Promotions pave way for law firm’s growth

BERWIN Solicitors has promoted two directors to take over the running of the Harrogate law firm, allowing founder Paul Berwin to focus on expanding business services and the commercial client base.

Sarah Smith, a family law solicitor and one of seven company directors, will take over as managing director. Julie Jewers, head of the life department and another director, becomes finance director.

Mr Berwin, 56, said: “It’s an opportunity for me to drive the commercial side of the business forward. We have got some very talented managers and it’s a good opportunity to bring them through.”

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The company has four shareholders, including Mr Berwin, and 35 staff and last year turned over £1.7m. He has carved out a niche in digital law and will develop the firm’s portfolio of clients in technology, intellectual property, employment and commercial law.

Carolynn Peace, a residential property solicitor, will continue in her roles as marketing director and chairman of the board.

The legal sector is facing a shake-up following new legislation which allows for non-lawyers to own law firms.

But Mr Berwin said he does not regard the so-called Tesco law as a threat. He said: “There are certain things we do specialise in doing very well but they are not to with bulk processing; they are to do with specialism.”

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He added: “There is a strong business community in Harrogate and we are really bullish about things at the moment. We are invigorated by the changes we are making.”

Berwin is a well-known name in Leeds. Mr Berwin’s great-grandfather Barnett founded the family tailoring firm Berwin and Berwin, now run by his brother Simon.

Mr Berwin’s uncle Stanley helped found the elite City law firms SJ Berwin and Berwin Leighton Paisner.

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