Corporate lawyer appointed managing partner at 30-year-old law firm

Ward Hadaway

Left to Right: Jamie Martin, Steve McNicol and Martin Hulls

Ward Hadaway has announced that corporate lawyer Martin Hulls has been appointed managing partner as the firm begins to celebrate its 30th anniversary year.

Hulls has led the firm’s 26-strong corporate team for many years and has also played a critical role in the firm’s continued strong and profitable financial performance as finance partner.

Hulls has taken over from Jamie Martin.

Martin has been at the helm for over two decades, where he has charted its growth from a £6 million firm with a workforce of less than 100 to an over £36 million operation, employing in excess of 470 people. During that time the firm has added to its original base in Newcastle by building significant bases in Leeds and Manchester.

Martin will move into a new role as the firm’s senior partner, working closely with Steve McNicol, who recently joined Ward Hadaway’s senior team as strategic business development partner.

This highly experienced trio, working with the rest of the executive management team, will focus on delivering the next phase of its growth.

Martin said: “As with any business, succession planning is an important consideration. The firm has developed massively over the last 20 years and is in great shape as Martin takes over.

“It is a happy coincidence that the 30th anniversary year is the right time to hand over the baton to a new leader as we enter the next chapter in our development.

“It is an exciting time for Ward Hadaway, as we formulate a clear and ambitious strategy built on exceptional client service delivery. I am looking forward to taking on the challenge of my new role as senior partner.

“Martin displays exceptional leadership and project management skills as well as commercial acumen and I am confident he will continue to build on our firm’s strong reputation for first-class client service. I wish him all the very best.”

Hulls’ was named corporate lawyer of the year in 2016 and Ward Hadaway’s corporate team picked up corporate law firm of the year Award at both the North East Insider Dealmakers Awards 2017 and the Northern Law Awards.

On the appointment, Martin commented: “The scale of the role of managing partner for a firm of our size and ambition is ever-growing, so by adopting a team approach we will maintain a constant focus on great client service delivery, effective communications, active community engagement, as well as incisive business governance.

“Taking on the role of managing partner for Ward Hadaway is a huge privilege. Jamie has achieved so much over the course of the last 20 years and I would like to thank him for the significant contribution he has made to the development of this business.

“He has laid firm foundations for strong, continued expansion and growth and I am looking forward to continuing his fantastic work to increase Ward Hadaway’s market share and strengthen our position further.

“The legal sector is increasingly challenging, and firms need to invest in emerging technologies, improve efficiencies and develop their soft skills to future-proof their businesses. At Ward Hadaway, we are actively addressing these challenges, to ensure value and service excellence for our clients as we help them achieve their own business goals.

“I am looking forward to leading the business as it enters its fourth decade.”