The committee supports the development of the future strategy of the Section and enhancement of the services already offered to members. Committee members and their brief biographies are below.
Ann Harrison(chair) is chair of Stephensons Solicitors LLP, a top 150 law firm with offices in London and the North-West.
She has been involved in management at Stephensons since 2004, during which time the firm has grown its turnover from £6m to £20m. Ann believes that development of good people and a clear plan are vital elements for a strong law firm.
Robert Banner is an executive director of Banner Jones Ltd, a firm which he has been involved in managing for over 25 years. During that time, the firm has grown from three partners to 19 directors (subsequent to incorporation) and from one office to six offices throughout South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. He has been on the Section’s executive committee since 2010.
Nadia Biles Davies (vice chair) is chief operating officer at Sharpe Pritchard Solicitors and Parliamentary Agents where her focus is on strategic business operations, people management, marketing and business development. Sharpe Pritchard are a leading public sector law firm acting for public bodies, commercial clients and other organisations on a wide range of public law matters including significant public sector projects.
Following a successful legal career, Nadia uses her understanding of lawyers and law firms in practice to work with teams to drive operational excellence. Along the way, she has also completed the CIPD diploma in human resource management.
Barry Davies is the practice director and COFA with Douglas-Jones Mercer (DJM) in Swansea. He is a chartered certified accountant and a fellow member of Association of Accounting Technicians. He has been a director/partner at DJM for almost 10 years with over 20 years’ experience in law firm management. He is a regular contributor to several national legal magazines. He also delivers training on the SRA accounts rules professional skills course for independent training companies.
Alison Downie is a partner and head of employment at Goodman Derrick LLP in London, advising both employers and employees in employment, discrimination and related contract and regulatory law.
Her clients include law firms and other professional partnerships. She is a former managing partner of another large London law firm, and is a fomer past chair of the Section.
Christopher Hart is a managing partner with Wollen Michelmore LLP, specialising in licensing and commercial drafting work.
He has been an active member of the Devon & Somerset Law Society’s practice management sub-committee for many years and is also responsible for the South Devon Managing Partners’ Forum. He is a past chair of the Section.
Meena Kumari has over 10 years’ legal management experience. She has a wealth of experience in complex children cases, with particular expertise negotiating financial settlement for clients in the course of separation and divorce.
Meena believes it is important to clearly understand the primary aim and objectives of any organisation to fully facilitate a sensible, effective and beneficial solution.
Andrew Otterburn is a mangement consultant and a chartered accountant and has advised approximately 250 firms of solicitors in the UK and Ireland on profitability, management and strategy.
He has written four books for the Law Society and produces the annual survey of law firms in Scotland for the Law Society of Scotland.
Barry Wilkinson is the founder of Wilkinson Read, which specialises in advising medium-sized law firms to improve their business performance.
He is a member of both the Institute for Turnaround and the Association of Partnership Practitioners. He is the author of Cash Flow Management for Law Firms (Ark 2009 and 2014) and many articles on legal business topics.
Fariha Butt joined Saracens Solicitors in 2006, becoming practice director in 2009. In 2010, under her management, Saracens Solicitors secured Lexcel accreditation and took Alternative Business Structure. Saracens has since been short-listed for the Law Society excellence awards twice, in practice management and also in technology.
Fariha specialises in property, and her management focus is business development, employee relations and client relationship management
Sarah Sargent is an associate at Lupton Fawcett LLP. She was called to the Bar in 2003 before later taking the conversion course to become a solicitor.
She heads up the residential property team in the Sheffield office, dealing with a wide variety of cases. Her management focus is business development and staff development.
Paul Bennett is a solicitor, mediator and arbitrator who advises on SRA regulatory, Anti-Money Laundering, employment and partnership law in the specialist Professional Practice Team at Aaron & Partners LLP. Paul’s work is national and his experience includes advising hundreds of law firms from High Street to City & US Law Firms on legal issues and regulatory investigatory and enforcement matters.
Paul chaired the Small Firms Division Committee in 2015 having previously been a Managing Director who sold the successful niche law firm he had started.
Reuben Glynn has extensive experience in helping law firms and corporations by improving profitability and achieving efficiency through project management and process improvement.
He has been heavily involved in many high profile legal acquisitions for private practice and listed legal entities. He has worked as the Law Society’s Practical Cost Budgeting champion and trained extensively for APIL, AvMA, Brain Injury Group and MBL.
David Gilmore is founder and director of DG Legal, Lester LLP and LegalVoice. DG Legal is the largest provider of strategic and compliance services operating in England and Wales. Lester LLP provides advice and assistance to major UK and US grant makers and other funders in the legal sector. LegalVoice is an online magazine about access to justice and legal aid.
Clive Thomas (co-opted) is the managing partner of South Wales law firm, Watkins & Gunn, specialising in personal injury work. He is a former winner of the Leading Wales Award for Leadership in the Private Sector.
Clive is a past president of Cardiff and District Law Society, Monmouthshire Incorporated Law Society and ASWLS (the Association of South Western Law Societies).
Rachel Roberts (co-opted) is head of business solutions at independent UK law firm Burges Salmon. Rachel leads a multi-disciplinary team of technologists, lawyers, innovation and change specialists and project managers.
The team spearheads the firm’s innovation and legal service delivery strategy with a clear focus on delivering value for clients. Rachel specialises in internal and external consulting services drawing on her +20 years legal and law firm management experience.
Andrew Allen is a partner at PKF Francis Clark, a top 20 UK accounting firm, where he leads the firm’s national legal sector team and advises over 100 law firms across the UK, ranging from Top 100 firms to sole practitioners.
Over the last 20 years Andrew has developed a national reputation for his practical and specialist advice to the law sector.