Merton Buckley-Anderson

Merton Buckley-Anderson is Group Financial Controller at First4Lawyers and celebrated his ninth year with the business earlier this year. Here, the Mancunian-born dad-of-two, who now lives with his family in Wakefield, talks about his role and what made him make his home on the “wrong” side of the Pennines.

People say you’re either born right-brained or left-brained – creative or logical and analytical – and I would say I definitely fall into the latter camp. I’ve always been a stickler for things being ordered and accurate. I didn’t grow up wanting to be an accountant – at school I had a strong love for sports – but numbers have always been something I seemed to have a natural aptitude for.

On leaving school my first job was as a wages clerk at a national charity based in Manchester. At this point I had not truly decided on a career path but was told I was very good at the job, and they really encouraged me to go on and train as an accountant. I worked in London for 10 years, first for a hotel chain and then for an international Japanese construction company, and it was there that I completed the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant exams (ACCA) before getting the opportunity to return to the north with the company as the financial controller as a lot of their work was along the M62 corridor. My wife is also from Manchester, so the relocation made perfect sense.

I recently celebrated my nine-year work anniversary with First4Lawyers where I’m financial controller for the group. We’ve seen huge growth in that time – from a team of about 15 to 50+ people – and it’s been really exciting to be a part of that journey. We’ve remained a really tight-knit team. Everyone enjoys working together and we feel loyalty towards each other, the company and our clients, and I think that’s a big reason for our success.

On the face of it, a typical day in accounts may not sound that captivating, however it is rewarding to know the tasks we perform are integral to ensuring the business keeps on successfully delivering for our panel firms, many of whom have been with us for years.

I’m part of the Senior Management Team (SMT) and responsible for reporting on how the business is performing against our financial projections and targets.

In my job, accuracy is absolutely essential as the information produced by the finance team is a key component of our business planning and strategic decision making, therefore the information must be reliable. This has been particularly important during the recent challenges in our industry. Being on the SMT provides a deeper perspective of the business, as well as an overview of the different departmental challenges. We have regular meetings where we bounce ideas off each other and set key objectives and goals for the period ahead. The business really benefits from the combined years of varied senior level experience we have within the team.

Outside of work, I’m dad to two daughters. Later this year my youngest will flee the nest to embark on her university studies and my eldest is currently the head of year at a comprehensive school in Greater Manchester. I’m a lifelong Manchester City fan and I try to keep in shape by going on regular walks and 5 to 10k jogs around Wakefield.  


It seems you are using an outdated browser.

This will impair your browsing experience around the web. Please visit one of the links below to update to a modern browser then re-open the site with the new browser.

Thank you

Download our White Paper

Download our White Paper

Can't find what you are looking for?

We are open as normal during the Coronavirus lockdown and are able to help with all your legal needs.

Call us free of charge

0800 567 7866

Request a Callback

Continue browsing