This year marks 20 years in the legal profession for me since I started work as an articled clerk.
I have never regretted my decision to follow my ambition of going into law and have rarely thought I should have followed a different career path. It sounds a little cheesy perhaps, but I get the same buzz now out of getting a good result for a client as I did all those years ago. I like to think that I can make a difference to people by helping them win their case.
I was really fortunate to work in the kind of practice that cared for the rights of ordinary people, that stood up for them and allowed it's lawyers to have a go at a case if they believed in the cause.
My ambition from the off was to finish my articles and become a fully-fledged solicitor before setting my sights higher and becoming a partner. I was delighted to fulfil this ambition.
Despite reaching my goal and enjoying my work immensely, something niggled me about the way ahead, and I think this was maybe due to a change in my personal life as I'd recently turned 30 and become a dad. One day working late into the evening there were only two people still hard at it, myself and Mike Denning, and as we walked to the car chatting I knew what I was destined to do next in my career, and with Mike beside me Hattons Solicitors was born.
At the end of March 2001 Mike, Kevin Bond and I left our old firm and opened the doors at Hattons on 9th April. I say opened the door but we did have to paint them first!
I remember the excitement of showing our first clients in past the wallpaper pasting table that was set up in reception which acted as our control room that first week or two. I can see Kevin stood answering the phone writing a message on the back of some wallpaper that we were working on but remember with great pride the way we all mucked in and made the dream into reality.
I recently interviewed some applicants for a role with the firm and when testing out their work ethic I bored them with stories of how I would vacuum the office and empty the bins when we were unable to pay a cleaner- mind you I don't remember Mike getting his marigolds on, he was always too busy with a phone glued to his ear (his trademark).
We were quickly followed by Michelle, Niall then Paul (who all still work at Hattons) and the rest is history as they say.
I was fortunate to have started the firm when I did as later that year I lost my mum to cancer. I'm glad she was well enough to see the sign go up over the door. My dad, who has also now passed away, told me many times how proud they were to see what we had achieved and to see the 'Hatton' name in lights.
The aim was to create something different and taking the best and the worst of what I saw in other firms, we developed a theme for how the firm should look and feel. We wanted to be caring and approachable yet professional and modern.
At the time we were fairly unique as a firm as we concentrated on one area of work- claimant personal injury work. We have now expanded within that work to deal with disease and clinical negligence cases and also geographically to open offices in Widnes and Leigh. We now cover many different types of law ranging from Sport to Business services.
I am fortunate to have had the support and friendship of some really excellent partners and colleagues as well as some loyal and supportive clients and I can't thank them enough for being such great ambassadors of the firm.
I want to work with people who will fit in with our ethos of being respectful to each other, professional to our clients and above all fun to be with as we work to live, not live to work!
Written by Bruce Hatton- Senior Partner
If you've had a personal injury or need business legal advice call Hattons local team for FREE initial advice on 0800 298 9690 or visit www.hattonslaw.com