Meet the Team: Matthew Canfield
Posted on February 26th 2019
Our people and the service they provide encourages hundreds of our clients to leave us 5-star feedback.
‘Meet the team’ is our new series of articles which we hope will help you learn more about our team – the people who make Oliver & Co.
This week we are speaking to Matthew, a commercial solicitor at Oliver & Co. We asked him a few questions about why he wanted to become a solicitor, what sets Oliver & Co apart, and why he loves Chester.
Read on to hear what he has to say!
Why did you want to become a solicitor?
I gave it some thought before I applied to go to university, but at the time I wasn’t 100% certain that I wanted to pursue a career in law. In the end I stuck to what I was good at and went to the University of Manchester to study History. Coming to the end of my degree in 2011 I still had no idea what I wanted to do!
I think it was around March or April when I (got desperate) and applied to go to the College of Law to do the GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law). The deadline for applications had expired in January, but I sent the application anyway and got offered a place the next day. The rest is history!
Which areas of law did you train in?
Even before my training contract, I knew that I wanted to specialise in corporate and commercial work, so I was based exclusively in the Commercial department. I did get some other experience with the industrial disease department – helping with clinics for noise-induced hearing loss claims across the country.
Why did you choose to specialise in commercial law?
Simply because working in a commercial environment is what I was interested in – probably because my dad’s job has always been very business-orientated, so that exposure made me interested. Prior to joining Oliver & Co I did work for a short spell in insurance litigation and that just reinforced that commercial law was the route for me.
What do you do in a typical day at Oliver & Co?
The things I do on a day-to-day basis depends on what kind of work I am involved in. When I have smaller jobs for clients on my to-do list, then I may work through a couple of those over a few days. Equally, if I am involved in a large project, such as a company sale/purchase or academy conversion, then my day may be spent working on a specific element of that transaction. I also regularly attend business development and networking meetings around the local area. I tend to try and go to at least one a week.
What is your favourite part of working at Oliver & Co?
I enjoy working for a diverse range of clients, which means that the work is always varied. Working in corporate and commercial gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with your clients, who trust you to look after their business’s best interests.
As for the firm itself, I like that from a very early stage I was encouraged and given the opportunity to take on responsibilities that many other firms wouldn’t give, especially not to trainee solicitors.
What sets Oliver & Co apart?
Not long ago I was at a meeting with a prominent member of Chester’s business community. At the end of the meeting they said that we, “didn’t seem like lawyers” – and that was definitely meant as a compliment! I think that really captures the essence of what Oliver & Co strives to be – approachable and friendly, but still highly capable and professional.
What do you do to switch off?
I love travelling and exploring new places. I also enjoy playing sports including football and squash.
What do you love about Chester?
Chester isn’t the biggest place, but it’s big enough that you’re never bored. I live close to the city centre which is great because I can come into town at the weekend and go for something to eat and drink.
It’s also very satisfying when friends and family come to visit and they comment on how nice a place Chester is because I get to see it every day.
Oliver & Co prides themselves on great customer service. Can you describe a time you received amazing customer service?
I had a very recent experience actually. We’re currently hunting for a wedding venue and spent the weekend viewing a number of places. At the last minute we called a venue to see if it was still possible for us to go and have a look around.
The person who is normally responsible for the venue viewings was not in work. However, on hardly any notice a young lady stepped in to show us around, and she really went above and beyond to look after us. As a result, the venue has now gone right to the top of our list!
How do you think that businesses can improve their customer service?
By genuinely caring about their customer’s experience and not taking them for granted. Most businesses these days operate in a crowded marketplace, which makes keeping customers very difficult. That means that you have to provide a service that gives your customers a reason to come back.
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