businessupdate News… In brief…
Exports grow The third DHL/BCC Trade Confidence Index, a new measure of the UK’s exporting health, reveals that Welsh exports have increased by 16 per cent in Q4 compared with Q3 2011 and 31 per cent on Q4 2010. The index, which draws upon an
analysis of export documentation (required of all UK companies exporting goods outside the EU), shows that with an overall quarterly growth in the UK of 3.7 per cent in Q4 2011, Welsh businesses are outperforming the rest of the country.
Firm gets a gold Willmott Dixon has again been rated highly in Business in the Community’s (BITC) Corporate Responsibility (CR) index.
The UK’s second largest privately-
owned capital works, regeneration and support services company, which has its Welsh headquarters in Cardiff, and which has carried out a number of projects in Gwent, scored 93 per cent in the rankings to give it gold status, just three percentage points below platinum. This latest result also shows a year-on-year improvement by Willmott Dixon, which achieved 80 per cent in 2009 and 91 per cent for 2010.
New appointment HSBC has appointed Gary Burton as the regional commercial director for the South West and Wales region. Gary will manage HSBC’s
commercial and business banking operations supporting businesses with a turnover of between £500,000 and £30m. Gary has worked for HSBC for 32
years, most recently as deputy regional commercial director for the London region. In his new position Gary will
oversee strategic planning and development and business performance for the region.
Tuesday April 3, 2012
Doesevery little help whenitcomesto thelaw? S
oon, thanks to new legislation, obtaining legal services, for example getting a divorce or settling a business dispute, could
become as simple as buying groceries at the supermarket. The Solicitors Regulation Authority
has licensed its first three firms in the UK to practice law under the new alternative business structures (ABS). An ABS is a business providing
regulated reserved legal activities which has either, or both, non-lawyer owners and managers. The move follows the royal assent of
the Legal Services Act 2007 and means law firms need no longer be owned and managed solely by lawyers. South Wales-based Elliott Evans,
managing partner of Keith Evans and Company, said: “Buying legal services is about to become as easy as buying baked beans. But with 5,000 organisations potentially entering the market, some of which are skilled in actually selling the beans, professional standards could slip. “The Legal Services Act is now in
force and ‘alternative business structures’ (ABSs) will be born. This means that, subject to license and having at least one qualified lawyer employed, any business will be able to offer a full range of legal services.” Mr Evans, who is based at the legal
practice headquarters in Clytha Park Road, Newport, said: “Some existing legal practices will become ABSs, and this is ok, it just means that they have at least one non-lawyer manager running the firm.
“There are many benefits of this
where skilled professionals such as financial controllers, marketing directors and the like could become a partner in a law firm giving it a real business look that you would expect in a
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“The big plcs and supermarkets
will have low paid, low knowledge- based people, asking questions and following a process on a screen without any use of skill or initiative. A local service for local people. Let’s keep the jobs here in Wales.” Keith Evans and Company,
Elliott Evans of Keith Evans and Company
large corporate or plc. Where people need to be careful is where an ABS is a supermarket, or an insurance company, even a car breakdown and recovery service!” But won’t supermarkets soon be offering
Solicitors, established in 1990 has its head office at Clytha Park Road, Newport, employs some 50 people across its six offices in Abergavenny, Cwmbran, Monmouth, Tredegar and now Chepstow. The practice, awarded the Lexcel
Practice Management Standard by The Law Society in 2009, is one of just 35 law firms in Wales to hold the
prestigious quality mark. Picture caption: Supermarket sweep? No,
says Elliott Evans, of Keith Evans and Company.
for more on local business
Two new tenants have taken space at Brecon House in Llantarnum Park, Cwmbran.
Following the letting of Suite 15 to
Enex Testlab, Agilisys have committed to a lease of Suite 18. Knight Frank and Jenkins Best act
on behalf of the landlord, The Lear Group.
Mark Sutton, associate at the
Knight Frank Cardiff office who acted for the landlord on the deals, said: “We are delighted to have secured two more occupiers at Brecon House after a very successful period which we have let another 5,000 sq ft. “The new tenants join an occupier
line up which includes British Red Cross, Torfaen CBC, Sulzer Metco and Alstom Power. “We continue to attract occupiers at
Brecon House even in a challenging occupier market.”
Anthony Jenkins, of Jenkins Best,
said: “The combination of quality office space, generous parking and highly competitive lease terms is an inviting proposition for occupiers and this has been reflected in the interest that we have received.” Agilisys is an IT and service
provider working for both the public and private sectors, within education, tourism, financial services and
healthcare sectors. With London headquarters and a network of offices and centres of excellence throughout the UK, the company employ over 1,600 staff. Enex Testlab is a global provider of
IT testing services with offices in the UK, Australia, China and Hong Kong. From their new premises at Brecon House, the business will offer IT software and security testing, evaluation and benchmarking. Malcolm Higgins, of Enex Testlab,
said: “We are already seeing the benefits of the move to a first rate facility that meets all of our business accommodation needs.” Brecon House is a multi-tenanted
office building in Cwmbran that consists of 46,000 sq ft of modern air conditioned office space. The building has the benefit of being located close to M4.
these legal services and why shouldn’t businesses and individuals go to them and get their law and groceries at the same time? Elliott said: “If you want legal
services, go to a respectable law firm, preferably one which carry’s the Lexcel standard. If you want beans, go to the shop. Perhaps law firms could start selling groceries? I wonder if Sir Paul McCartney would have chosen to go to a supermarket for his divorce?” So how will those who need legal
services of one kind or another be able to differentiate traditional services from the new super market legal services? Elliott said: “A local presence is
still at the forefront of our strategy. People do business with people, not brands. Clients like to know who they are dealing with and still like to call into the office and meet and see the lawyers who are dealing with their affairs.
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