The MD of Thursfields Solicitors, Nick O’Hara has seen revenues grow by 140 per cent in five years as he looks to lead his team to a coveted spot in the prestigious Top 200 list of UK law firms
BEEN THERE DONE THAT
This year I celebrated my 40th year with the company. I qualified as a solicitor in 1981, became a partner five years later and effectively ran the firm’s Stourport office for 25 years. My role as managing partner began in 2008. The traditional law partnership structure didn’t in my view lend itself well to the running of a law firm. I preferred a corporate structure with a small executive board to lead the business forward. So, in 2014, we incorporated into a company and my new role as managing director was created. Five years later Thursfields has grown revenues by more than 140 per cent and our total revenue for the last financial year topped £8.9million.
IT’S WHAT I DO
As managing director, I no longer undertake legal work although I do still have plenty of contact with our clients. I lead and manage the business and am the face of Thursfields in the marketplace. It seems to work! We now employ 155 staff across seven offices.
WHAT I’D LIKE TO SEE?
My driving ambition is to lead Thursfields into the Top 200 list of law firms across the UK. We don’t have far to go and I am confident the team will achieve this goal in the next 18 months. In my personal life, my ambitions are all around my family. My wife, Michelle is also a director at Thursfields and the support she provides to me in my role is invaluable. Between us we have five children (from previous marriages) aged between 15 and 23.
My biggest professional success was the moment when I was voted to become managing partner. But it isn’t all about success in business – I was heavily involved in Round Table in my 30s and in my personal life, the renovation of the farmhouse where we live was a significant achievement.
BIGGEST LESSON LEARNED
As a leader you need to be very clear in your communications but you must listen to your staff and partners. I also believe hard work will get you a long way in life and, to some extent, we make our own luck.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BRUM
There’s just so much going on in Birmingham – which is why it’s so important that Thursfields has one of its offices in the heart of the city. Some development is linked to specific events, like the Commonwealth Games. But there is also lots of regeneration going on enabling Birmingham to grow on the national and international scene. If I can just focus on one area, it would always be the food and the exceptional number of top quality restaurants operating in Birmingham. I also love Symphony Hall and feel we’re so lucky to have theatres like Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham REP.
As a youngster I was a keen tennis player. My wife has recently taken up tennis and persuaded me to put my shorts back on and join her on court! We’re now involved in a mixed tennis team and it’s great, sociable fun as well as being good exercise.