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Employee ownership – a new chapter for Oliver & Co Solicitors

A blog from David Owen, Director (and former owner) of Oliver & Co

A business is only as good as it’s people. No one understands that more than a business owner like me. I see every day how the efforts of everyone around me drives the success of Oliver & Co Solicitors. That is why we’ve taken the exciting step to become employee owned. Our employees now own 100% of the business.

Although there is a growing employee ownership movement in the UK, this type of business model is still relatively unusual in the legal sector. We are the first law firm in Chester and North Wales, and the largest law firm in the North West to take this step.

For us employee ownership is a natural progression. The positivity and happiness of everyone who works here has been central to the way we have worked for a long time. Employee ownership helps to cement that and secure the business for the long-term.

An engaged and empowered team

To truly thrive, businesses need employees that are engaged and empowered. Many businesses pay lip services to this, but do they really listen to their people – all of their people, no matter what their seniority or position?

Employee ownership gives all employee owners a direct – and equal – stake and say, which is incredibly empowering. It is a business model that encourages collaboration, sharing ideas and developing creative solutions together.

Employees have a stake in the business and if we do well, everyone enjoys an equal share in our profits, tax free – a very motivating target to work towards together.

I derive great pleasure from working alongside a fantastic group of people who really care about each other, their clients, and this business. With our new employee owned structure, I’m looking forward to finding out more of their ideas about how we can continue to improve and grow.

Driving innovation, growth and productivity

Employee ownership also brings wider business benefits, with many examples of employee ownership driving innovation, growth and productivity.

Research conducted for the Employee Ownership Association, published this year showed a median productivity increase of 5.2% – double the UK average of 2.6%. Companies which are employee owned, or who have a large and significant employee ownership stake, now contribute £30 billion to the UK’s GDP.

After working with this amazing group of people at Oliver & Co for almost 22 years, I really do owe them a lot. Transferring ownership to Oliver & Co’s employees was the obvious choice and I can’t wait to see what we deliver in this next exciting chapter.

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