Deborah Mills is leading her law firm onto new territory, offering a one-stop shop for her high net worth clients. Words by Charlotte Pasha.
When a law firm considers its future, what does it do? Become totally comprehensive of course – at least, that’s what Burlingtons has done.
The Mayfair-based legal practice has been trading for more than eight years and already provides full-scale legal offerings.
This ranges from employment and family law to corporate, commercial, litigation and more.
But it has now gone the extra mile and has formed Burlingtons Group, of which the law firm is a part, says senior partner Deborah Mills.
“We are boutique and personal. Our clients treat us more like personal advisers, and so we have rolled out a more professional services offering, extended to cover tax, accounting, corporate services, trustee services and a private office,” Mills says.
It means Burlingtons is a one-stop shop.
This is particularly handy as the client base is so international, Mills says.
“Our client base is high net worth and predominantly from the former Soviet Union CIS.
“But increasingly we’re seeing American, Chinese, and Indonesian too,” she says.
“We can help open bank accounts, manage tax affairs, deal with immigration visas, buy their UCL-bound daughter a flat in London.
“It’s really wrapping a full service around the client,” Mills says.
It’s a modern approach and so far a successful one.
“We’re ahead of the game,” Mills says, unable to list more than one other firm doing something equivalent.
And Mills knows what she’s doing. She qualified in 1990, set up her own firm in 1994 and ran it for 15 years, then merged it with Howard Kennedy from 2008 to 2011.
“I came out of Howard Kennedy and set up again. There were only about five of us.”
Now, there are around 50 people working at Burlingtons.
As for why Mayfair, Mills says: “We’re not city. We are more personal. Mayfair suits our client base. They live around here, Bond Street is where they like to shop and dine.”
And pro bono work is important to the firm, too.
“We are trustees for a Russian ballet school, NK Ballet Foundation.
“We set the foundation up for them and do all of that work pro bono. They’re really nice people and I love the ballet and classical arts,” Mills says.
Now, Burlingtons also has offices in Malta, Gibraltar, Kazakhstan, Moscow, St Petersburg and Geneva, with more on the horizon.
No need to ask about Brexit.
“Our business is very non-European centric,” Mills says. “We’ve never been busier.”
Burlingtons is at 5 Stratford Place, Mayfair.