There isn’t another firm like it in the region

Morgan CookCo plateAs part of its young people in business feature, NSBL met with Charles Cook, founder of boutique law firm Cook & Co, to discover more about an internal business culture that is fuelling a fast-growing, fast-moving and thoroughly unique organisation.

Founded in 2008 by ex-city lawyer Charles Cook, and employing twelve staff, Cook & Co solicitors is an entrepreneurial law-firm with a difference.

Their smart offices, approachable size and high-profile client list offers a cool antidote to the sometimes un-dynamic and stuffy big corporate law practices.

Relationships are key, and its commitment is to put clients at the heart of everything it does and this brought success.

Boutique law firm

A boutique law firm, Cook & Co specialises in corporate, commercial, employment, commercial property, commercial litigation, private client and media work; and its business lawyer’s work with owner managed companies, directors and media personalities.

In forming the practice, Charles wanted to break down the traditional barriers between the client and the lawyer relationship. He felt there was a clear gap in the market for the introduction of a firm that combined the nous of the city with the approachability of a local operator.

Charles comments: “We act as a trusted legal advisor and offer a real alternative to the larger law firm that I have found to be all very similar – bland and sometimes without any real personality.

“We don’t have junior lawyers here and clients don’t get passed around. Our lawyers are available, attentive and communicate with our clients. Alongside our transparent fixed fee model this is proving a very attractive combination.”

“’Relationships are key, our commitment is to put clients at the heart of what we do and our success comes from actually doing just that.”

Charles Cook

Charles Cook

A North Somerset story

Charles himself is born and raised in North Somerset. He studied law at Bristol University before working for city law firm Laytons; where he acted on big corporate transactions in London and Bristol.

“But I didn’t want to work in a big law firm,” he says, “I wanted to be more entrepreneurial, and personal, which is why I founded Cook & Co with Vicki White, who was previously at Burges Salmon.”

High-profile reputation

Cook & Co’s client base is very diverse and the firm works with individuals who need private client services; right through to entrepreneurs and business owners in the region.

They also have a reputation for acting for a number of high-profile figures in the sports and media world; such as TV presenters, sports personalities and musicians.

The firm’s Chairman is Colin Sexstone, who was Chairman and previously Chief Executive of Bristol City Football Club.

Thinking and operating differently

So what about the internal culture that has been so successful? Charles comments: “The culture here is different to that of a big law firm. We don’t have hierarchy; this is a team orientated firm that has a collegiate atmosphere where we help each other out.

“The firm is run with integrity and strong leadership. It isn’t conventional and this is proving very attractive to senior lawyers from bigger organisations looking for a different way to practice law – it’s a groundbreaking proposition.

“We think and operate differently and if there are lawyers working for big firms that are looking for this alternative working environment and fresh approach then get in touch. We are always looking for exceptional lawyers to join our team”

It’s not an overstatement to say there isn’t another law firm like this in the region. And having doubled in size in the last year, undergone a major re-brand and opened new offices – Cook & Co is setting a modern, entrepreneurial and aspirational business blue-print.