Driving change in the delivery of legal services – Excello Law NW profile

Published in CharteredOne, February 2017

National commercial law firm Excello Law is at the forefront of driving change in the way legal services are delivered and has enjoyed significant growth across the North West over the last year, offering additional expertise across corporate and finance, energy and renewables and family law specialisms, and opening a new office in Chester alongside Liverpool.

Excello Law was founded in 2009 as one of the first law practices to adopt a limited liability company structure, providing a more forward-thinking and independent environment in which to practise for experienced, senior commercial lawyers and addressing client concerns about the quality, accessibility and cost of legal services head-on.

Excello Law’s innovative business model has pioneered changes in the way legal services are delivered, reducing overhead costs and using leading-edge technology to give freedom to lawyers to manage their businesses as they choose while assuring clients of better value pricing and direct access to senior legal expertise.

Collaborative working is a key value of the firm.  Lawyers are incentivised to work together with the focus on quality of output and client service, not on billable hours. 42% of case files opened in 2016 were referrals between lawyers, dismantling the silo culture prevalent elsewhere in the profession.

Julie Mogan, regional director and a corporate lawyer and recently voted as Liverpool’s ‘Legal Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the Downtown Liverpool in Business 2016 awards, explains: “The way we work allows us to focus fully on customer service and the development of long-lasting partnerships with our clients which is at the heart of everything we do at Excello Law.

“We know our clients value the direct access to senior lawyers, the depth and breadth of legal services offered across our teams, and the more competitive pricing or fixed fee options.”

The firm opened its Liverpool office at One Derby Square in 2014 gaining recognition for the expertise across its commercial property and corporate services with lawyers Heather Summers, Pete McHugh and Tom Sutcliffe.

2016 saw the arrival of corporate lawyer Ian Vicary, energy and renewables expert Brian Wake, and senior family lawyer Lindsay Yateman.   Ian specialises in significant acquisitions, disposals and refinancing, and has worked on some of the North West’s largest transactions including the sale of Norse Merchant Shipping Group to Maersk for £250m.

Brian is a nationally-recognised expert on environmental law, renewable energy and minerals and focuses on advising operators and landowners on major mineral and waste developments (including related planning issues) and renewable energy projects including windfarms, solar and anaerobic digestion plants.

Lindsay Yateman undertakes the full range of family law work including divorce, separation and dissolution of civil partnerships, often dealing with complex, high net worth divorces where there are frequently overseas assets, private companies, trusts and pensions, as well as financial settlements – including maintenance, property orders and pension sharing; co-habitation agreements, children cases, pre and post-nuptial arrangements – and collaborative law.

Supporting current expertise across business and corporate, real estate, employment, dispute resolution, insolvency, intellectual property and private client work, the additional services are adding considerable depth and breadth to clients with a truly all-encompassing commercial law portfolio.

Such has been the successful growth of the team across the North West that an additional office in Chester has opened at One City Place, a vibrant and contemporary new development in the heart of the city’s business quarter.

Excello’s regional office hubs across Liverpool, Chester, Leeds and London support a truly flexible working model for the firm’s lawyers.  Managing director George Bisnought explains: “Law firms are very traditional still in their working practices but we have a truly agile model – lawyers are free to work when, where and how they choose, either from office hubs or through a combination of flexible, mobile or remote working, including at our clients’ premises if that suits.

“That level of flexibility has transformed the working lives of our lawyers and, in turn, positively impacts on accessibility for our clients.  Lawyers are supported by leading-edge technology and full paralegal, compliance and administrative resources but we keep our overheads low to ensure better value services for our clients.”

Excello Law has grown in just seven years to a team of over 80 fee-earners, with year on year growth averaging 20%. The firm has also expanded its international expertise, setting-up an office in Sweden and working with an associate in the US, as well as welcoming international corporate lawyer Carl Nisser in 2016, who has built a wide-ranging practice advising businesses across Europe and North America, and will be supporting clients with challenges around Brexit.