I'm Simon Heald, the firm's Managing Partner. My journey with this firm started when I became a Trainee Solicitor in 1987 and I have been part of our growth and change ever since.
We are now based in four main locations and have over 400 staff and partners working on behalf of our clients across the country. I was honoured to become the firm's Managing Partner in 2008.
As a long established firm, we can trace our history back to the early 19th century. I'd like to think that we are well known for many things, not least our staff and clients, who are at the heart of everything we do.
For our clients, we have national recognition for our sector-focused approach, which means that we direct our skill, energy and expertise in understanding our clients in the sectors that they operate in.
As part of our commitment to staff and clients, we are proud of our 'core values'. These core values are the backbone of the firm and underpin everything we do. The values are incorporated in our business plans and communications, as well as staff appraisals.
We're often told that we are chosen by clients for our in-depth industry and sector knowledge and the inter-relationship between them. We were keen to depict this in our logo. The design started with circles each of which represented a core sector - the circles were placed to overlap one another to show the interconnection. These overlaps were then brought to life using the VWV red which has now evolved into what we call 'the spark'.
The spark gives the appearance of movement and growth which we can apply to all areas of our business.
Education - We assist over 1,000 education institutions, including universities, FE colleges, independent schools, maintained schools and academies, on contentious and non-contentious matters. We also provide specialist legal advice to UK education investors and on international education projects.
Independent Schools - We have over 20 years' experience as trusted legal advisors to numerous heads, bursars and chairs of governors of independent schools.
Charities - Our Charities team are nationally recognised by the leading legal directories for their work within the sector. They act for a variety of clients, from local charities to large international organisations, advising on a range of complex and commercially-sensitive work.
Healthcare - The strengths of our Healthcare team lie in acting for operators and care providers in primary care and social care. The team acts for over 400 GP practices and a number of private providers, and has acted on over 95 GP surgery development schemes.
Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences - We are passionate about the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sector, delivering a first class legal service. We actively take part in thought leadership and provide a range of legal services and support to the sector "connecting life sciences expertise in a changing world".
Public Sector - Our national Public Sector practice provides a one-stop full service for central and local government on all areas, from property planning to employment issues as well as specialist teams advising on state aid, election law, member standards and constitutional issues.
Technology - No matter the sector, our experienced technology lawyers work hard to understand what matters to you. From global technology giants to pre-revenue tech startups, the team advise a diverse range of clients on the key issues faced by those in the technology industry.
International - Our International Law team are experienced at advising clients overseas and have achieved national recognition for their sector-focused approach. We were founding members of the Association of European Lawyers and are also long-standing members of Eurojuris.
I have mentioned our sectors which is our focus, and these are underpinned by our core legal services: real estate & commercial property, corporate, commercial (including intellectual property, data protection, employment law, immigration, dispute resolution, information law, partnerships & LLPs and tax advice.