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Wesleyan goes the extra mile to lend a helping hand to ambitious new law firm

Wesleyan goes the extra mile to lend a helping hand to ambitious new law firm

The business

Having worked in leading Legal 500 law firms in Central London and as a partner at a leading Manchester law firm for almost fifteen years, Jane Surman had established an enviable reputation as a talented solicitor with a meticulous eye for detail.In 2015 she made the ambitious decision to go it alone and set up her own firm, Jane Hartley Associates Limited, a Manchester-based legal practice specialising in commercial and residential property matters and landlord / tenant agreements.

The challenge

Solicitors planning to set up a new firm in England and Wales must fulfil a number of regulatory requirements from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) before commencing practice. The application process typically takes between 12-16 weeks from submission to authorisation and firms must satisfy various categories of risk by explaining what controls they have in place to mitigate potential issues highlighted within the SRA's Risk Index.

As part of the rigorous application process, solicitors must have Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) to cover against civil liability claims arising from their work in private legal practice. As a compulsory and ongoing trading requirement, PII represents one of the biggest financial outlays a law firm will make each year.

For sole practitioners involved in conveyancing, securing PII can sometimes be a struggle due to the greater perceived financial risk involved with their work. Unlike most new law firms, Jane Hartley Associates was already well established in its chosen field and attracting interest from potential clients in the North West and London. Any delay in obtaining PII and funding would have threatened the company's ambitious plans.

The solution

In November 2015 Wesleyan was recommended to the firm's director Jane Surman by DG Legal, a consultancy offering specialist advice and assistance to legal professionals. As the only endorsed finance provider to the Law Society of England and Wales, as well as the Law Society of Scotland, solicitors can be assured that Wesleyan has the expertise and knowledge to support their practice.

Jane was able to liaise with a dedicated Client Account Manager from Wesleyan's PII team who, by working with a colleague in the Banking division, was able to pool their combined thorough understanding of Professional Indemnity products and ensured there was one point of contact throughout. Together they combined the insurance with a competitive payment over time proposal for the policy. This meant Jane not only got the cover her business needed but that she didn't need to find the cash upfront - flexibility that was essential for a newly established firm.

As well as funding the insurance premium, Wesleyan's flexible payment solution is enabling Jane Hartley Associates to spread the cost of their PII premium over 12 months. This helps the new firm to avoid significant troughs in its cash flow and preserve working capital for other vital areas of the business.

The results and benefits

With the client working to a tight schedule in order to complete the SRA application process, Wesleyan's Client Account Manager made a round trip of 150 miles to personally deliver the relevant documentation to Jane Surman to ensure the loan application was approved without delay. Having played a critical role in the first part of Jane Hartley Associates journey, Wesleyan is looking forward to fulfilling all of the firm's commercial finance needs in the short, medium and long-term.

Director Jane Surman comments, "Setting up a law firm is far from easy as I have recently experienced but Wesleyan was by far the right choice and I would have no hesitation in recommending the company. Wesleyan processed my application so quickly and turned it around in the timeframe I needed by knowing the steps they had to get through to achieve the end result.

I can't recommend Wesleyan's Client Account Manager, Blake Hynds highly enough and am extremely grateful for his hard work. The service I received was attentive, professional, proactive and knowledgeable at all times. Both he and Wesleyan literally went the extra mile and made a vital difference in assisting us to complete our SRA application smoothly and begin trading."

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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