Hello Partners & Hubbers. Welcome back after Christmas and the New Year. I hope you all feel refreshed and invigorated – for those foolhardy enough to make New Year’s resolutions I hope you’re still on track!

Following on from Joc’s email on Friday about administration and client money, there’s lots more news to share. So here goes!

Partner News

A fond farewell to Caroline Grimes – we say a fond farewell to Caroline Grimes who will be leaving the Partnership this week. Please join us in wishing Caroline every success for her future.

As I reported on 15 December, our newest Partner, William Brewis, will be with us on 1 February 2017 and I promised to share more details early in January. I am delighted that William has chosen to return to private practice with Carbon. He’s a very experienced Corporate M&A lawyer having qualified in 1993. Wiliiam has spent his career in private practice with Gowling WLG (formerly Wragge & Co) where he has experience of M&A and commercial work for listed and privately held businesses. He’s undertaken AIM takeovers and mergers both in regulated and non-regulated businesses. More recently and in keeping with his specialist financial services expertise, William has been on the board of an Australian listed financial services organisation’s UK Subsidiary. This combination of skills brings that deep understanding of what clients want and how to deliver results at senior level in corporate life. Strengths at the heart of what drives us all at Carbon. William expects to make referrals to a number of other Partners at Carbon to support his work. No doubt he’ll seek to meet many of you in the first month or two of the new year. William is joining Carbon having also secured consultancy and non-executive positions within UK and International financial services organisations. I would expect that William will choose to be associated with the London Office given the connections and background that he has. More news on this shortly.

Partner Coaching

First of all, many congratulations to Sally on her nomination as the parliamentary candidate for the Green Party for North Somerset which I read about this weekend, but which was announced at the end of last year. It’s a very interesting time to be a politician and I wish Sally every success as she pursues her political career alongside her ongoing work at Richmonte Wells.

You will recall that in July we made some changes to how Carbon provides business development coaching for Partners by resourcing externally so as to be able to provide flexible capability on tap when Partners need it. The idea was to replicate the success of relationships such as those we have with Riliance, e-know and our Business Quality Framework. Carbon purchased a certain number of days from Sally and her team to cover coaching for new Partners and to make sure that further marketing and BD resource was available should Partners need it. In the event, very few Partners have taken up the coaching offered over the last 6 months and, in fact, Sally has reported that several Partners cancelled dates arranged either on the day or close to it (circumstances when she would usually charge clients the full price for the missed appointment). What’s more, there have been no requests for additional BD support and requests for marketing support have been met by the Hub team. That being the case Sally and I have jointly agreed to move to a “call off” basis under which individual Partners may access the resource they need from time to time. This is consistent with the way we view “the subsidy line” and how we ensure that wherever possible one Partner is not subsidising the preferences and choices of another.

There are 8 days of Sally’s time available for use by the end of February that have been paid for already by Carbon. These days are being allocated by agreement with me and the Partners concerned will receive an email from me over the next day or so. Otherwise further coaching is available from Sally on terms agreed between Carbon and Richmonte Wells that reflect the close working relationship between our respective businesses and the fact that Sally would very like to see you all succeed! As a consequence of these changes, Sally and I have agreed that it is no longer appropriate for Sally to be viewed as Carbon’s Development Director. I’d like to thank Sally for her time and unstinting support for Carbon as our Development Director – a period during which great strides forward have been made with our brand, web and social media presence. Whether as a politician or thought leader in legal services I’m sure there will continue to be close ongoing contact with Sally and the Richmonte Wells team.

In the meantime, all requests for coaching, marketing, business development or other support should come via Joc who will discuss requirements and options with Partners so that the right solutions are sourced and resourced whether within Carbon or via the Concierge.

Partner Portal

I’m very excited about the excellent work Sarah Pomeroy is doing on the enhancements to our Portal which reflect a key part of the Carbon Runway of Projects for 2017. I won’t steal her thunder though so watch out for more news this month.

Talent Acquisition

It’s been slim pickings

over 2016 for Carbon, but I very pleased to confirm the health of our talent acquisition pipeline. Linda has made huge strides forward in her first four months with Carbon and we have a significant number of lawyers engaged with us and good prospects for more recruitment soon. With that in mind, the Directors have decided to continue to build in house capability to attract more Partners and Linda will announce a new team member in the next month or so. Again, we’ll keep you posted on these developments – all aimed at growing Carbon’s community in 2017.

So – a busy time and lots happening as ever at Carbon. I look forward to catching up with all of you soon, but my door is always (nearly always) open and so please get in touch for a chat and a catch up anytime.

Best wishes for a successful 2017.