In the run-up to the 20th Yorkshire Legal Awards on 10 October, Yorkshire Legal News is profiling a number of finalists to find out why they entered, what they’ve achieved, and what it would mean to win
John Wood, director at JWP Solicitors in Wakefield, Pontefract and Leeds, reveals why the firm entered Law Firm of the Year: Small at the 20th Yorkshire Legal Awards, and why he thinks it was named a finalist.
YLN: Why did JWP Solicitors enter the Yorkshire Legal Awards?
Wood: We feel the team deserves recognition for a fantastic year. Our team of 17 solicitors take great pride and satisfaction from their work, and while knowing we’ve done the best job for our clients is plenty of reward, walking away with the award for Law Firm of the Year: Small would be a welcome accolade.
YLN: What were the strong points in your entry?
Wood: Our nomination was based around the four pillars of: affordability, accessibility, individual service and going above and beyond. We think focusing on these four pillars has helped us achieve our ultimate goal of excellence in client service. Over the years, we’ve implemented a number of initiatives aimed at improving our offering in these areas, such as: weekend appointments, 24-hour helplines, free first meetings and fixed price payment options.
YLN: Why have you had such a good year?
Wood: Over the past 12 months, we’ve gained some real momentum in several areas. We recruited a wills and probate specialist, Rebecca Austin, and took on our first legal executive, Jason Deacon, to help satisfy demand in our family and children departments.
We’ve also taken on a dedicated marketing resource for the first time to help grow our business further, and in September, we’re boosting both our criminal and private client teams with a trainee and assistant solicitor.
Our new recruits have helped us recruit clients in new ways, such as though local drop-in legal advice clinics, seminars presented alongside partner organisations such as Oakworth Financial, and attendance at local events such as Wakefield Armed Forces Day.
YLN: What would it mean to the firm to win?
Wood: There’s a real sense among the team here that we’re on a strong upward trajectory. We have our biggest ever team, new ways of working, and growth in some new and exciting areas. To win this year would really be the icing on the cake and give us an excuse to treat the team for a fantastic year!