When businesses of all kinds are struggling and forced to restrict or put their activities on hold, the Jonathan Lea Network law firm is forging ahead.
Despite the pandemic and resulting lockdowns, thanks to Jonathan’s forward-thinking and ambitious growth strategy, his business saw turnover more than double in 2020, and it is continuing to rise this year.
Based in Haywards Heath, the firm works with clients throughout the UK and worldwide, adopting a tailored and pragmatic approach in advising mostly business owners on their UK legal needs.
The firm comprises employed paralegals, trainee solicitors and solicitors operating from its central office who combine seamlessly with a remote network of specialist and experienced self-employed solicitors who contract with them as consultants.
Despite the daunting challenges thrown up by the economic restrictions, the dynamic firm can look back on 2020 as a year when they not only kept open for business but attained an impressive number of significant achievements and a clear strategy for future expansion.
“Overall, it was a positive period of growth for us,” says Jonathan. “We kept calm and achieved the majority of our objectives, including retaining key clients, winning new ones and developing and growing the team.
“We remained open throughout 2020 with two of us continuing to work from the office during the initial lockdown period in March and April. Keeping our team intact was one of our priorities and most of the rest of our retained team, of their own accord, came back to the office much earlier than many other businesses. We never furloughed anyone, made any redundancies or even considered any pay cuts. In line with government guidance most employees continue to work from our office which we believe improves our internal communication, ability to develop our junior fee earners and best manage our clients’ matters, whilst also demonstrating assertive leadership in this area.
“As things picked up in the second half of 2020, we were well placed to make a number of both experienced and graduate hires at a time when other law firms weren’t in the market for new joiners. We have continued to build momentum into 2021 and our revenue for the first quarter of the year is now more than three times what it was for the same period last year.
“We have managed to pick up work from all types of businesses, with some clients coming to us because other law firms had through a combination of furlough, redundancies and prolonged firm-wide remote working hampered their ability to take on work.
“Clients like our modern business model and the way we go about things. The decline in face-to-face meetings and the increased use of videoconferencing has created a more level playing field whereby we can almost always convert leads and win work without ever meeting people in person and our lack of a London office has become more of a strength than a weakness.
“We work with companies large and small, from many different sectors, while we have a particular reputation for advising high-growth technology start-ups. Throughout the last year we have also started to do more private client work after experienced wills and probate and residential conveyancing consultants joined us, while the firm has recently hired a commercial litigation solicitor to help the team take on the increasing number of contentious dispute resolution matters we attract.
As a firm believer in individual freedom and responsibility, Jonathan has been outspoken in campaigning against the unheralded impositions on our basic civil liberties over the last year. This has led him to recently stand as a candidate for the new Democratic Network political party in the forthcoming local elections. With no established Westminster links and not beholden to vested interests, Jonathan believes local residents and businesses require fresh ideas and thinking in order to move on and recover from the last year.
In a similar vein, earlier this year Jonathan became a founding member of the Lawyers for Liberty group, a non-politically affiliated network of lawyers who monitor, educate and act upon legal issues raised by concerned citizens relating to the national coronavirus situation.
“Part of my role at Lawyers for Liberty is to operate the rapidly growing Facebook group” Jonathan explains. “As a result, our firm is now attracting work relating to the current state of affairs, including claims against schools for trying to enforce illegal mask and testing requirements on children and against employers for seeking to impose masks and vaccines on employees.
“I firmly believe that we are on a dangerous path to an increasingly permanent form of tyranny if we don’t try and protect our essential human rights and freedoms, including the fundamental principle of bodily autonomy. More needs to be done by all of us and dissenting voices need to be sought and listened to if we are ever going to return to how we used to be able to live and for today’s children to have any future”
To get in contact:
Jonathan Lea Network
Basepoint Business Centre
John de Mierre House
West Sussex, RH16 1UA
P: 01444 708 640