Ward Hadaway celebrates a decade in Yorkshire
21st November 2018
What a difference a decade makes for Ward Hadaway in Leeds.
Ten years ago in the teeth of the world financial crisis, our then seven-strong team took the bold step of taking on some office space in Wellington Street in the city centre.
Having established a large and thriving law firm in Newcastle 20 years earlier, we had one goal – to grow our roots by providing the best possible service for clients across the north.
Today with more than 75 people working out of our Leeds office as part of a UK Top 100 law firm, there’s no sign of slowing down and we have firmly established ourselves in the region.
We’re very proud that our firm has developed at such a rate, and that we count regional, national and international businesses of all sizes among our client base, as well as working across the public sector.
We are now based in Wellington Place, the new urban business quarter of Leeds that is also home to the expanded UK base of Sky Bet and fashion brand Burberry amongst others, which has moved into nearby Queen Street. HM Revenue and Customs and NHS Digital will also move in soon. And news that Channel 4 has chosen Leeds to be its new national HQ demonstrates the immense pulling power of the city today.
As Leeds continues to grow and expand, two things remain at the heart of our approach – our clients and our people. And we continually invest in both.
For instance, our very own Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards backed by The Yorkshire Post are now in their 8th year and are an example of how we help fast-growing companies celebrate success in business by recognising outstanding achievements across our Northern heartland.
During that time we have heard from speakers including Larry Gould, CEO and founder of Leeds-based translation company thebigword and former CBI director general John Cridland. This year’s high-profile speaker was Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, resulting in a record attendance listening to his insights into Brexit.
These awards reflect the firm’s commitment to businesses of all types, from the smaller owner-managed companies to larger well-established ones across a variety of different industries.
The technology sector is one we are delighted to support through our sponsorship of the annual Leeds Digital Festival which we have done for the past three years. In our first year, we were part of a ‘Women in Tech’ event with WISE, the second year focused on Edu-Tech and last year, we co-founded and sponsored the very first Leeds Digital Festival Awards. We are now planning on doing this again in 2019 with the second year of the Leeds Digital Festival Awards.
Gareth Yates and the firm’s Commercial team have demonstrated their responsiveness to the region by providing forward-thinking guidance to businesses and educational establishments on GDPR. Gareth was also involved in the first ever Global Digital Week this year and took part in a panel discussion at the University of Leeds on how technology impacts upon data protection laws.
Another area on which we have focussed is the region’s food and drink sector. For three consecutive years we have created and run the Industry Leaders’ Forum which brings together leading figures in the industry to share sector insights together. The food and drink scene in Leeds has developed dramatically over the past decade and we have been proud to support and encourage innovation along the way. We even hosted a Street Food event with local suppliers to celebrate our 10th anniversary recently.
It’s been a fantastic year in Yorkshire for our property team led by Kevin Weston, who alongside Jonathan Dickson have been with the business since it opened in Leeds in 2008. Over the years, our property team has grown from two to a 17-strong unit, with plans to expand further. Some of our first property sector clients include Allied London and the Canal & River Trust in Leeds which are still with us today.
Another person celebrating a decade with the firm is our Head of Employment, Harmajinder Hayre. Harmajinder oversees the firm’s 30-strong employment team across all three offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester.
Within his team, our immigration specialist Flora Mewies has advised on the Tech Nation Visa Scheme. Flora was recently shortlisted for a Rising Star Award in the 2018 Yorkshire Legal Awards. And with Brexit on the horizon, she continues to lead the business immigration work across all three of our offices.
In addition to our own growth, we are also incredibly proud of our work in the community. Through relationships with charities, local projects, sports clubs and though our own initiatives we are determined to play our role in creating better places to live, work and do business.
Recent examples of fundraising initiatives include the Great Legal Bake and Yorkshire Legal Walk for the Legal Support Trust, a World Cup themed Food Tournament for Older Wiser Seniors and our people took part in a Three Points North 30th anniversary relay event running 135 miles between our offices in Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle for COCO and the Greggs Foundation too.
We don’t know what the next 10 years will bring, but what we can promise is the same level of commitment and service excellence with a smile that has come to define Ward Hadaway and its reputation.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our success story, we truly appreciate your support and we very much look forward to another successful 10 years.