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A firm of commercial law specialists, formerly known as Bertram Law, providing advice on corporate, commercial, and property law, is ‘raising the bar’ following a major move from Marsh Barton to larger offices at Pynes Hill, Exeter, and rebranding as Bertram Fairbanks.

Neal Bertram working with a number of law firms across Exeter since 1994 and formerly a commercial litigation partner at Bertram Law, has accepted an investment from Andy Fairbanks to create Bertram Fairbanks to expand what is a niche business model, in order to help stand out from other solicitors across the city and beyond. 

Andy Fairbanks joins the company as an investor and co-director which now operates through an alternative business structure (ABS).  ABS is a firm that has non-lawyers in its ownership and management structure. This allows firms to involve key people who bring additional experience and skills.

Neal Bertram said: “Andy is a well-known and respected entrepreneur in the Southwest, and I am delighted that we are working together on this exciting chapter for the newly formed company.  His extensive experience in business growth and challenging the status quo will cement the firm’s commitment to becoming one of the leading commercial Law Firms in the Southwest. The unique partnership enables us to position ourselves as a niche commercial practice, not a full-service law firm.  This means our team of commercial solicitors and business experts is able to provide a friendly, personal, and hands-on approach to our clients who will have a designated senior lawyer personally looking after them.”

He explains: “Excellent client service is at the core of our practice in order to support their individual commercial business requirements, offering pragmatic advice and getting results.  We achieve this by working closely with them in order to fully gain an understanding of their expected objectives and outcome, which in turn allows us to provide the very best practical advice. Close working relations and customer care are key to our business model ensuring excellent service.  Our USP is that we are both approachable and affordable, with each client given a designated relationship manager to look after their business needs and actively maintain communication, in order to give the best service.   In addition, they will have a senior lawyer who will be in charge of their file, so they feel valued, and we actively encourage their feedback to make sure we are on the right track.”

He adds: “Bertram Fairbanks acts for a wide range of clients and is proud to be based in the heart of Exeter servicing clients across Devon, the Southwest, and beyond.  We are committed to contributing and investing in the local business community rather than growing and expanding nationally or internationally.”

Andy Fairbanks is CEO of Progen Power Ltd., a company supporting a diverse clientele with temporary power solutions, handling a wide variety of projects including festivals, concerts, and high-profile sporting events across the UK.

Mr. Fairbanks said: “I’ve known Neal for some time and have huge respect for him, so when he approached me with regards to going into partnership, I didn’t hesitate.  I’ve dealt with many lawyers through my multiple businesses, and some can over-complicate matters, which in turn incurs unnecessary large bills.  That’s not how it works at Bertram Fairbanks; the firm really listens to the client’s needs and acts appropriately in an efficient and reasonably priced manner.”

He comments further: “The new ultra-modern offices are stunning, and we’ve purposely used local contractors to carry out the extensive renovation as we feel it’s important that we invest in our community. It’s a stimulating and cool environment to work in and includes our very own champagne and spirits bar called the  ‘Belvedere Lounge’ and there is also a breakout area for staff and clients to have fun. We don’t want to be a cliché firm of stuffy solicitors and are very approachable to clients, so we don’t wear jackets or ties.  It’s much more relaxed whilst still remaining professional and we think Exeter is ready for something different.”

One of the first new team members to be recruited to Bertram Fairbanks is Annelie Carver who has worked with large and regional law firms in Exeter and the Southwest; as well as being a General Counsel and Company Secretary for a full list of PLC.  Annelie will be providing corporate and commercial legal advice and is well-regarded within the legal sector.  For the last 7 years, she has been running her own legal consultancy business before being head-hunted by Neal to come back into private practice at Bertram Fairbanks.

Annelie Carver, Partner and head of corporate and commercial – Bertram Fairbanks said: “I’ve worked with Neal before, and he contacted me whilst I was self-employed asking me to provide some ad-hoc legal consultancy services for Bertram Law. This involved advising Neal on Andy’s investment into the practice as well as working for a range of commercial clients.  I was impressed with Neal and Andy’s vision of creating a new modern niche commercial law firm.  Neal then asked if I knew of any corporate lawyers who would be suitable to deal with compliance and help run the law firm at which point, I said that I would be delighted to join the new firm.  I’m really enjoying my role as a partner as well as helping to recruit and train new staff and very much looking forward to the exciting future of Bertram Fairbanks.”

Andy Fairbanks (Director & investor) with Neal Bertram (Director) with members of Bertram Fairbanks team (photo credit: Glen King)

PHOTO: L – R: Andy Fairbanks (Director & investor), Annelie Carver, Kevin Bodley, Lynn Burden, Joe Crispin, Kim Jarvis, Kirstie Johnson, and Neal Bertram (Director Bertram Fairbanks)