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What is your role at Davis Blank Furniss?
I am a partner in this firm’s Corporate Department.  I act for SMEs, public companies, entrepreneurs and investors on a wide range of commercial matters, including; mergers and acquisitions, MBOs and MBIs, corporate re-organisations, private equity and business recovery matters.  I also act as Co-Head of the firm’s Marketing Committee.

How long have you been at the firm?
I joined Davis Blank Furniss six months ago.  It was a terrific opportunity for me and too good to turn down! I am really pleased to be working at a firm with a grand old name in the Manchester marketplace and a team that covers absolutely all areas of law.  We are a genuine one-stop-shop for all clients.

Why did you choose a career in law?
In my formative years, I was very much attracted by the Perry Mason image and watched far too many Alfred Hitchcock courtroom dramas!  I would have been a dream for John Grisham and his formulaic novels!  I actually did law A-Level which probably meant that I had made my mind up as early as the age of 16.  However, three weeks in Litigation in my first seat as a trainee put me firmly on the road to Corporate/Commercial.

What is the most high profile case that you’ve been involved in?
These have been numerous.  I have acted for a wide range of purchasers involved in rescuing many household businesses and football clubs in the area of mergers and acquisitions and transactional insolvency/ administrations.  However, I probably got the most pleasure out of acting for a youthful Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick in my sports law days!

How do you see the legal sector changing over the next few years?
Whilst the legal sector never stands still, there is no doubt that the advent of “Tesco Law” and alternative business structures will make a monumental impact on the legal sector – if it has not started to do so already.  However, we do live in a consumer culture and like any service area, consumer choice is paramount and arbitrary barriers should not hinder this progress.  Of course, this may mean greater choice for clients and opportunities for more progressive law firms that are ready to embrace innovation.  However, we must also safeguard the quality of legal advice and there must be a minimum standard for non-legal providers to adhere to.   Sadly, I fear for the high street practices.

The advent of the internet and social media including Twitter and LinkedIn are already having an impact and provide exciting new channels of opportunity in the legal sector. The challenge for lawyers is now to be commercially adept as well as being legal experts.

What are your personal goals for your department?
We have a detailed Business Plan with a number of internal and external aspirations.  In the context of a challenging marketplace and against a recent background of economic upheaval, our goals are raising the profile of our commercial offering and growth (both organic and outward).   We want to be bigger and better.

Outside of work, how do you like to spend your time?
Unfortunately, I was cursed at a very young age with supporting West Bromwich Albion.  I have seen us lose at centres of sporting excellence such as Hartlepool and Halifax so I suppose our perennial yo-yo-ing between the top two divisions is actually deemed as relative success!  I also still play football and cricket to a mediocre standard (just ask my teammates!).  Living in South Manchester, there is no shortage of social amenities so I also enjoy good food and drink

Do you have a motto that guides your professional and personal lives?
I have never been one to stick slavishly to mottos, I have found that you always need to assess and deal with each situation on its merits.  However, I always like to think that I never take myself too seriously or try and be too self-important.  In a legal context, I have never been particularly enamoured with point-scoring or falling out with other lawyers.  Your paths always cross again…

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Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
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