New law firm head aims to maintain good relationships

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A Property solicitor who will be taking charge of a long running law firm is banking on the continued loyalty of the Scarborough community.

Luke Dolby joined Birdsall & Snowball, which has been going since 1886, just over two months ago and over the next two months he will take over the running of the firm from long standing partner at Birdsall & Snowball, Tom Cathcart.

Mr Dolby told The Yorkshire Post: “Tom’s enormously well liked and well respected. He’s made his mark on Scarborough as a whole over the last 20 or 30 years. I’ve got a lot to live up to.”

He said one of the reasons for Birdsall & Snowball’s longevity is due to the close relationship it maintains with its clients.

“I think a lot of lawyers, instinctively, try and put distance between themselves and their clients. They like to be thought of as being aloof. That’s not something that this firm has ever done,” he added.

Having previously worked at national law firm Eversheds and established the commercial property team at Manchester-based Russell & Russell, Mr Dolby decided to move his young family to the coast.

Mr Dolby said: “I don’t like the phrase ‘quality of life’ but it’s hard to avoid using it when you live somewhere like Scarborough.”

He said that the dynamic between working in a big law firm in the city and a smaller firm like Birdsall & Snowball was clear.

“There’s been a lot of warmth and positivity from our clients. I don’t think you get that so much in big cities,” said Mr Dolby.

He added: “When I used to work in Manchester our clients were a lot less loyal, a lot more ready to shop around and move to a different firm. It was a very competitive place to work.

“Scarborough and Filey I think are less competitive, people have their loyalties and I think all of the firms understand that its not in anyone’s interest to be cut- throat.”

But while Birdsall & Snowball have a loyal client base on their door step, Mr Dolby said he was looking to expand the firms offering to people outside the area.

He said: “I think the firm’s got a lot of potential to grow. When I first moved here I wondered whether Scarborough and Filey might be a little bit isolated, whether it might be a bit difficult to pull clients in from a bit further afield but actually there’s a big hinterland around us.”