A commitment to providing client-driven services has created the Franklins Solicitors of today – a very different practice to that which was set up exactly 40 years ago this year.
While conveyancing accounted for around 95% of Franklins’ work back then, today it’s a modern multi-disciplinary law firm that prides itself on harnessing the latesttechnology to ensure high levels of customer service and client satisfaction.
The experienced teams, headed up by Managing Partner Simon Long and Partners Andrea Smith, Lee Holmes and Scott Wright, cover a wide range of disciplines from business services and employment law through to commercial property, intellectual property, family law and wills, trusts and probate.
With offices in Northampton and Milton Keynes, Franklins is one of the most highly quality-assured firms in the region, having held accreditation to ISO 9001 and the Law Society quality accreditation, Lexcel for a significant number of years.
Managing Partner Simon Long, who joined the firm in 1988, said:
“It’s a massive moment for the firm, reaching its 40th anniversary. Maybe particularly so for Andrea Smith, whose father, Keith Wyld, founded the firm in 1982 with his business partner Michael Franklin. She’s been with the firm for 20 years herself now, and has overseen the development of the Business Services team, one of the key growth areas over the last few years.”
“We’re a much bigger firm today both in terms of personnel and the services we offer to clients. It’s been organic growth, on the whole, responding to the needs of clients. On one hand, those that traditionally used Franklins for property matters find that there’s a whole range of ways in which we can help them, while at the same time, we attract new and different clients through offering such a comprehensive service.
“We were getting an increasing number of approaches from those looking to buy or sell a business, so there was natural evolution towards developing the Business Services side of the firm.”
While the response to the needs of clients has developed gradually over the years, the arrival of COVID-19 in early 2020 posed a more immediate threat and the ethos of continual adoption of new technology left Franklins in an excellent position to adapt quickly and successfully.
Lee Holmes, who heads up the firm’s Conveyancing team in the Milton Keynes office, said:
“Our ethos has always been to invest in technology, case management systems and the like, and we’ve always tried to use that to adopt a flexible and adaptable approach to our work.
“And that approach has shown its true value in the last couple of years. Where things had to be done remotely, we were able to utilise functions we already had but didn’t always need to use – like being able to accept proof of ID and signatures without someone coming into the office – it meant our own team could move over to remote working fairly quickly and efficiently. It also meant we could keep the business going when people couldn’t be here in person.”
Simon Long added:
“At that time, we felt we had a duty to our clients and the business community and accordingly we took the decision that we weren’t just going to shut up shop but to keep our doors open and work with third parties, such as the estate agents and other professional services we deal with.
“It wasn’t just about our clients, but also supporting other professionals who needed to keep their businesses going and keep transactions happening. By being flexible and supporting one another we could ensure that we all emerged from the pandemic in good shape.”
Franklins Solicitors has also been able to continue to support good causes. It has strong links with a number of charities including Dementia Friends, Mencap, Willen Hospice, Cynthia Spencer Hospice, and the MacIntyre Foundation in Milton Keynes, which provides learning, support and care for young people with learning disabilities, as well as supporting local food banks.
That work, like its high-level legal services, will continue as Franklins moves forward from this year’s anniversary celebrations.
Scott Wright, who heads up the Conveyancing team in Northampton, said:
“From the time I arrived at the firm I remember the approach has always been to speak to every client, right from the first introduction, as if they will be a Franklins client for life.
“From their first experience with us, our aim is to ensure we can be there for them whatever their legal requirements, so those who come to us looking to acquire a business, for instance, might eventually require our services in other areas and we’re able to provide whatever they may need.
“The partners all have a long association with the firm, and that’s very important in terms of continuity. What’s also important is that there is longevity within the teams, too, and we have some very strong lawyers that have helped us develop certain areas and taken us down different routes and enabled the business to grow.”
Andrea Smith added:
“I am sure we will keep growing as a firm, we’re focused on areas that are successful and we’ll continue to develop them and build on the strong team that we already have.”
Contact Franklins Solicitors on 01908 660966 or 01604 828282, or find out more at Franklins Solicitors