October 1, 2019
When Emma Gaudern and Jemma Morland set up EMG Solicitors in 2014, they had little inkling of the success that lay ahead. From a modest one-room rented office on the outskirts of Durham, which housed the handful of solicitors who worked for the firm in the early days, there is now an impressive, two-storey building in Durham and a new office in Gosforth – concrete evidence of EMG’s growth.
Now, with an ever-growing team that currently numbers 40, EMG has gained a reputation for providing first-class legal advice across a whole range of sectors – but remains true to its original ethos of providing a professional and caring service.
Emma’s career began with Addleshaw Goddard in Manchester where she completed her training contract, before moving to Pannone, which was her first time working with vulnerable clients.
Emma went on to run a department specialising in Court of Protection work, acting as a deputy for a number of clients and managing trusts for others.
Leaving Manchester for the North East, she once again made her name in this discipline at one of the region’s top law firms.
It made total sense when Emma decided to set up EMG Solicitors for this to be the firm’s original area of expertise, along with gathering highly qualified people in areas such as wills, trusts and probate and family law around her.
“This kind of work really allows you to help vulnerable clients through difficult times. It is important for me to ensure that the clients I work with – many of whom have brain injuries caused as a result of an accident or through some kind of negligence – manage their compensation so that it lasts for their lifetime,” Emma says.
“I love having the opportunity to build a relationship with a client that lasts for a long time. They become friends as well as clients.”
Emma and Jemma were a perfect fit to work together, with Jemma also specialising in Court of Protection work, along with also showcasing her expertise in family, social welfare and housing law.
Side-by-side they have watched EMG grow, adding to its portfolio of services by including residential conveyancing, civil and commercial litigation and commercial property matters.
Around a year ago Emma completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK initiative, where she created the EMG Growth Plan and the firm is now working through all of those aims.
Their continued success has certainly not gone unnoticed.
Recently shortlisted in the Law Society Excellence Awards in the Medium-Sized Law Firm of the Year category, EMG Solicitors has frequently been listed in the Legal 500, with many of its individual staff singled out for their abilities – particularly director Samantha Edward who is heading up the new Gosforth office and was praised in the Legal 500 for the quality of her work.
Joining the Gosforth team are commercial property expert and director Gwen Jones, along with Julia Middleton, formerly of Ward Hadaway, who specialises in family law.
One of the newest recruits to EMG will also be based in Newcastle; associate solicitor Francesca Angelucci will be part of the residential conveyancing team, having returned to the North East after working in London.
Emma and Jemma would be the first to admit that while accolades are always appreciated, giving back is also an important factor in their business lives. EMG Solicitors has been a huge supporter of both The Great North Snowdogs Trail, held in 2016, and this year’s Elmer’s Great North Parade, raising funds for St Oswald’s Hospice.
At the former event, the company purchased a snowdog – Spocky – which now has pride of place welcoming visitors to the Durham office.
Not to be outdone, Summer Flowers, one of the Elmer elephants, currently resides on a grassed area by the Gosforth High Street office, before he takes up permanent residence in the window at the end of the trail.
Lumiere, the unique festival of light held in Durham, is also sponsored by EMG Solicitors and the company has – since day one – been a strong supporter of Headway, the brain injury charity.
For the past five years, the firm has organised the popular WonderLAN Ball – named after Headway’s Look Ahead in the North event, which takes people with brain injuries away for the weekend – where the proceeds support this initiative.
For both Emma and Jemma, the success of EMG is simple – bringing together excellent people who are both professional and compassionate and who are happy to work for a company where the well-being of the staff is also paramount. The firm’s success can be attributed to a firm belief in the saying that ‘you’re only as good as your people’, which is why there is a culture of support, fun and friendliness.
“We know how important it is to look after our people because they make it work. Keeping hold of ‘what we’re about’ is vital, because we know our values and culture impact on the service we deliver,” says Emma.
“Providing a quality service is our number one aim and we achieve this by investing in, listening to and training our people and providing an inclusive culture where everyone can be themselves.”
Any staff member will say that quite apart from the career progress and opportunities offered at EMG Solicitors, it is the warm atmosphere and camaraderie that attracted them – which at the same time is the perfect backdrop for everyone performing at the top of their game.
Emma adds: “To go from the small office we started with, to the incredible team we have built today, is a wonderful achievement and I’m delighted that we are able to assist our clients in a growing number of areas.
“Our reputation and expertise coupled with our innovative approach to people development and employee engagement has seen the firm continue to attract high calibre lawyers and clients alike.
“We have lots of plans going forward as we continue to look at what we can achieve in the future, so it will be an exciting time to see what future years will bring.”
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