The law firm boss on a mis­sion for global growth.

Law firm Rradar is pur­su­ing global growth after dis­rupt­ing the Lizzie Mur­phy le­gal sec­tor. meets its chief ex­ec­u­tive and founder Gary Gallen.

Yorkshire Post - Business - - BUSINESS / VOICES -

When was the last time you walked into a law firm and saw a putting green? Or swings? Or ar­cade ma­chines where you can play Space In­vaders? It might sound like the head of­fice of Sky, Face­book or

Google but in fact it’s Rradar, one of the fastest-grow­ing law firms in York­shire which has its head­quar­ters in Hull.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Gallen,

50, says the un­usual in­te­rior is a re­flec­tion of him. “I sup­pose it’s a lit­tle bit of my DNA,” he says. “Why can’t we be cre­ative and have per­son­al­ity? We’re not bor­ing peo­ple.”

It be­comes ap­par­ent very quickly dur­ing our two-hour con­ver­sa­tion that Rradar is not your av­er­age law firm and Gallen is far from your av­er­age CEO.

Train­ing and meet­ing rooms are named after in­spi­ra­tional fig­ures in­clud­ing Shake­speare and Ein­stein. One even has 3D images of moun­tains on the wall.

Each room has a dif­fer­ent smell – bread, cho­co­late, cof­fee are among the aro­mas – aimed at stim­u­lat­ing em­ployee pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The com­pany of­fers lan­guage and mu­sic les­sons to staff – the of­fice even has its own pi­ano. “We’ve got over 40 mu­si­cians and singers in the busi­ness,” says Gallen. “At the mo­ment we’re cre­at­ing our own Rradar theme tune.”

This multi-sen­sory ap­proach to the work­place is in­spired by Gallen’s 16-year-old son, Daniel, who has ad­di­tional needs which in­clude autism, a rare type of Down’s Syn­drome and thy­roid con­di­tions.

“I’ve met some fan­tas­tic peo­ple who use senses to teach peo­ple,” says Gallen. “They are the same sorts of skills that I’m try­ing to bring to Rradar and to make peo­ple feel like they are part of some­thing much dif­fer­ent.”

Gallen has spent the last seven years drag­ging the le­gal sec­tor into the mod­ern busi­ness world.

In 2012 the cor­po­rate de­fence lawyer left his job as a part­ner at in­ter­na­tional law firm DLA Piper to set up an in­no­va­tive, dis­rup­tive new force in le­gal ser­vices.

His vi­sion was to chal­lenge the neg­a­tive stereo­types rou­tinely as­so­ci­ated with the le­gal sec­tor and of­fer cus­tomers – char­i­ties, or­gan­i­sa­tions and small busi­nesses – sim­plic­ity, ac­ces­si­bil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity.

The spe­cial­ist lit­i­ga­tion law firm, which has a £7m turnover, is built around le­gal risk man­age­ment ex­per­tise, knowl­edge-shar­ing and tech­nol­ogy.

Gallen be­lieves that lawyers should be proac­tive as well as re­ac­tive. “For me, the next gen­er­a­tion of le­gal ser­vices will ed­u­cate and ad­vise peo­ple – shar­ing their knowl­edge – rather than just com­ing in when ev­ery­thing’s gone wrong,” he says.

The busi­ness has its own coders and de­vel­op­ers cre­at­ing in-house tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts to help char­i­ties, or­gan­i­sa­tions and small busi­nesses.

Its train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion con­sul­tancy arm is de­signed to ‘ed­u­cate and em­power’ clients to do things for them­selves.

The firm uses a range of dig­i­tal tools, from on­line in­for­ma­tion re­sources and ad­vice lines to pod­casts and we­bi­nars.

In 2017, it launched its Grace app, named after Gallen’s daugh­ter. The au­to­mated le­gal sup­port as­sis­tant in­ter­acts with clients and an­swers their queries.

Un­til five years ago, Rradar was a one-man op­er­a­tion based in Gallen’s con­ser­va­tory. He un­suc­cess­fully ap­plied to 29 fun­ders to back his busi­ness be­fore fi­nally re­mort­gag­ing his house and us­ing his life sav­ings to fund the growth him­self.

“We work at an in­ter­sec­tion of in­sur­ance, law, tech­nol­ogy and teach­ing. Try­ing to get peo­ple to be­lieve in that model was pretty dif­fi­cult,” he says.

He adds: “The only way to prove it was to fund it my­self. I taught my­self cod­ing, built the first web­site and then tested the model on busi­nesses I’d worked with be­fore for free. Once I’d got my first com­pany, it went from there.”

Gallen’s next mis­sion was to per­suade in­sur­ance gi­ant,

AXA, to let Rradar pro­vide le­gal ser­vices for up to 50,000 pol­i­cy­hold­ers who hold its busi­ness man­age­ment li­a­bil­ity pol­icy.

“It was hard work to prove the model and build mo­men­tum,” he says.

The hard work paid off, how­ever, and proved to be a turn­ing point for the com­pany.

Over the last 18 months,

Gallen has al­most dou­bled the busi­ness and ex­pects to dou­ble turnover again over the next 12 months.

The firm em­ploys over 100 staff in the Hull of­fice, 24 in Leeds and eight in Glas­gow. About 55 per cent of its staff are non-lawyers.

Gallen’s unique ap­proach led him to work with IBM and Mi­crosoft. He re­cently caught the eye of Ama­zon and has also joined the Lon­don Stock Ex­change ELITE pro­gramme.

In­spi­ra­tional mes­sages on Rradar’s of­fice walls, which

Star Wars in­clude quotes and Si­mon and Gar­funkel lyrics, are a key part of the com­pany’s ethos.

“I want to stop peo­ple look­ing at the world from a text book about law or cod­ing. We try to build things with sto­ries and themes be­cause that’s what peo­ple re­late to,” he says.

Gallen be­lieves the ethos of the busi­ness is about the ed­u­ca­tion and em­pow­er­ment of peo­ple run­ning or­gan­i­sa­tions and small busi­nesses.

“I say to staff, ‘We’re the Jedi lawyers. We’re bring­ing bal­ance back. We’re help­ing the lit­tle guy against the state’.”

As we speak, Gallen is in the mid­dle of two ac­qui­si­tions – one in York­shire and the other in Lon­don – to keep up with cus­tomer de­mand.

He is also plan­ning to open two UK train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion cen­tres plus an of­fice in Ire­land this year.

Rradar was re­cently listed as one of the top 100 fastest grow­ing tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies in the UK –

The the first law firm to ever make Times

list.

The fa­ther-of-three is re­lent­less in his pur­suit for fur­ther growth of his com­pany. “We’re five per cent of what the vi­sion is. We’re a global busi­ness, we just hap­pen to be in the early stages of growth,” he says.

The driv­ing force be­hind this de­ter­mi­na­tion is his fam­ily. “If I get this right, there will be a trust to pay for the right kind of care that Daniel needs in the fu­ture,” he adds.

Why can’t we be cre­ative and have per­son­al­ity? We’re not bor­ing peo­ple.

PIC­TURE: SI­MON HULME

GROWTH GOALS:Gary Gallen, head of Rradar, says the driv­ing force be­hind his firm’s growth is to pro­vide a se­cure fu­ture for his three chil­dren.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.