Adapting to change

David Dale of Bond Dickinson on the evolution that’s taking place following the merger of Dickinson Dees and Bond Pearce

TO be successful, a law firm, like any other business, constantly needs to evolve to reflect the changing needs of their clients.

Dickinson Dees has been operating as a prominent North East based law firm for more than 200 years. On May 1, Dickinson Dees merged with Bond Pearce to create a new national law firm, Bond Dickinson LLP. The new firm now looks to combine their entrepreneurial spirit with the deep sector knowledge and rigorous understanding of their clients’ needs built up over their long history.

Dickinson Dees brought a strong private client practice to the merger. The 100-strong team provides creative legal and tax solutions for their client base. When coupled with the sophisticated and fully independent financial planning and investment advice provided by Bond Dickinson Wealth Limited, the private wealth offering is unique, integrated and comprehensive.

David Dale, who heads the private wealth department, understands that technical expertise is no longer enough. “The private client world has changed a great deal since I joined the firm in 1999. We welcome changes in regulation within the industry that have forced advisers to be more transparent regarding their fees and the level of service that they are providing to their clients. More than ever, private clients want access to advisers who are commercially savvy and who have a deep understanding of their family, their business, the sector in which they operate, and their long-term aspirations and goals.

At Bond Dickinson, we have a commitment to developing strong relationships with our clients, our peers and the North East community. We share our knowledge and creativity with our clients, in order to create links between people, markets, ideas and opportunities.”

Despite the changes in the industry, David feels that the general ethos of the department remains the same. “We work for a wide range of individuals and institutions. Our clients value our service as our lawyers, tax advisers and independent financial advisers all work together, or with any of our clients other advisers. Our fundamental aim is to protect and grow the value of our clients’ wealth, passing it on to the next generation in a tax-efficient way when the time comes”.

Following the merger, Bond Dickinson now boasts one of the strongest private wealth departments in the country. Private Client Practitioner, an industry forum for private client professionals, awarded the team the title of one of the Top 25 Law Firms for private client work in 2011, an accolade that the department continues to hold. The largely Newcastle-based team now needs to look to new challenges and the logistics of offering their expertise to wider regions.

David commented: “The strong commercial relationships developed by Bond Pearce in these new areas will be invaluable to us and we look to expand into our new offices.

“Our clients want to see us locally, and we see our competitors spending much of their time travelling between offices. The key will be to recruit the right people into our new locations.

“This will allow our clients to benefit from a strong national law firm, while dealing with a local adviser who can access the experience and knowledge of our Newcastle team. After all, who is better qualified to take an Aberdonian client out for a coffee than a fellow Aberdonian?!

“Our philosophy remains the same: to build open, lasting relationships with our clients based upon understanding, creativity, adaptability and a shared wish for future innovation.”

David Dale is a partner and head of Private Wealth at Bond Dickinson

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