Solicitors Accounts Rules expert joins Legal Eye

Experienced Finance Director and law firm accounts and finance expert Fran Gibbons has joined Legal Eye to expand the firm’s risk and compliance services.

Fran brings over 30 years of experience as a senior leader in law firms to Legal Eye. During her career she has led and implemented financial transformation strategies whilst ensuring that strong governance is delivered through robust risk and compliance management.

She has held management responsibility for accounts and operations teams and has hands-on experience of devising and overseeing the implementation of financial strategies to ensure the long term stability, profitability and financial success of the firm.

Legal Eye Managing Director Paul Saunders said: “Fran is an extremely accomplished finance professional and she brings an impressive range of professional and personal skills to Legal Eye. She is that rare blend of someone with an absolute technical mastery of her area combined with an energetic and engaging communication style that enthuses and influences those around her.

“We are excited to be able to offer law firms access to Fran’s expertise and confident that her assistance will be of huge value to our clients.”

SAR services

Fran offers a gap analysis of your firm’s policies, processes and procedures as they relate to the Solicitors Accounts Rules (SAR) including the production of a written report summarising the strengths and weaknesses of the current arrangements and detailing recommended next steps and actions to put your firm in an even stronger position.

She provides training on SAR and on anti money laundering (AML) as well as other finance-related training which can be delivered virtually for your firm, face-to-face (subject to government guidance) or online via Legal Eye’s Training Academy.

Fran is also developing a Standard Procedures Manual to provide a practical and comprehensive roadmap for firms to follow when looking to double check whether the current operating procedures are fit for purpose, setting up a new firm – or arm of a firm – or starting a new finance function from scratch.

Fran also offers bespoke consultancy for firms on particular issues where they need advice such as the structure and recruitment of finance personnel, financial strategies for the firm, raising finance, mergers or acquisitions, structure and governance, preparing your firm for sale, improving profitability, outsourcing elements of the finance function and the potential use of legal technology to improve the financial management of your firm.

“Legal Eye’s client are facing an incredibly challenging time as the UK economy continues to be impacted by Covid-19,” said Fran. “I’m very much looking forward to helping law firms to make sure that they are in the best possible shape to weather any storm.”

Experienced adviser

Fran’s previous experience includes a 23-year tenure at top 50 UK law firm Shakespeare Martineau where she was Finance Director, Main Board Member and regulatory Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration.

During her time at the £75m turnover firm Shakespeare Martineau was one of the UK’s fastest growing law firms. Fran was responsible for all financial-based strategy and activities of the firm and delivery of 12 acquisitions and mergers increasing revenue from £3m to £75m; and taking the firm from outside the top 200 to 50th in the UK rankings; and increasing headcount from 40 to 840 people.

Fran trained at KPMG where she was a senior manager for eight years. She is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants having qualified in 1988.

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