Undaunted by COVID-19, regional law firm Ashtons Legal has continued with a strategic management change planned before the pandemic took hold, and appointed a new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Ben Hallatt, who initially joined the firm in 2017 as a Business Manager for the firm’s Business Law Group, steps up to take on the role with immediate effect.
In a further senior change, Norwich-based Partner Tom Bailey takes over the helm of the regional Commercial Disputes team while also moving from employee to become an owner of the business.
Both Ben and Tom are relishing their new roles in spite of the challenges presented by the current difficult trading positions.
Ben comments: “Like almost all businesses, Ashtons has been forced to do things differently over the past couple of months. The challenge ahead is ensuring that we don’t go back to ‘business as usual’ as some sort of normality returns, but instead capitalise on the benefits that we are seeing from enhanced use of technology and agile working with a vastly reduced carbon footprint. I’m very much looking forward to working with all at Ashtons to make this happen.”
Tom adds: “Our Commercial Disputes team continues to thrive and I’m delighted to have been asked to lead such a talented team of lawyers. Through our use of technology and agile-working, focusing on our clients’ commercial needs in a uniquely challenging time has been seamless. Our readiness to match commercial objectives with bespoke pricing for our own fees – including through Escalate – has kept much-needed cash flowing into our clients’ businesses, something that has really set us apart.”
Ed O’Rourke, Ashtons’ CEO, says: “Ben has done a sterling job as a Business Manager for our Corporate and Commercial teams but what we now need is a firm-wide approach to continued change and Ben has the right skill set to help us deliver that. I am very much looking forward to working with him to help steer the Ashtons ship into its next phase of development.”