Behind The Brand

Meet the team: Andy Kay, operations director

3 MINUTES

Shelley Schubert, senior marketing communications manager, June 23, 2020

Andy Kay celebrated his fifth year at First4Lawyers at the start of this year. As director of operations, Andy oversees the development and implementation of the First4Lawyers business strategy and the day-to-day operation of the business.

As you can imagine, Andy has been kept busy of late leading our transition from a largely office-based business to full remote working. Yet he says that the strength of the senior management team has meant that there’s been a relatively straightforward transition to a new kind of business as usual.

“From the outset of lockdown, we had two objectives, namely: continue to generate leads for our panel firms and ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our team,” explains Andy.

“Clearly, lead volumes have been impacted, but even in those first few weeks of lockdown when I think all businesses were grappling with lost revenue, falling sales, closures, and a raft of other operational and commercial issues, we were still delivering leads.

“As the weeks and now months have passed, we are starting to see search volumes increase, and in turn, increased leads. The challenge for us, as ever, is in vetting those leads to maintain quality for our panel firms.

“Alongside this we’ve needed to manage the team from call handlers, to business development executives to our social media experts – all have a key role to play in driving enquiries into the business. At the same time, all are grappling with a new way of working, but also a new way of life.

“It can sometimes feel that the work and home day are colliding, whereas before there was a very clear delineation between the end of the working day and home time, that seems to have disappeared. As a result, the senior management team have been working hard to keep staff motivated and engaged.”

Dealing with the impact of coronavirus has understandably taken up a great deal of Andy’s time over the past three months, but he says that while there are of course many negatives to the impact of the virus, he’s been pleasantly surprised at how it has opened up other work and family benefits:

“We all have those things on our to do list that we must get to when it is quieter, usually things that require some deep thinking. With no commute, I have gained some time to tackle things like that, which has been really welcome.

“From a personal point of view, life is quieter and there is more quality time with my two daughters (aged 4.5 and 9) and wife because we’re not rushing around on the school run, commute and whatever social engagements I would be ordered to taxi the girls to!”

Andy is clear though that coronavirus is not the only focus for First4Lawyers: “PI law firms will be well versed at the Government’s inability to set a clear and cohesive path for reform over the past couple of years. We know it’s coming, but I still think there’s a huge question mark over the timing. Not least because the MoJ need to get the new rules published and all the outstanding issues with the claims process settled to allow business on all sides the proper time to prepare. Not to mention coming up with a public information campaign to let people know of the changes.

"In theory April 2021 offers plenty of time to prepare for the reforms, but there are still so many variables and unknowns that this could turn into a short window for preparation once law firms have everything they need to fully prepare. We, of course, will be ready come what may."

As for life beyond coronavirus, Andy says the outlook is positive: “Even though we’re a big brand name, at our heart we’re still a family run business. The directors have and will continue to invest for the long-term. At a time when businesses have really reigned in spend, I have been particularly proud of the swift decision making and increased investment we’ve made during the past few months so that we can still deliver. It’s that level of commitment that provides me with every confidence for the future.”

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