Ask Andrew Ollerenshaw what he is most proud of at Tayntons Solicitors, the Gloucestershire law firm of which he is managing partner, and he will probably say its staff and the work they do for their clients.
Talk to him for a little longer and something else emerges — the importance of what you might call the DNA of the business, which today is 60-staff strong and growing.
‘I had been working for a firm in Herefordshire and did my training contract there and qualifications, but I wanted to do personal injury work. Tayntons did that, but it was a big attraction as a firm because of the way it dealt with these matters.
‘They had a reputation for doing the right work for the right reasons, being approachable and personable, and that was important to me,’ he said.
That attention to ethics, to details, to high standards of client care is something that has kept him at the firm for more than 25 years — he joined in 1996 — and to which he is now proud custodian.
It is this responsibility of preserving and developing the firm’s strengths while respecting its 166-year history that he and his management team put under particular scrutiny during the Covid-19 crisis.
And it has led to Tayntons leaving its long-standing offices in Clarence Street, Gloucester, for a new headquarters in Gloucester Docks and its ever-popular long-running curry club networking event.
Ollerenshaw became managing partner in 2008, taking over from Martin Edden. Other key members of that management team include co-owner and fellow partner Chris Price, who started his journey at Tayntons with work experience from school, and Samantha Pennington, who joined as practice manager in 2020, just before the Covid-19's arrival.
The team decided to use the time afforded it by the pandemic for scrutiny and to action plans aimed at underlining all that is good about Tayntons, as well as cementing its place at the heart of Gloucestershire with the dramatic news that it was moving headquarters.
‘We want the firm to continue to progress. The old saying is so apt — if you are standing, still you are going backwards. We wanted to keep moving forward.
‘It is about evolution. It is like technology. It is about making the right decision to support staff to better do their jobs in a way that best serves clients. It is about simplifying processes and improving, and all that has been part of the move too.
‘As for how I juggled my role with orchestrating the move, I didn’t really. Sam handled that. It was collaborative, of course,’ he said.
Pennington, the former operations director at Gloucester-headquartered property experts Bruton Knowles, said: ‘We were unsure how it would be received by the team, but everyone has been brilliant, asking how they can help and are really energised by it.
‘And the feedback from clients has been extremely positive.’
It is feedback like this that have buoyed the likes of Ollerenshaw and Price that the firm is on the right path.
‘There are massive positives about the move. We have some long-term objectives as well, and some plans about the services we want to deliver,' said Ollerenshaw.
‘It is about making the firm right, not just for now but for the immediate future, for attracting in the next generation of talent to help us continue to deliver the very best for our staff and clients.’