Imran Akram head at Asons Solicitors in conversation with Rahul Laud reveals Asons’ business and future plans
AL: Your turnover rose up to £15 m up £6m. What do you attribute this success to?
Akram: The key driving factor has been reasoned, incremental change; We’re always bringing in new staff, with new skills and different experience; we review our processes on a weekly basis, we’re always adopting the latest and greatest industry standards to stay ahead of the curve. We’re a people business. Although I’d say emotional intelligence counts for a lot”
AL: Recent reports say you will probably hire 300 new staff. What are the reasons for this recruitment drive and growth?
Akram: In business the only thing you’re truly limited by, is time. Time to me is a precious and finite resource that needs to be measured and monitored very closely. The more people you have, the more you can accomplish in any given minute, hour or day – twice as many people can.
The future expansion comes as part of a project to complete our new Bolton HQ building which will accommodate 500 people; so in an effort to take advantage of emerging business opportunities in new areas of law, we’ll be building new, dedicated teams to cater to these new markets and drive the overall profitability and turnover of the firm as a whole.
AL: A New £7 m plush office would cater to what?
Akram: Plush is a bit of a strong word! It’s not luxurious by any means, but it does utilise some of the latest and greatest workspace principles and design ideas to aid productivity and to make the greatest use of the space available. . The main reason for investing in our own office space is to give us room that we can rely on. The new building will, and with it, the creation of new jobs will be great for the local job market, and the extra footfall will be great for local businesses.
AL: What is the secret of a high 92 per cent retention rate?
Akram: Keeping people happy. Where people show initiative, we reward it; we offer promotions, training and the tools they need to be the best that they can be. We invest in those that strive to achieve and lo and behold – a 92% retention rate. Research shows time and again, that job satisfaction, not pay, is one of the key reasons why people stay in a job.
AL:We read about your international plans. What kind of business do you foresee in markets like Dubai and Singapore, Pakistan and New York?
Akram: International expansion takes time, so we’ll build specialist teams to cater for the needs of those countries we move into, at the time. At the moment though, there are clear commercial opportunities – in Dubai, property is a hot topic right now. In New York, personal injury is rife. In Singapore, financial contracts and mergers are a growing market. In Pakistan, infrastructure is key to the country’s continued development; so we’d like to support them in developing water-tight contracts that will support them for the foreseeable future.
AL: Your business target is to aim Industrial disease and medical negligence cases. Why?
Akram: As a business, we have a lot of aims, key among them is helping people and getting them the answers they deserve – pursuing industrial disease cases and medical negligence cases are just a means to that end. We realised that we can help more people, in new areas – the victims of accidents at work, the people who have suffered at the hands of medical practitioners.
AL: How do you manage work life balance?
Akram: Family. I’m fortunate enough to have a family that is always there for me. My wife takes care of business at home, so I can focus on the business at work. My brothers’ take on all the necessary tasks that would usually slow me down or get in the way, and I’m really appreciative of that.
AL: What motivates for a legal firm like yours to be committed and connected with the community?
We’re a business first and then we’re a law firm. As a business, we rely on people and those people often come from the local community.
Not only that, but given our size, what seems like very little to us, can make a major impact with those organisations that need the greatest help.
I believe in Karma; we do a lot of good things and a lot of good things have happened for us.