CityX took five minutes to speak to Ben Pepperell, CEO of Pepperells Solicitors to find out more about his business and its plans for the future.
Tell us about the business, what is it you do?
I am incredibly proud of what our business has become as Pepperells Solicitors open their 5th branch catering for all areas of law across the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire counties. Our employees deliver legal services through seven designated business units. Those units being:
Commercial and Corporate; Residential Property;
Wills, Trusts and Probate; and Chambers.
Our Mission is to manage critical situations and improve people’s quality of life by delivering empathetic, humane, communicative and fast-paced legal solutions.
When was the business formed and how has that changed over the years?
Pepperells Solicitors has a long and proud history. We were originally founded by Stewart Pepperell my father in 1985 from our Scunthorpe base. The firm has always maintained our family ethos and we are proud to have been able to develop a business that has never lost sight of its roots.
We opened in Hull in 2009 and incorporated Ivesons Solicitors the same year. We incorporated Myer Wolff Solicitors in 2013 another well-respected and long-established law firm in Hull.
In 2017 Pepperells Solicitors changed its structure from a traditional partnership to a Limited Company which reflects our modern approach to law, providing our clients with professional, dependable and affordable legal advice. Also, in 2017 we opened our Grimsby office. Lincoln followed in 2018 and this year has seen the opening of our Beverley office.
We now employ over 120 experts operating from 5 branches. Our investment in technology has allowed this pandemic to pass with little impact on the delivery of the services to our clients and provides a great stepping stone to the future ways of flexible working.
How has your industry changed over time?
We are a forward-thinking law firm, myself and my team are keen to develop digital and innovative solutions that offer our clients a smooth and fast-paced experience with us.
Pepperells Solicitors are a dynamic and growing law firm. We deliver the highest standards of service to our clients with a personal touch and are able to support families and businesses with all types of legal matters. We strive to understand our clients’ needs and cater for all eventualities to become their partner for life.
The legal sector is constantly changing, and our team of lawyers have the skills, experience and judgement to deliver the outcomes that our clients require in a speedy and cost-effective manner.
Keeping an eye on industry trends allows us to be at the forefront of new developments, offering our clients quick and efficient solutions to their matters whist also supporting environmentally friendly practices.
We invested in cloud-based systems which has allowed us to improve efficiency, reduce paper waste and adopt virtual services. Working on the cloud also cuts down on carbon emission as our teams can access client information from any of our office locations.
This has enabled us to continue to offer fast paced response times to clients and contacts during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. I have a strong belief that technology can empower change so we keep our eye on the latest trends and emerging software.
What are your future plans for the business?
Our business has many exciting opportunities ahead. We have invested in the infrastructure of the business to enable significant growth across our geographies. The opportunity in Lincoln is clear. We are already on track with developing a leading team there. We have ambitious plans for the Lincoln office, so watch this space!
What do you think the future holds for your industry?
In terms of LegalTech there are some really exciting developments happening globally which will radically change the way that clients interact with their legal experts and also the way that information can be shared and learned. Some firms are already trialling AI and automation as well as voice search capabilities and digital only transactions, which is really exciting.
The expectations of our customers are also changing. The key for us at Pepperells, is that we are able to react with agility to emerging industry trends and implement the solutions that offer the best possible service to our current and new clients.
There is still some consolidation to occur. Sadly, mainly traditional firms that have not moved with the times or made the necessary investments will find it hard. As that consolidation occurs and stronger firms take additional market share, competition will increase which only leads to standards improving for the consumer. Good news for the client ultimately.
What are your proudest moments within the business?
My proudest moments always happen at our annual staff awards ceremony. We champion a happy, healthy culture in all of our offices and the awards evening is an opportunity for me and the board of directors to thank our hardworking teams for all their contributions and achievements.
I often use the awards to take stock of what goes on over the year. We deal with approximately 12,000 incoming phone calls, 30,000 emails, represent vulnerable parties in extreme children cases or criminal cases, complete peoples dream home moves or corporate transactions, deal with the loss of loved ones or their protection and resolve complex high net worth disputes whether that be by way of separation or divorce or another form of civil dispute.
We don’t lose sight of the extremities that we deal with in peoples lives on a day to day basis and I hope that we make those tough times easier.
We have a large team, over five different locations and I take great pride in seeing our #TeamPepps family all come together, albeit it virtually this year, to celebrate hard work, motivation and entrepreneurship.
What are your future plans for the business?
2020 is already promising to be an exciting year for us. We are continuing to invest in our staff bringing new skills and expertise to the firm. We are reviewing our digital channels so that we continue to offer the services and facilities that our clients need and react to changing trends. The new chat function on the website, for example, is already receiving excellent reviews.
We have also developed a FREE Business Health Check tool that allows businesses to give their operations a quick MOT, checking that T&Cs and Compliance Documents are all up to date and in place. Along with our new Will “Window” service, so that we can continue to support some of our more vulnerable clients during this period of social distancing.
For more information visit www.pepperells.com or call our teams in your local branch:
100 Alfred Gelder Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 2AE t. 01482 326511
38-40 Doncaster Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 7RQ t. 01724 871999
10 Dudley Street, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 2AB t. 01472 245555
1a Ingleman Place, The Lawn, Union Road, Lincoln, LN1 3BU t. 01522 717410
15a Wednesday Market, Beverley, HU17 0DH t. 01482 887858