News In Focus
Scottish law firm becomes employee owned company
12 October 2012
A legal firm is to become an employee owned company, in what is said to be a first for the UK.
Employment specialists Fox Solicitors are to give all their employees a stake in the business, along with full representation in new management arrangements. Set up three years ago, the firm now has nine employees.
The new employee owned company, Fox and Partners, will be run by a management board made up of representatives from all areas of the business. Legal advice and representation will continue to be provided by Fox Solicitors Ltd, an independent law practice regulated by the Law Society of Scotland.
Founder Carol Fox, who set up the firm three years ago, said the move was "a natural extension of the firm’s core values – respecting and valuing employees, a passionate commitment to equality, and fair reward for hard work". She believes the transition to employee ownership will strengthen the firm’s position as specialists in equality and employment law.
The move has been assisted by Baxi Partnership Ltd, a company that for the past 12 years has specialised in helping fund, establish and support employee-owned businesses, and has now helped over 40 companies throughout the UK.
Ms Fox commented: “Employee ownership is a bold new way of working within the legal profession and another exciting chapter in the expansion of our firm. We are going an extra step to ensure we practise what we preach by promoting equality and good employment practice. This is a unique opportunity to embed our values of equality, employment rights and respect at work into both our innovative approach to providing quality legal services to employees and our own internal working practices. In the present economic climate, it is more important than ever for all employees at work to have access to good employment advice and that all employers should support and value their employees.”
Austin Lafferty, President of Law Society of Scotland, said: “The Law Society of Scotland welcomes this exciting and laudable initiative. The legal profession is at a crossroads in an ever changing world which presents many challenges. Those with the vision to embrace new opportunities will survive and flourish and we are delighted to support this development."
He added that the Society’s professional practice team could offer advice to any solicitor or firm wanting to make changes to their business model.