A LEADING Worcestershire law firm has appointed a new CEO to help capitalise on a record year of performance.

Talbots Law, which has offices in Kidderminster, Stourbridge, Dudley, Halesowen, Wolverhampton and Codsall, has named Dave Hodgetts as its new chief executive officer.

The experienced commercial director and qualified accountant joins after a 25-year career with Taylor Wimpey and E.ON, with one of his first tasks being to put in place a five-year growth plan that will involve consistent organic growth, the opening of new offices and potential for future acquisitions.

He will look to build on the firm's core values of trust, innovation and delivering expert legal advice in a way clients understand, an approach that has seen annual fees grow by 26 per cent during a pandemic to reach £16m by the end of 2021.

He said: “This is a very exciting time to be joining Talbots, a law firm that dates back more than 200 years and one that boasts an excellent reputation.

“We have emerged from the pandemic in a very strong position, with growth across all of our core areas of law, including residential property, trusts and estates, dispute resolution, commercial, family and criminal defence.

“My task is to use the operational and commercial experience gained working for two PLCs to develop a five-year plan that will build on Talbots’ strong position in the region, whilst naturally staying true to our core values.

“Everything is in place; the outstanding people we employ, the passion to look after the interests of our clients and the desire to continuously be better. We just need the longer-term strategy in place that takes the company into new geographic areas, capitalises on national services more and achieves expansion through a blend of organic growth and complementary acquisitions.”

Talbots, which employs more than 280 people across its six offices, has recruited an extra 50 staff over the last 12 months, with another 30 positions to fill between now and the end of the year - ranging from administrative roles and trainee solicitors to experienced residential property experts and director level appointments.

Mr Hodgetts said: “We are a people and service business, so getting to know the staff and our customers’ wants and needs has been key for me.

“Whilst our customer service is one of the best in our sector, there are always opportunities to do things better and I’m a firm believer in ‘adding value’. All of our existing processes will be reviewed to see how we can improve them further, together with extending the excellent team we currently have.”

Kidderminster Shuttle: Mary Morgan and Dave HodgettsMary Morgan and Dave Hodgetts

Mary Morgan, who has handed over the role of CEO, said: “It’s fantastic that we have attracted Dave to the Talbots family, and he has come along at the right time in our development.

“His commercial and operational expertise is second to none having successfully expanded the operations of two national PLCs and it is this experience of bringing people together to deliver outstanding performance that really appealed to us.”

Talbots recently maintained its two star rating in the Sunday Times Best Companies to work for award, with judges recognising it for outstanding employee engagement and its agile approach to personal development.

The firm also been recognised by Best Companies as one of the top 20 law firms to work for in the UK.