Our, ’Ten Minutes With,’ series of interviews gives businesses the opportunity to tell us how they’ve adapted in response to the Covid-19 crisis, what their experiences have been and as we carry on living alongside the virus, what their business plans are for this year.
This week we’re talking to the owner of Newcastle-based Beeston Shenton Solicitors – Paul Shenton. Here he tells us about growing the business, his biggest regret, and why this year is definitely going to involve DIY.
Give us five words that describe yourself?
Tell us about yourself
I’m married with three daughters ages 10, 14 and 28 and am from Trentham but now live in Alsager.
I specialise in family law and own Beeston Shenton Solicitors which is 17-year-old this year.
Tell us about Beeston and Shenton Solicitors?
We’re based in Newcastle-under Lyme with meeting rooms in Sandbach and Knutsford. The company was founded in 2004 and we have 24 staff focusing on all areas of law including:
- Residential and commercial
- Wills and Probate
Most of our clients are based in Staffordshire and Cheshire but we do have clients as far afield as New Zealand and Hong Kong.
What did you do before you owned the company?
I have always worked in the legal profession. I started out as a paralegal for a company called Young and Co who were based in Longton. It was there that I started studying for all my legal qualifications as I didn’t go to university. I worked my way up, focusing on family law and went on to became Head of Family for another legal firm. I set up Beeston Shenton with Anthony Beeston in 2004 and bought the company in 2018 where I still specialise in family law.
Has COVID-19 changed how you work as a firm?
As a key worker, I’ve worked in the office from the very start of the pandemic, although we had a lot of staff working from home.
Staff are able to come into the office if they want to as some prefer working from the office, but a lot are still working from home.
We’re doing many of our meetings on-line via Zoom with staff working remotely. I’d say 80% of court sittings are also being done remotely.
Our case management system will also be completely digitized shortly which will make remote working much more seamless going forward.
Will you do anything differently as a result of the last 12 months?
There will be much more focus on virtual meetings, which will obviously help save travel time and money.
What are your plans for 2021?
We’ve rebranded Beeston Shenton recently, launched our new website and expanded our team with three new faces joining the company. This year we want to build on that. We’re looking to take on another member of staff and really want to focus on our digital presence and marketing activity.
From a personal perspective getting back to normality would be good and being able to do the things we’ve taken for granted previously.
We’ve just moved to a new house so making it our own is our immediate priority which will definitely involve painting!
Do you have any regrets?
I think you get to a certain age where you realise there’s not really any point in having regrets as there’s nothing you can do to change things but if I did have my time again, I would have gone to university and studied law earlier than I did.
And finally, what was your dream job at school?
A footballer but I’m afraid I was nowhere near good enough.