Looking Back, Moving Forward – Celebrating our 25th Anniversary
Established on 1 May 1997, JB Leitch has evolved into the market leader in leasehold and property management law. The success of the business reflects the vision and commitment of Principal Solicitor Jonathan Leitch, who has developed the firm to become a niche legal specialist in supporting property managers, institutional landlords and asset managers.
From a small office with a desk and a phone in Liverpool’s Cotton Exchange, Jonathan started the firm with a little part time help from his wife, Michelle. From this humble beginning, the firm has continually expanded and relocated several times during its history. Since 2014 we have occupied modern and spacious offices in Duke Street in Liverpool City Centre. Today, the firm boasts a team of 126 full time specialist staff and is the largest team of property management and leasehold legal specialists in the country.
With an initial focus on residential landlord and tenant services and commercial debt collection, JB Leitch rapidly built its reputation before specialising as a practice focused on property legal services for large scale, institutional property and asset landlords and managers. It was this conscious move to provide a distinct specialism that continues to differentiate the firm from similar practices, evolving into what has become the legal partner of choice for some of the largest and well-regarded landlord and property management companies across the country.
Under Legal Director Phil Parkinson, who joined the firm in early 2009, the litigation and dispute resolution team has become increasingly renowned for its knowledge and success in highly technical property litigation and, more recently, has built an impressive reputation in handling fire and building safety matters.
In 2014, JB Leitch introduced JB Leitch Real Estate, led by Rob Denman, which has rapidly become established as a successful department offering non-contentious services and advice on lease transfers, extensions, variations and right to manage matters. In 2020, the Real Estate team launched an innovative remote ID verification service, and in 2021 built upon the success of the service with a new website and branding “IDentify”.
Crucial to the ongoing success of JB Leitch has been the ethos of continuing investment, development and innovation - in both people and resources. In the last 6 months alone, the firm has appointed a new People Experience & Development Manager alongside a new People Development Coordinator. Their brief is to provide an enhanced and comprehensive level of staff training, development and mentoring initiatives and to build on the established and successful solicitor training pathway and broad spectrum of apprenticeships. In addition, the recent appointment of the new IT Director Gareth Rowlands has triggered a major programme of development for the case management, reporting and technical infrastructure.
The firm prides itself on exceeding client expectations especially in terms of the added value provided to complement the quality of our legal expertise. Few other legal firms offer the breadth and detail of supporting resources that JB Leitch provides as the norm. From free CPD accredited online courses for clients to a host of bespoke analytical and forecasting reports, and guidance notes on the latest legal and legislative reforms, it is unsurprising that that the firm enjoys a high client acquisition and retention rate as illustrated in our many testimonials.
As much as the team at JB Leitch will be looking back and celebrating our considerable achievements, true to form, our focus will be on the future. Jonathan Leitch comments further:
“25 years marks a significant milestone in our journey. It has seen considerable change in both the property management industry and the wider world. For example, in 1997, the internet was still in its relative infancy, yet today plays a fundamental role in the way we all engage, operate, communicate and transact. We are also now in a period of significant change for the sector. Leasehold reform and new building safety legislation will bring significant impacts. However, our intention, as always, is to be ahead of the curve and to keep providing advice and resource that anticipates change and provides clear direction for our clients.”
2022 has also seen the firm retain Investor in People Silver accreditation and Level 3 status in the prestigious Legal 500 rankings. With the recent introduction of a comprehensive new website and fresh branding, JB Leitch is undoubtedly building on the foundations of the last 25 years with a clear sense of purpose for the years to come.