‘Giving back to community is key to being a winning firm’

IF YOU think that working for a firm of solicitors is all about pushing piles of paper around a courtroom, the people who work for Woodfines want you to think again.

Friday, 20th January 2012, 9:40 am

The Bedfordshire-based business won the Blue Riband Company of the Year title, sponsored by Barclays, at last year’s Rising Stars Awards.

Woodfines’ partner and commercial property specialist Sylvia Goulding, said: “We are trying hard to dispel that paper pushing view.

“We like to feel we can get involved and talk about growth plans and give clients help with employment.”

The company is also deeply involved in its local communities, not just with things like fund-raising and carol singing but in talking about issues with local MPs and authorities.

The driving force behind the company’s focus on client satisfaction is the amount of choice customers have when choosing who to go to for services.

Woodfines Solicitors employs 120 people at its offices in St Cuthbert’s Street, Bedford, Bedford Road, Sandy, Milton Keynes and Cambridge.

Sylvia, who has been working for Woodfines for eight years, believes the key to being recognised as a great company is “what we are doing for the community and what we put back in.”

And as far as their professional relationships with clients go, Sylvia believes the key to keeping them happy is in clear communication.

“Professionals sometimes forget to communicate with their clients. We believe communication is the key to service,” she said.

The client-first approach extends to going beyond what they are being paid to do. Adding value to customer relationships, in other words.

Being involved as clients’ businesses grow over the years is also taken as a sign of success for Woodfines, which has 22 partners working in specialist teams.

“We sometimes get people starting up new businesses,” said Sylvia. “And when they go from strength to strength it is an achievement from outside to have them stay with us.

“We always remember that people have a choice in legal services,”

Woodfines saw winning the Company of the Year accolade as ‘very positive’ for the firm. “It’s great for Bedfordshire and Bedford.”

Woodfines aims to continue to grow and develop as a leading law firm in Bedford and the surrounding area.

> See Natalee Hazelwood’s video profile at www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/business