“Perhaps the time to measure an organisation is through a recession rather than more prosperous times. We feel 2010 is a good year to assess Price Bailey,” says Peter Gillman, managing director of our Large Firm of the Year Price Bailey. What a year the firm has had.
Despite the recession, the firm grew 6.8% to £15.7m, profits per partner rose 9% to £185,000 and it managed to avoid making any recession-based redundancies. But that is only a small part of Price Bailey’s story this year.
It opened a new Channel Islands office, generating not only income from Guernsey business, but facilitating a link to UK clients and creating fees from work that would previously have been outsourced. Overall, Price Bailey generated £3.37m of new business, both from existing and new clients.
The firm overhauled its charging structure so that clients would not be charged for the firm simply staying in touch, popping over for a chat, hospitality or regular phone contact. This, it said, changed the approach of the team to client relationships, with partners and managers no longer discouraged from staying in regular contact with clients for fear of not being able to recover the time.
Online resources were improved with an ‘Adding Value Guide’ made available to staff through the intranet that also included a wiki facility, allowing anybody to add comments and amend or improve the guide.
Offices have been upgraded and departmental structures radically changed so that partners and staff are moved around the practice to where their skills are needed at a certain point in time. A new graduate training programme has been implemented, providing structured experience across all departments, enabling newly qualifieds to make an informed decision about career preferences and provide the firm with highly skilled client facing teams for the longer term.
In a time of contraction, Price Bailey has flourished.