Leading regional law firm Wilkin Chapman has appointed a new chief executive.
Robin Simmonds brings an international pedigree in operations to the £27 million turnover Grimsby-headquartered solicitors, which sits on the cusp of the UK top 100 list.
He will lead a 400-strong team across six offices, with the business in “growth mode”.
Previously chief operations officer with DLA Piper then Baker McKenzie, latterly overseeing Africa for the global giant, he has “20 years experience managing in successful law firms, with a background in developing strategy, and more importantly, implementing it”.
Mr Simmonds said: “I am thrilled to be joining such a successful and well managed regional – and in some cases national – firm. I was really impressed with the quality of people and clarity of vision, with a very well articulated strategy in place. That impressed me, as does the scale, the breadth and depth of the client relationships.
“This all appealed, and selfishly it is clearly a great opportunity to work with a really strong partner group to drive it forward. It is an incredibly strong proposition, with the opportunity to make it stronger.”
Of the immediate plans for the firm, he said: “We are in growth mode. It will largely be organic, but we will always remain alive to lateral hires or mergers and acquisitions, but only if clearly aligned with our strategy.
“We are very clearly intending to remain as the pre-eminent law firm in the region, and to continue to serve our clients in an excellent way. We have a regional focus but we also want to take advantage of national opportunities where they exist.”
Experience is backed by a MBA, in which he majored in strategy and finance within the professional services sphere.
Giving a taste of his style, with agile working being brought to the fore, he said: “I am very people and client focused, and very firmly believe in attracting, developing, training, rewarding – and hopefully retaining – the best talent in the local and regional market, and also the national market.
“Underpinning that people and client approach is a strong focus on alignment, alignment of operations, systems, places and values.”
Married with two children in a sports-mad family where grass-roots rugby is a big focus, he hails from Bedfordshire, but will base himself in Lincolnshire in the week.
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Andrew Holt, Wilkin Chapman’s senior partner, said: “We are delighted to have Robin on board. Our leadership and management structure has given us the time to carefully select the right person in Robin.
“Whilst it has been a turbulent 18 months with the pandemic to contend with, our people continue to be a testament to our success.
“I am extremely proud of everyone for working as hard as they have and we look forward to the enormous contribution Robin will make in strengthening the business and the service we seek to deliver to our clients.”
Former chief executive Des Mannion left the business in late 2019, having succeeded the firm’s first CEO, Julia Whittaker. It also has offices in Beverley, Louth, Alford and Horncastle, with an insolvency specialist in Doncaster.
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