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Bedell Cristin

Work 01534 814814
London, Singapore, St Helier, St Peter Port, Tortola

David Cadin, Managing Partner

David Cadin, Managing Partner at Bedell Cristin, outlines the transformation that followed the completion of the management buyout of its trust company last year and how the return of the firm to being an independent, standalone international law firm, has positioned it perfectly for future growth and led to a renewed focus on delivering great client service.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate you from your competitors?

Approach to clients; to legal problems; and to the future of legal services. 

The client is, and has to remain, at the heart of what we do - it's no good giving them answers they do not want, to problems they do not have, at a price they do not want to pay.  We are responsive to our clients' needs and sensitive to their pressures and we try to make their lives easier and their businesses more profitable.

We do that by bringing a rigorous and dynamic approach to legal problems.  We always strive to give a commercial steer to clients in relation to their legal problems.

We also recognise that the provision of legal services is changing and is going to continue to change at a huge rate.  As a firm, we need to be positioning ourselves to provide the services client want in the way they want them in 5 years' time.  That process starts with the client, not with us, and we are and have been engaging with our clients to ensure that we are all ready for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Growth has been evident across all of our offices and all practice areas, notwithstanding the political and economic uncertainties in the UK.

We think that demand for offshore services is going to continue to increase, particularly amongst the firms that can offer services in different jurisdictions and time zones.  Cross-border work is the main driver given the increasing demand for offshore investment structures from clients in the Far East and those with financial assets on a global basis, who are looking for well-regulated, stable jurisdictions through which to hold assets or to conduct business.

Regulatory requirements on businesses in those jurisdictions are only ever increasing and practical, commercial advice in the regulatory sphere is also a growth area.

Our top tier ranked award winning insurance and reinsurance practice continues to have the major market share in the insurance listed securities sector and our litigation team, consistently in the top tier rankings, already has a strong track record for winning cases and obtaining ground breaking judgments and remains the 'go to' team for complex, litigation matters.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

The main changes have been internal ones - flexing the governance of the firm, creating an agile working environment across all teams (whether fee earning or not) and encouraging and empowering all staff to share ideas and to challenge the way we do things so as to improve the service given to clients and the client experience. This has produced real benefits to our clients and enabled even greater engagement with them.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

In a word - yes.

Our use of technology (whether as individuals or collectively as a firm) has evolved and will continue so to do.  It is all about delivering the service our clients want, when they want it, in the manner they choose - so we need to be open and flexible, but we also need to help them navigate what can sometimes be a dangerous cyber world.

This is all the more so given the regulatory and compliance regimes to which we are all subject.  Having the practical experience of getting our own house in order means that we can not only empathise with our clients but we can give them a straight steer in an ever-changing world.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Through our litigation team, we have successfully managed regulatory and risk issues for clients which, but for our involvement, would have impacted directly on both their top line and their bottom line. We have done this below the radar, minimizing potential adverse reputational risk, and ensuring that existential threats have been dealt with confidently and practically thereby minimizing disruption and cost for management teams.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years' time?

Stability is certainly a key ingredient for investors and clients both in respect of the firms they engage with and the jurisdictions that they choose.  Ensuring that we have talented lawyers, with the right calibre of experience, to provide strategic and commercial advice to clients is crucial.

Over the next 3 years, I would not be surprised by expansion of the firm into new markets or jurisdictions.  In terms of headcount, absent that expansion I would not see the firm as being dramatically bigger in terms of headcount but I would see every person fulfilling a role that is crucial to the overall success of the business. 

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