Hamilton Pratt continued its successful growth in 2021, notwithstanding COVID, with a nearly 20 per cent increase in turnover. This was achieved without increasing hourly rates because in the words of John Pratt, “we decided that we would take the ‘hit’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has meant that, notwithstanding substantial cost pressures, we have not increased our hourly rates for over five years!”
Hamilton Pratt is not about maximizing profit, but providing the best possible service at the right price.
Associate, Arslaan Mahmood, comments, “lawyers will never be cheap, but focusing on a long term working relationship with clients and seeking, wherever possible, to simplify rather than overcomplicate, has served us well.
“Very few of our clients make the decision to move to another firm and indeed we still have clients for whom the firm acted when it opened its doors in May 2004.”
A franchising focus
The unique at least in Europe feature of Hamilton Pratt is that it is entirely focused on franchising. This means that all members of the Hamilton Pratt team are experienced and highly knowledgeable in franchising.
James Barrett, who heads up the dispute resolution team, says, “clients do not pay for our lawyers to learn on the job. We only charge for providing advice to our clients and not to educate our junior lawyers! That, of course, is not the approach of the large U.K. corporate law firms.”
James also comments on dispute resolution at Hamilton Pratt: “We have had another extremely busy and successful year. Success needs to be established not on the number of cases a law firm takes to court, but the number of cases where litigation is avoided, because litigation is stressful, expensive and the outcome is uncertain.
“This is particularly so in franchising where the outcome is so dependent on the judge. There are those judges that take a very pro-franchisee line because they are ‘the little guy’, but there are also judges that adopt a very legalistic approach. The problem is you never know what sort of judge you are going to get and this makes franchise litigation even riskier than would otherwise be the case”.
An area of rapid growth has been resales of franchisees’ businesses. “We have developed a process which effectively protects franchisor’s interests, ensures a sale proceeds efficiently and all at no cost to a franchisor”, says Nick Seddon, who heads up the corporate team.
Nick’s arrival demonstrates that Hamilton Pratt continues to attract the very best lawyers. Nick had previously been the managing partner for one of the world’s largest law firms with responsibility for Hong Kong, China and Singapore. In John Pratt’s words, “we continue to be committed to recruiting the very best candidates to provide the leading edge advice that our clients require.”
At a Glance Hamilton Pratt
Year established: 2004
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org hamiltonpratt.com