finance

Thorntons' first female leader lays out ambitious growth plans



Lesley Larg, the new managing partner at Scottish law firm Thorntons, has laid out her plans for the future.

The first female leader in its history set out a vision to “level the playing field” within the business and the sector.

“Within the foundations of the strategy that I’m building are things like environmental and social responsibility, which actually we’ve been very strong on, but we could be better at telling the story and around that and things like equality, diversity and inclusion,” stated Larg.

By 2025, she is hoping to have increased the turnover generated by the firm to £60m per annum, with a target of 15% annual growth, a 30% margin and an increased national presence.

Larg said that along the way, the firm would have to take “informed risks”, as well as investing in its digital infrastructure.

She studied law at the University of Dundee before taking on a job with Bell and Scott working on property law.

Her career then changed following a chance encounter with a University of Dundee professor on a train to Edinburgh, who was also a partner at Thorntons. He told her about a new department which was being creating to specialise in intellectual property.

Larg decided to take the leap to work with Thorntons, where she has worked for the past 20 years, working her way up via a variety of roles.

She is taking over from Craig Nicol, who served as managing partner for a decade, six of those years as joint managing partner with Scott Milne.

Her growth strategy for the firm during the next five years includes reducing its carbon footprint, on top of a renewed policy on cultural diversity and inclusion.

Thorntons is currently exploring the option of a hybrid working model, following a staff survey in the last quarter of last year which found 10% of employees felt they could do their job from home.

The majority of staff were in favour of a hybrid working model, which Larg believes the company can manage, while keeping clients at the centre of the business.

“I think that creates opportunities for us to think about how we use our offices in a purposeful way,” she said. “We can invest more in collaborative spaces and think about how to best use our office for training and experience.”

As part of the scaling-up plans, Thorntons is looking to recruit more people at every level of the business. Alongside such organic growth, mergers and acquisitions are also part of the strategy.

However, Larg noted that these will only happen where there are opportunities to buy firms that share a “strong cultural fit” with Thorntons.

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