Legal legend Joy Kingsley announces her retirement from JMW Solicitors

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Legal legend Joy Kingsley announces her retirement from JMW Solicitors

The acknowledge legal sector powerhouse is to retire after guiding two of the region’s best known law firms to huge commercial success

Joy Kingsley, who masterminded the success of two of the region’s major law firms, is to retire from her position as Senior Partner at JMW Solicitors LLP. She leaves behind her a huge legacy of success.

In 2010, when Joy joined JMW, the firm was primarily a clinical negligence and personal injury practice employing 150 people: it is now a full-service law firm, with a headcount of 725 – and growing – and offices in London and Liverpool. Turnover was £10.2m when she joined and this year is predicted to be £75m, a 635% increase. The firm has grown as a business to be one of the North West’s best regarded law firms, in part down to her stellar reputation as an innovator and her ability to attract and retain the best talent and also an unerring ability to devise the kind of original business model which delivers consistent growth.

Her career began with Pannone in 1978 as a trainee and she became salaried partner in 1983 and Managing Partner in 1993, at the age of 37, playing a pivotal role in growing turnover from £5m to £50m. In 2008 she took on the role of Senior Partner before moving to JMW in 2010 for her next challenge, where her expertise in the fields of management and business development ensured the firm’s year on year growth and financial success. And in a traditionally male-dominated profession, Joy has been an inspiration to women in the legal industry, showing what can be achieved as a powerful female leader. 

Joy has received numerous awards recognising her work in the legal profession, including being declared one of the 10 most innovative lawyers in the UK by the Financial Times, two Lifetime Achievement Awards and this year she was recognised by the Legal 500 Northern Powerhouse Awards as “Management Partner of the Year, North”.

Under her guidance, in 2011 JMW created Lawshare, a tried and tested way for lawyers and law firms to get their client advice when they themselves are unable to assist. Lawshare now has more than 700 law firms referring work to JMW.

Despite the demands of her role Joy has always actively encouraged career development and internal promotion throughout the firm, making sure to recognise individuals for their hard work and commitment, as well as introducing many improved staff benefits and rewards at all levels. “You’re only as good as the people you employ,” she says, “so it is important to ensure everyone knows their hard work is not just appreciated but rewarded. A considerable number of people at JMW have been with us for more than a decade, indeed some have spent their entire careers with us, and that is perhaps the best judge of the JMW ethos and culture.”

Now Joy plans to spend much more time at her house in Majorca, although she will still act as a consultant for JMW several days per month. She passes the managerial baton to Marc Yaffe as Managing Partner, Chris Sutton as Chief Executive and Warren Martin as Senior Partner.

Joy Kingsley is without doubt one of Manchester’s, and the North West’s, best respected legal leaders: her drive, commitment to innovation and mentorship of some of the region’s now most successful lawyers, is well-known both inside, and outside, the profession.

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