In this special blog, Major Family Law Founder and Managing Director Joanne Major reflects on another milestone…

Yesterday – April Fool’s Day 2020 – marked the 11th anniversary of the day Major Family Law first opened its offices in Ponteland. The day of signing my new lease was quite deliberate: I said to my wonderful landlord the late, John Scott Batey: “I suppose only time will tell if I’ve been a fool or not!”

It took two months before we acquired our first new client and so by June I was starting to question whether I had made the right decision in going it alone. It was an anxious time: I’d just committed to a lease and the sizeable costs associated with setting up a law firm, without any signs of new work coming in.

However, back in 2009 the economy was still rocky after the hard hitting recession of 2008, with many large law firms making substantial redundancies. So giving up and heading back into town with my handbag and briefcase wasn’t a viable option either.

Fortunately the phone rang in June 2009 and it has continued to ring ever since. That first client gifted the firm a resplendent painting after she had won her case. It still takes pride of place in our reception and is a constant reminder to us of the work we do and how on occasions it can change lives forever.

Eleven years on and in the midst of a global pandemic, I am working at home again, just as I did for the first three months after setting up the firm up in January 2009 from my kitchen table. Reflecting on those early days, I know I shall need some of that same patience over the next few months, despite the uncertainty, anxiety and pressure of being an owner of a small law firm. Like so many other SMEs I shall do my best to draw on the courage we all had when we first set up our businesses all those years ago.

The image shows (clockwise) the first official portrait of me taken after I set up the firm in 2009, the splendid painting given to us by our first client which still hangs in our reception, working from home, our offices in Ponteland.