An interview with Tim Sarson, Finance Director at Birketts LLP, in partnership with Katchr.

Top 75 UK law firm Birketts has seen its income almost quadrupled over the past 12 years, from around £15m when FD, Tim Sarson joined in 2009 to over £58m in 2019/2020.

During that time, it has grown to 750 employees, 70 partners and five offices – four in East Anglia and a recent merger with a specialist insurance law firm in London.

As FD, Sarson heads a finance function of 20 people, including 11 that handle client funds. Although an integral member of the senior management team, he is not a partner in the firm. A situation which could have the potential to create a certain amount of friction. The fact that it doesn’t is testimony to Tim’s ability to successfully navigate a course between authority and ownership.

“Law firms are very different from most other types of businesses. A typical owner-managed business might have three or four people with an equity stake in it. We have 70, but to allow them all to influence the day-to-day running of the business would mean it never moves forward. They have to relinquish that control – and that means you need to gain their trust,” explains Tim.

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