Opening a new office for a company with a HQ a long way from Bristol may seem an unenviable task, but for somebody who had worked in large practices for 20 years it was like a reawakening!

Thoughts of enjoying the peace and quiet of my own company for the first year were soon shattered when Manchester announced that I needed a colleague and they had someone in mind. Thinking I might know more about a suitable colleague I kept quiet and agreed to meet the candidate. Anyhow, fair play Manchester, enter Lisa Fone from JLL – we haven’t looked back!

Finding an office was next up and what seemed like an exciting task soon turned miserable when the choice of serviced offices available was awful to say the least (tired, musty and no parking within a mile!). Not what I had been used to at CBRE! We were saved from one of these hovels by Romborne and their cheery offices on Great George Street.

Thoughts rapidly turned to more important matters, and no business or new office has a chance of success without clients. We moved quickly to form a local network and are indebted to the local professional community for their support in providing referrals. Furthermore, we were overwhelmed that several of our historic client contacts were very quick to call us with work opportunities – moments of self-doubt around developing ANY business thankfully began to subside.

Within 9 months of opening Ollie Elms (formerly of CBRE) joined us from Stride Treglown and Jenny Cobner (niece of the legendary Welsh flanker Terry) joined from TFT. Only this spring (and in spite of Covid-19!) the team was strengthened with the arrival of Matt Garwood from CS2. Who knows where we will be in two years hence!

On a personal note, during one’s working career you hope to get one lucky job opportunity and moving to Black Cat was mine. It’s a world apart from the large consultancies as life is free of the shackles of ‘internal meetings’, personal appraisals, middle management and the risk of becoming an identical clone of your colleagues. Black Cat provides the unfettered opportunity to go on your own journey. The real joy for me is to focus purely on fee earning work, spending more time with clients and the absence of everything else.

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