From GDPR to Brexit, 2018 has certainly produced its fair share of challenges in the business world. But happily, it’s also been a time of successes in the South West. We spoke to businesses across a range of sectors to find out how 2018 went for them… and what they are (and aren’t) looking forward to in 2019.
Today we interview Simon Holdsworth, managing director of leading commercial law firm Thrings.
Thrings have offices across the South West including Bath, Bristol, Frome Market and Swindon.
How was 2018?
There were lots of highs – we did two big office moves within six weeks and we’ve been looking at doing more international work, particularly in Asia-Pacific (places like Hong Kong and Singapore), where we’re looking to build new relationships. One of our responses to Brexit has been to start building business links outside of Europe.
Our Hampshire office opened in October 2016, starting with four people. We moved from temporary offices into our newly-converted offices in March this year and now have 21 people there, focused on private clients, landed estates and agriculture, which again is part of our strategic response to Brexit. We see agriculture as going through a bit of a boom period at the moment. Since farmers know that subsidies are going to start slowing down, the farming world is looking to diversify the use of their land.
Looking ahead to 2019
The war on talent for law firms is very much going to be part of the future over the next two or three years. There is a shortage of the right calibre of candidate. So that’s our big challenge for the next 12 months – it’s all going to be about people. It’s also an opportunity though, because if you get it right and retain the right people you become a more successful business.
A couple of years ago, we started looking at some of our key sectors and at new geographical markets and decided that, together, these would be relatively safe bets for us in the face of Brexit. We do a lot with SMEs and that sector remains busy.
Find out about Thrings careers by visiting: www.thrings.com/careers/
Read The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire online this Monday (December 24, 2018) to see how business was this year for Swindon motor dealership Pebley Beach.