Cost transparency and business confidence drive growth for Marsden Rawsthorn

Monday 13th January 2014

Debbie Pettitt, CEO Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors“After a challenging start to 2013, Marsden Rawsthorn has built on its core strengths over the past year and we have successfully grown both the team and the business to begin 2014 in a strong position across commercial and private legal services.
“Changes in the legal aid system affecting access to legal aid for all non-domestic violence divorce cases came into force in April 2013, prompting us to examine how we can help clients to manage the costs of their divorce. Our response has been to introduce fixed-fees for divorces and to break that down into stages so that clients know what budget they will need for each part of the process. We have also introduced a pay-as-you-go payment system,  which allows clients to spread the cost to remove any worries about facing a large final payment. Thanks to this innovative approach, we have ensured that the divorce process is still an option for clients who no longer qualify for legal aid, and we have maintained our divorce case load despite the changes introduced by the Legal Services Commission.
“The property side of the business has been particularly successful over the past year, with the number of residential conveyancing instructions doubling, compared to 2012.  As a result we have substantially grown the team in that department and the continuing upturn in the housing market is a positive indicator for 2014. Our commercial property business is also very buoyant, with a marked increase in instructions that has led to two additional commercial property specialists joining our team and we are now actively recruiting for a new  commercial property  solicitor for our Buckshaw Village office.
“Wills and probate has been another key area of growth over the past year, with changes in our working processes helping us to become more efficient and offer a more cost-effective service to clients. Once again, this success has led to recruitment and we have hired a senior member of the team to head-up the wills and probate department at our Buckshaw office.  Our emphasis on trusts as a tax-efficient way of maximising clients’ estates has helped to differentiate Marsden Rawsthorn and, by actively advising clients on this route we are ensuring that our clients do not pay more inheritance tax than is absolutely necessary.
“The move from Chorley to Buckshaw Village was a significant milestone for Marsden Rawsthorn last year. It has enabled us to provide our clients with much improved facilities, extended opening hours, with Saturday morning and Tuesday evening appointments now available in Buckshaw, as well as Monday evenings in Fulwood, we also run a number of free consultation clinics for family, commercial or dispute matters. Service-driven changes like this, along with our free online legal resource, fixed fee and conditional fee pricing options, have provided a robust response to our last  client survey,  which generated a 98% customer satisfaction rate.
“Looking forward to 2014, we continue to place our clients at the heart of our strategic growth and, despite challenging market conditions, we are well-placed to remain competitive in the sector thanks to a high referral rate from both clients and other professionals and a very proactive online presence.”
Debbie Pettitt, CEO Marsden Rawsthorn Solicitors

Author: Paul Ridehalgh

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