From start up to a legacy business operating across a globe
Adrian Moorhouse MBE is a former competitive swimmer who became a household name in Great Britain after winning gold medal in the 100-metre breaststroke at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
Since then, Adrian has taken the knowledge and experience he accumulated during his hugely successful sporting career and applied it to the corporate world. As managing director of Lane4, a human resources consulting firm based in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, Adrian helps people fulfil their potential in business.
Adrian has also been voted Best Leader in the Sunday Times Best Small Companies to Work For and has been listed in HR Magazine’s Most Influential UK Thinkers since 2010. He is also a swimming commentator for BBC television.
B P Collins has advised Adrian and his team at Lane4 for 20 years. Since the company’s inception, it has grown extensively achieving revenues of £11.2 million, employing 120 people who are ‘completely invested in its success’ (according to the Sunday Times) and is now operating in over 20 countries worldwide.
Over the next few years it aims to double revenue, treble profit and become the UK’s best employer. Adrian very much regards B P Collins as an integral part of achieving those goals. Adrian explains how he first became aware of the firm:
‘B P Collins has been with us since 1996. Word of mouth is very powerful and after B P Collins’ David Stanning was recommended to us, we decided to work with the firm as its reputation in corporate and commercial work was outstanding.’
Guiding start ups
Many businesses will testify that although starting up can be hugely exciting, it is also very daunting as growth can be rapid, demands for the product or service can suddenly become overwhelming and it’s difficult to lose track of what competitors are up to and how they could undermine your offering. Adrian can speak first-hand what this is like:
‘You can lose your grip on a startup very easily, but B P Collins helped us run a tight ship from the beginning, which meant that we grew at the pace that we wanted. And as the business grew, we soon sought advice from its employment lawyers around recruitment, contracts and rewarding our staff. We also needed counsel from the commercial property practice when we bought our Bourne End HQ. Being able to access a variety of practices within one firm was an extremely attractive proposition.’
Walking with your client
But Adrian explains further what makes B P Collins different from other firms:
‘Typically being the founder of a company means it’s never going to be just a 9 to 5 job. It’s all consuming, as the business is your baby and you want your law firm to treat it as preciously as you do.
‘For a law firm it means walking alongside your client, being available on a regular basis, being genuinely interested in their vision for the company and offering sound, commercial advice on how this could be achieved.’
Trust is also vital to Adrian and he believes that B P Collins achieves this through being credible, reliable and personal. He explains:
‘B P Collins established its credibility through the reputation it had earned on the back of its sterling work – this is what attracted me in the first place. It then soon established itself as a very reliable firm by doing what they said they’d do, on time and on budget. The last quality is harder to achieve but vitally important –getting along with each other. And even though David Stanning has now retired, the team at B P Collins continues to deliver on all three counts.’
Going the extra mile
Taking his sporting background as inspiration, Adrian explains further:
‘It’s the difference between coming first or second in a race. The final result between two competitors could be a matter of milliseconds but it means the difference between winning gold or silver medals. Like all good law firms B P Collins puts the work in for me and that gets them so far. But it’s the great relationship and going above what they’re asked to do that sets them apart and brings them across the line much quicker.’
Looking to the future, Adrian is ambitious for the company and what it can achieve. With his eye on shared ownership, trebling profits and growing and mentoring his staff, he is keen to create a legacy business that will be around for a very long time.
B P Collins look forward to helping him realise these ambitions in the future and hopefully Lane4 will be celebrating its 50 year anniversary too in thirty years’ time.