Interview with: Adam Merali and Nico Beedle, Partners

Merali Beedle | View firm profile

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

Merali Beedle remunerates its solicitors with a profit share of each of their matters, which is an increasingly popular alternative to the fixed salaries offered by traditional firms.  Our lawyers benefit from greater financial rewards as well as greater flexibility.

The partners at Merali Beedle meet with each solicitor multiple times to get to know them before they join.  We find this ensures a good fit for both sides, including with the firm’s culture of flexibility and personal responsibility.  We only work with experienced solicitors with a proven track record of success and differentiate ourselves from other firms offering similar remuneration by maintaining the collegiate atmosphere and camaraderie of a traditional law firm with an office that our team members can work from if they so choose.

We have built a reputation for excellence in various practice areas, and the two of us (Adam and Nico) are still focused on our own practices as well as on growing the firm.

Rather than prioritising growth to satisfy partners or stakeholders, we have been friends for 25 years and wanted to build a firm which people wanted to work for, and which put legal excellence and client service above financial targets.  We are fortunate to be part of a happy team which continues to grow organically as a result of our reputation.

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

The residential property and commercial property departments within Merali Beedle are our largest practice areas, and these continue to grow.  The residential property market has been very active since the end of the first lockdown due to the SDLT relief period, and is still thriving.  The commercial property market has become very busy this year after a quiet 2020, and we expect this to continue over the next 12 months due to the amount of vacant retail space, and with office tenants reconsidering their requirements as a result of the pandemic.

Our corporate/commercial and family teams have become increasingly busy over the past year, both due to increased demand but also our growing reputation as well as excellent new team members in these practice areas.

Our litigation practice has also grown significantly over the past year, and we expect that this trend will continue, especially as we move into 2022 and the protections afforded by the Coronavirus legislation are reconsidered by the government.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three year’s time?

A crucial ingredient in our success as a firm up until this point has been a clear strategic direction based on putting our clients and solicitors first and growth second.

In three years’ time we would hope that the firm looks very similar to today, and that our continued success will have attracted more like-minded team members.  In terms of stability and direction, we are proud of the fact that so many of our team have been with us for many years. We know how important it is for clients to maintain a relationship with individual lawyers and we run a stable operation, avoiding both a large influx of new joiners and a departure of numerous existing team members.

What led you to found a law firm? 

Each of us wanted to be rewarded for the amount of work we did, rather than be paid a fixed salary regardless of the fluctuating demands of our workload.

We discovered that we were both far more motivated and contented working this way, and that clients appreciated the fact that we were entirely reliant on repeat work and recommendations to generate revenue! Over the past seven years, we have met with other entrepreneurial solicitors who feel the same way, many of whom have joined our team.

We both continue to enjoy the buzz of transactional work and enjoy working closely with the other team members on a daily basis.  It is important to us that we are not just founders and businessmen, but continue to build relationships with clients and each and every solicitor who works at Merali Beedle.

What are the challenges facing the legal industry, and how does Merali Beedle address these?

One of the challenges is that the advances in technology over the past 10 years mean clients expect solicitors to be more responsive than ever before.  One of the main points on which we have built our reputation is our team members taking on less work than they did at previous firms to enable them to provide a premium service.  Merali Beedle’s clients can expect to be in touch directly with their lawyers, without being passed to more junior members of staff.

The legal industry has also been relatively slow to embrace home-working and flexible working, though there has been progress in this area across the industry as a result of the pandemic.  Merali Beedle has always promoted flexible working and home-working for all its team members, which means that we have been ahead of the curve in this regard, and over the past 18 months we have had interest from several solicitors from firms which have been slow to embrace this shift.  We firmly believe that conscientious and experienced solicitors provide excellent service to their clients working from home as well as the office, since our firm’s infrastructure and systems are set up in a manner which does not see this as an ‘alternative’ way of working.