Wilkinson Read & Partners was formed in 1993 by Barry Wilkinson and Janice Read.
Barry (see profile) was previously a Finance Director, turning round troubled companies in the RTZ Group.
Janice had held senior HR positions in the city, where complex solutions had to be delivered within a high pressure environment. She had been the only non-Oxbridge manager in her company (University of Sheffield - Prehistory and Archaeology). Sadly, Janice had to leave us in 2003 due to deterioration in her MS.
Early Days - Cost Oriented - Focus on Results
The initial focus of the firm was entirely on cost reduction and helping firms to improve their profits, even if fees were stagnant. In the early days, a number of projects were undertaken on a contingency fee basis and that taught us never to lose our focus on results. Even though we have moved on to more substantive projects which are not suitable for pure contingency fees, we never have lost our focus on delivering results.
Larger Projects – Smarter Solutions
In the late 1990s, we moved into more substantive and sophisticated consultancy projects, not only for professional service firms including top ten chartered surveyors and substantial law firms, but also clients in retail and financial services sectors.
Bringing Solutions from Other Sectors
In most professions and industries, largely with the exception of the law, consultants have become a common sight - often repeating old solutions from previous projects.
We not only use financial management techniques, but we also bring techniques derived from world class manufacturing and management approaches to help clients to deliver a higher quantity, a better quality of service, at a much lower cost - and we can usually create a happier workplace with far less stress.
In the early years of the current century, we decided to specialise in the law - consultants to law firms focusing on both cash flow and costs, ensuring that not only do partners get much more income, but they also get it more quickly, and where they have been in an overdraft situation, can sleep more easily at night.
Growing the Top Line
We took a quantum leap forward in 2007 when Simon White (see profile) joined our team.
Simon’s background had been in professional services marketing for over 20 years. In fact, he was one of the first people in the UK to be involved in professional services marketing, having been in the right (or wrong) place at Ernst and Young on the day the accountancy profession was first allowed to advertise.
Since then, he has not only developed marketing of accountancy firms, but has been marketing director of three major law firms (with between 100 and 500 people).
But it is not only with larger firms that Simon’s skills have produced results; he has helped bring substantial tranches of business into specific departments, and helped smaller firms get rapid results and pay back on their marketing effort.
A Total Service Package
So, we are now able to offer law firms a total package:
• If you want to increase your top line, get more clients and more fees, we can help.
• If you want to increase the bottom line (profit) even in difficult market conditions, there is no one better.
• If you want to improve law firm cash flow, reduce your overdraft, and put money into partners’ pockets, we are the UK's leading experts.
And if the whole issue of law firm management in a rapidly changing world is causing you sleepless nights, we can help to reduce the stress and help to give you a much greater sense of direction.
For most things that can happen in the management of your firm, you can rest assured that we have the experience and the knowledge to provide solutions that allow you to fulfil your ambitions as a business.
If you would like a conversation about how we can help you achieve your own unique objectives, please contact us.
Barry’s experience includes over fifteen years consulting with professional service firms. He has saved his clients millions of pounds in all parts of their cost structures, and put even more into their bank accounts through creative cash flow programmes. He also has an unusual ability to bring partners together to move their firm in an agreed direction.
Even in the tough economic environment of the past two years, Barry has helped firms from across the UK to improve profits, boost cash flow and reduce overdrafts. He has also been instrumental in helping a number of clients to prepare for merger, and to take advantage of their position to acquire rival firms.
Barry is a Fellow and former Area President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and, prior to founding Wilkinson Read and Partners, was Finance Director of various subsidiaries of the RTZ (now Rio Tinto) group, returning problem companies to success and profit. He also holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Sheffield.
Barry is author of Cash Management for Law Firms, the definitive sector report published in spring 2009 by the Ark Group. He regularly presents at legal industry conferences in London and around the UK.
Mobile: 07960 179010
John is a senior finance professional experienced at Board level in growing businesses through his use of extensive accounting, man management and software knowledge. He is used to working in acquisition and organic growth situations and has the proven ability to deliver improvement and innovation in reporting systems, financial controls, risk management and staff development. His recent experience in the legal sector includes troubleshooting and accounting system implementation, staff training and delivery of an Excel based reporting tool to enable monthly reporting to external lenders.
John’s previous experience includes roles as both Finance Director and Managing Director at BES Consulting Ltd where he undertook a due diligence process which resulted in substantial cost savings and contributed to an increased cash flow of 300% within the first year. His core competencies include Strategic Financial Planning, Project Management, Business Revenue Improvement and Implementation of Financial Systems and Procedures. John is also an Associate Member of CIMA.
Michelle graduated with a Bsc (Hons) in Sociology with History, University of Roehampton London and is a qualified Lexcel Consultant
Prior to joining WRP, Michelle worked in education and the manufacturing industry running busy teams efficiently and effectively, using sophisticated IT and management systems to keep costs to a minimum whilst providing a quality service to her clients.
Since joining Wilkinson Read & Partners, she has become our in-house specialist in the Lexcel quality standard for solicitors. She is experienced in producing systems and procedure manuals.
She manages our tactical cost reduction services, negotiating contracts with suppliers and supporting Practice Managers and Administrators.
Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, walks in the park and gardening as well as reading crime fiction.
Mobile: 07725 020645
Anthony has recently been working with clients to analyse market opportunities, and to develop business strategies and development plans. He also manages business development at Wilkinson Read & Partners.
Anthony graduated with First Class Honours from the London School of Economics. He has taken our research and analysis capabilities to an unparalleled level. He speaks good German and is currently getting to grips with Russian.
Anthony spends most of his spare time on the cricket pitch - for MCC or Kenilworth Wardens CC.