Case study - Red Kite

Red Kite needed a new corporate vision to unify every location of the business, shifting from ‘traditional’ law firm to a more creative culture.

Context:

Initially founded in 1898 as Lowless & Lowless, Red Kite grew to become a leading law firm in Wales. Offering a range of services including trust administration, commercial and private client work and 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.

Challenge:

In recent years, the firm had experienced considerable and rapid growth in new and existing sectors. With several centrally located offices, the firm needed a new corporate vision to unify every location of the business. Senior management saw this as an opportunity to shift from a traditional to a more creative culture.

Our solution:

We determined that senior partners and lawyers needed to feel confident in our ability to understand professional partnerships and created a fit-for-purpose project team consisting of an experienced academic leadership specialist, a senior business management specialist with a professional services background, and a senior lawyer from our School of Law. Their combined depth and breadth of experience with professional services firms and knowledge of leadership, business development and change management was deemed a good fit.

To further clarify the need and ensure success, we also gathered information from the wide range of views, experiences and perceptions of Red Kite's leadership team, senior partners, second-tier fee generators and leading lawyers.

The result was a bespoke six-day programme that was delivered over three months in one and two day blocks. Topics covered included:

  • 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 managers
    This workshop covered the essential principles in managing a commercial business, including understanding profit and sales, how to interpret accounting statements, ratio analyses and cost analysis for decision-making.
  • Team leadership and high performing teams
    Partners explored the personality and motivational aspects of themselves and of their teams, and explored the actual performance levels of their teams and what to do to help raise performance.
  • Managing projects and time management
    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 work
    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.

In line with our highly participative approach to leadership development is highly, 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.

Impact:

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.

The firm 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

Want to find out more?

For further information on our services and programmes, or to arrange an initial meeting to discuss your needs, please contact the Bristol Business Engagement Centre (BBEC) and speak with a member of our team.

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