The new managing partner at Dundee law firm Thorntons has spoken of her “tremendous privilege” at taking over.
Lesley Larg, who has been with Thorntons for 20 years, is the first woman to take on the role.
She has taken over from Craig Nicol, who indicated he would step down earlier this year.
Ms Larg said: “It’s such an amazing business with the most amazing people working in it. It’s a tremendous privilege.
“I’ve been in a transition phase with Craig – we worked together for a long time, so it’s not been a flick a switch moment.
“It’s nice to properly get started.”
Ms Larg, who is from Dundee, has been a member of the firm’s partnership board, and feels the step up was a “natural progression.”
She said: “I’ve been at Thorntons for the past 20 years and I’ve done lots of different roles.
“Thorntons has been a massive part of my life, as much as it was a new challenge, it felt like natural progression.”
An historic appointment
In the firm’s more than 150-year history, Ms Larg is the first woman appointed to the role.
She said: “I see myself as somebody who is in the really privileged position to lead this amazing law firm.
“I just happen to be a woman.”
Ms Larg believes more can be done by the business community as a whole to eliminate a range of barriers.
She added: “Thorntons, as all businesses, can do more on all forms of equality.
“Collectively as a business community there is more we can do to understand the barriers people face. Whether those are gender barriers, or because you’re part of a minority group.
“There is more we can do to create a more level playing field.“
‘Most progressive firm in Scotland’
She wants the firm to have £60m turnover and a national presence by 2025.
They will achieve this, she said, through offering a client-centred experience, growing the company footprint and introducing new services.
Ms Larg added: “Our growth trajectory in the past few years has been really strong.
“We’ll finish this year just over £30m turnover with a really strong margin of around 30%.
“In some years we’ve grown by considerably more than 15% and in the next five years we’d need to grow roughly by 15% each year.
“It is an ambitious plan but it’s not so far off the trajectory we’ve been on in recent years.”
Targeted acquisitions and mergers will also form part of the firm’s growth plan.
That follows the acquisition of the Edinburgh operation of Morisons LLP in 2019, and Pagan Osborne two years earlier.
Growth outwith Tayside roots
While Ms Larg is “very proud” of the firm’s roots in Tayside, she hopes they will continue to grow across the central belt.
She said: “We’d like to accelerate our growth in Glasgow, and merger and acquisition activity will likely play a part in that.
“We want to be the most progressive firm in Scotland in terms of our digital transformation.
“That means building more client-focused thinking into the way we do things.
Returning to the office
Ms Larg hopes that as Covid-19 restrictions are eased, staff will be able to return to the office.
She said: “Subject to government advice, we’re looking at dialling up office use over the summer.
“We’re putting lots of effort into thinking what the working environment will look like.
“The approach we’re taking is people first – clients and colleagues.”
A “very small number” of the firm’s 500-plus workforce on furlough, she added.
The new managing partner said: “That is linked primarily to the operation of physical offices.”
Colin Graham, Thorntons chairman, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lesley into her new role.
“We believe she has the skill, drive and expertise to lead the firm and our colleagues through this next period.
“She can rely on full support from me and everyone in the business.”