Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
I am the senior partner at the firm. I also manage the Whickham office and I have responsibilities with my partner, Mark. My role includes carrying out the residential and commercial conveyancing, alongside probate will – and many of our other of our services. As you can see there’s plenty to keep me busy!
What is it the company does?
In our Whickham office, we work as a general legal practice, specialising in family law, commercial and residential conveyancing, will writing, power of attorney and probate.
We also have Signature Law & Bindman & Co in Gateshead, which specialises in residential conveyancing – with a particular focus on giving a no-fuss service combined with excellent customer care.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I studied classics at the University of Newcastle. After graduating in 1972 I sat my law exams and became a qualified lawyer in 1975. I’ve been practicing in Whickham for 41 years; although the company has moved offices a few times, I’ve always had a base Whickham. The rest, as they say, is history.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
To be a great leader, you have to be fair. You need to be really committed to the business, and the ethos of the organisation, and exude it in everything you do. This will then be conveyed to your team too.
I think you need to focus on bringing everyone into the business and its values, making sure you all are working together. Having a good sense of humour also helps you deal with the ups and downs that come with being a leader!
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Being in business for 40 years means I’ve had to face a fair few recessions – there have been three since I have been in practice. Alongside this, in my career there have been many changes in legislation in the legal profession. To face this particular challenge, we just need to stay up-to-date with the profession and be at the top of our game at all times.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Going home! Especially when it’s your own business, you need to remember that you can go home, and that you’re working to facilitate your home life and your family. Knowing this, and keeping your focus on it, helps to keep the stress at bay.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A policeman (I must have been destined to work with law!) or a teacher.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
In term of pet hates in the workplace, I don’t like the phone to be left ringing – when we aim to give impeccable customer service, leaving them waiting on the phone is a no-no! That doesn’t happen too often though. That also reflects another gripe of mine – being on hold!
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Even though we’ve been operating for a long time, we’re still moving forward and have big plans for the next few years. We’re hoping to expand and employ more people, and expand the commercial law side of the business. Exciting times ahead!
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
I would say make sure you’re working for the right reason – and keep that at the centre of whatever you do.
Contact Bindman Solicitors at their Whickham office at 22 Front Street, Whickham.