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HomeLegal InsightAppointmentsLodders appoints its first-ever General Counsel

Lodders appoints its first-ever General Counsel

Law firm Lodders has appointed Tom Ellis, partner in the firm’s Risk & Compliance team, as its first General Counsel.

With around 170 staff including 28 partners, Lodders is one of only a handful of independent law firms of its size in the UK to have a full-time in-house General Counsel.

Tom Ellis is a specialist in solicitors’ professional regulation, professional liability and risk and compliance. He joined Lodders as an associate in 2018, was promoted to senior associate in 2019, and became a partner in July 2022.

Lodders’ managing partner, Paul Mourton says that creating the new role further demonstrates the firm’s recognition of the importance compliance and regulation play in the legal sector:

“Compliance and regulation play an increasingly important part in the legal sector and appointing an in-house General Counsel is central to the firm’s risk and compliance agenda and strategy, and another example of us having experts in each necessary field to facilitate a compliant and profitable business,” he says.

“All law firms are required to have a Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (COLP), who has overall responsibility for risk and compliance. Having a General Counsel, however, is not mandatory.

“Lodders is known as a pioneering and progressive law firm, and creating this new role is another example of the firm being ahead of the curve for a firm of our size,” he adds.

As Lodders’ General Counsel, Tom is the principal legal adviser to the firm, taking overall responsibility for the direction of risk and compliance as a function. As he explains: “This translates into a hugely varied agenda, and I am involved in a broad spectrum of activities every day, from examining new and emerging risks, delivery advice to our lawyers on queries that arise in the firm’s daily practice, to dealing with contentious matters affecting the firm.”

Tom is also involved with a range of different projects, works on  the firm’s processes and controls, advises on operational issues, delivers training to the firm’s staff about key risk and compliance matters, and contributes to the evolution of Lodders’ ESG agenda by drawing together the many components and assisting in the formulation of policies.

“Law firm GCs have become more common in the last ten years or so, and it is true that many of the largest firms now have them in post,” comments Tom. “Among smaller and medium-sized practices, however, General Counsel appointments are less frequent. For Lodders, the move demonstrates the firm’s recognition not only that risk and compliance is centrally important but that it is also something wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary, and dynamic.

“Lodders is definitely leading the way.”

Paul Mourton adds, “Lodders is known for its ambition, vision, legal talent and agility, and, together with our culture and drive, this enables the firm to continue to be one of the leading and fastest-growing law firms in the region and demonstrates its strategic focus on a consistent flight to quality and excellence.”

Lodders is a premier law firm in Stratford upon Avon, Henley in Arden, Cheltenham, and Birmingham. Founded 235 years ago, the firm offers expert legal advice across a range of legal services including private client, commercial law, real estate and family law. For more information: www.lodders.co.uk.

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