21 June 2016
Adrian Moorhouse shares his winning formula for B P Collins
Adrian Moorhouse is best known for his 12 year career as an international swimmer, which led to him taking home the gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Now, Adrian splits his time running his own business and working as a non-executive director at B P Collins.
Having been appointed to the board in 2013, Adrian uses his experience as a world class athlete and a business leader to help create an enduring strategy for the firm.
“My skills have been used to help the firm think about its long-term market position and how they’re thinking about growing,” says Adrian. “We’re positioning the firm in the most appropriate way for the market today and tomorrow.”
Through the creation of the strategic board, Adrian believes B P Collins has adopted an innovative approach to the challenges it faces in the changing legal market.
“What I’ve noticed over many years of being involved with law firms is that they can be a little bit shorter term focused. By thinking ahead about how the sector’s changing and having a group of people looking ahead is proving good.”
Adrian draws on his experience as a professional athlete to shape how B P Collins will operate in the future. Part of this vision is making sure that the firm fully supports the aims of its clients.
“When I was a swimmer I would have a nutritionist, a psychologist, a physiologist and a strength coach,” says Adrian. “All of these specialists would share in my goal of being the best swimmer and they’d bring their specialism to me and it’d be up to me to apply it.
“They’d also interact with each other. My nutritionist would interact with my strength coach because I’d have to eat the right thing and understand how that interacts with my swimming session.”
In the same way that Adrian was advised by a variety of specialist coaches, he believes that law firms, accountants and banks should be proactive when dealing with their clients.
“I want law firms to say ‘we are there to support your goal and I want you to be aware of these things’, rather than just billing clients when they’ve got something to sort out.”
By developing these proactive relationships, Adrian believes that B P Collins can continuously adapt to meet the ever changing demands of its clients. Adrian also has first hand experience of how the demands of a business can operate from his own experiences as a successful business leader.
Over the last 20 years Adrian has worked as the managing director of Lane4, a human resources consulting company. Although not a law firm, nor operating in the legal field, Adrian acknowledges that both Lane4 and B P Collins work in the services sector and it is this similarity that allows him to provide an external opinion as to how B P Collins should work.
Part of this advice centres around building a business that talented individuals want to join and help develop in the future. To achieve this, Adrian is working with B P Collins to make sure the firm is growing both as a business and also as part of the wider community.
“The questions people are asking now are 'what does my firm stand for?' And 'what does my firm contribute to society?'” says Adrian. “When you’re asking those questions it’s not enough for a specialist, and I am speaking in regards to a lawyer, to say ‘well we’re bloody good at law’.
“You need to be leading people, not just managing the task.”
Adrian adds that it is obviously important that B P Collins carries out great work but equally the firm needs to be seen as being progressive, forward thinking and part of the wider community.
Working with local organisations is something the firm has been doing for a number of years and B P Collins makes considerable contributions to the local community. The firm has an annual charitable stewardship with Heart of Bucks, committed to supporting and strengthening local communities.
Adrian’s background in both sport and business gives him a unique perspective as to how a law firm should operate. As a business owner himself he is keen to put his knowledge to good use with a law firm he genuinely cares about. Through this combination the firm hopes to give its clients advice worthy of a gold medal.