Case study - Red Kite
Law firm Red Kite had needed a new corporate vision to unify every location of the business, shifting from ‘traditional’ law firm to a more creative culture.
About Red Kite
Founded in 1898, Lowless & Lowless (now Red Kite) grew to become one of Wales’ leading law firms. It offers a range of services including trust administration, commercial and private client work. Now with offices across Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, Red Kite has built an excellent reputation for providing a wide range of legal services for both individuals and businesses.
Red Kite’s challenge
The firm had experienced considerable and rapid growth in new and existing sectors over recent years, and needed a new corporate vision to unify every location of the business. Senior management saw this as a great opportunity to shift the culture from ‘traditional’ law firm to a more creative culture.
How Bristol Business School helped
We established that senior partners and lawyers needed to feel confident in our ability to understand professional partnerships. To meet this need, we created a team that included an experienced academic leadership specialist, a senior business management specialist with a professional services track record, and a senior lawyer from our School of Law. Their combined experience with law and accountancy firms of all sizes and depth of knowledge in business development, change management and leadership was deemed ‘a very good fit’.
To get to a clear picture and ensure success, we also needed to gather information from the wide range of views, experiences and perceptions of the leadership team.
After speaking to senior partners, second-tier fee generators and leading lawyers, the team devised a bespoke six-day programme.
About the programme
The programme was delivered over three months in one and two day blocks, covering topics including:
- Developing a shared vision
This session focused on how to create a unified strategic plan for growth, working within the context of an overseas head office operation and a UK subsidiary.
- Finance and planning for non-financial
This workshop covered the essential principles in managing a commercial business and including understanding profit and sales, how to interpret accounting statements, ratio analyses and cost analysis for decision-making.
- Team leadership and high performing
Partners explored the personality and motivational aspects of themselves and of their teams. They looked at the performance levels of their teams and at what they needed to do to uplift performance.
- Managing projects and time
This workshop covered how to manage time more effectively and, crucially, how to manage projects more professionally. The aim was to move from a disparate way of managing tasks to a more standardised methodology of creating and managing work.
- Managing performance and reviewing
The final session covered how to handle difficult conversations, address poor performance, be assertive and listen more effectively and how to ensure work was individually reviewed more fully.
As our approach to leadership development is highly participative, we placed an emphasis on working with live issues so the learning could be readily applied to practice. Gaps between delivery days allowed participants time to practice their skills and bring any issues to the next session.
Outcomes for Red Kite
The partnership agreed that they had begun to work together in a way that they had never done before – 82% of partners ‘strongly agreed’ and the other 18% ‘agreed’ they would recommend the programme to others.
They went on to create their own unified vision and improved group communication while pursuing business expansion with renewed clarity and purpose. They achieved their biggest corporate merger to date, involving another well-established Welsh firm. They are now Red Kite Law LLP, a much larger business, and an even more significant and influential law practice.
Bristol Business School has since been invited back to see how the new firm has grown and to help them look ahead for their next phase of growth.
“Any businesses with leaders who are ambitious to achieve growth or who are facing the imminent prospect of a more challenging or more competitive market should seriously consider a strategic leadership programme like the one offered by Bristol Business School. They provided a talented team who developed a tailored programme that really helped us get to the next level.” Mark Griffith, Operations Director