What’s going on here?
London Law Firm, Hodge Jones & Allen (HJA), has decided to hand its ownership to its employees.
What does this mean?
This move will surely keep Patrick Allen’s ‘people-first entrepreneurial spirit’ alive. Allen, HJA’s senior partner and majority owner, and the rest of the firm’s equity partners have agreed to sell HJA to an employee ownership trust – a form of employee ownership which involves a trust holding a controlling stake for the benefit of all employees.
Although Allen is set to stay, he has voluntarily agreed to take a step back to allow the firm to flourish under his employees. Members of staff will be given the opportunity to thoroughly engage themselves in key decision-making, similar to the ownership model adopted by retail giants, John Lewis.
Why should law firms care?
This is a huge step in the legal community, with the civil liberties, human rights and legal aid law firm being the first firm in the UK to make such a bold move. As this is still a new idea to digest, firms will be keeping tabs on HJA’s development and if such a move proves to be a success, others may consider adopting a similar ownership structure in the future.
Furthermore, HJA’s ownership shake-up could prove to be attractive for in-coming lawyers seeking a job. For future lawyers and law students, the opportunity to take up a substantial position of responsibility in dictating a firm’s vision and future success might just be too hard to turn down. With that being said, this could potentially provide competition for larger commercial firms when it comes down to recruiting fresh faces.
HJA have previously represented clients in prominent cases, including the Grenfell and King’s Cross fire incidents. Being the high profile firm it already is, this move can only be a huge plus for them in the long run.
Report written by Joshua L.
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