra cost to the business or the customer,” the KidWellsRated website says.
“If Kidwells discover that the customer has a valid complaint and offer a solution that the rated business does not accept then the contract will terminate and the parties will be left to the natural remedies of the law.”
Mr Horne said Kidwell Law Solicitors, set up in 2008, had a million pound turnover ‘from nothing’ and was ‘still expanding’.
The ABS currently has five directors and around 25 staff. Mr Horne, who ran a successful trucking company before becoming a solicitor, started life as an apprentice.
He added that the Kidwell Group’s purpose-built offices in Hereford had a “five-star reception and five-star toilets”.