VWV approach expands with new hire

VWV approach, the free law firm referral and support network operated by national law firm VWV, welcomed James Shepherd as Regional Relationship Manager with the aim to expand the network’s reach.

VWV approach was launched in 2014 and has grown into a strong network of more than 150 firms, centred around VWV’s offices in London, Watford, Birmingham and Bristol and with some members further afield. As members of VWV approach, law firms can introduce their clients to VWV, with the reassurance of a non-poaching agreement and access to wider support and benefits, such as legal training. The network is actively looking for new law firms to benefit from the VWV approach arrangement and James’s recruitment reinforces VWV’s commitment to its relationships with law firm referrers. Evidence of the member firms’ trust in VWV has been seen since the first lockdown in 2020, with referral income up 30% in the period since then, demonstrating that the firms in VWV approach rely on them to help their clients when they can’t do so themselves. In small to mid-sized firms where the impact of coronavirus has been felt acutely, VWV approach has provided support in the form of regular updates and sharing of ideas on managing change caused by the pandemic.

James’s early career experience stems from his work with the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Justice, before joining the Law Society of England and Wales ten years ago. Most recently James was the Relationship Manager for the Midlands and the South West. His experience with managing and growing relationships with in-house lawyers, sole practitioners, SMEs, and other firms and law societies makes him the perfect candidate for expanding VWV approach’s network, particularly around the firm’s offices in Birmingham and Watford.

Outside of work (and lockdown permitting), James can often be found running, playing football, or fundraising to keep his local school on a stable financial footing as a member of its PTA committee.

Joanne Campbell, VWV approach Business Development Manager, welcomed James to the team:

“We are very fortunate to have been joined by James. His talent for growing relationships with practitioners across the country is a perfect fit for the future growth of our network, ensuring clients get the best possible access to legal services. I look forward to working closely with him in the future to grow the network even further.”

James commented on his appointment:

“I am delighted to be joining the VWV family. I’ve just started the role but have already had the pleasure of meeting many new colleagues and judging by my early interactions the talent at the firm is obvious.

“The VWV approach network has gone from strength to strength in the seven years since its inception and I am looking forward to assisting that expansion; targeting new prospects in Birmingham and Watford to really grow the network further.”

The VWV approach team has been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the legal sector by the Bristol Law Society, who named them ‘Team of the Year’ in the 2018 awards.