‘Trailblazer’ takes over as Leeds office head of international law firm

Prew Lumley, Squire Patton Boggs

Real estate partner Prew Lumley today takes up the role of Leeds office managing partner for international law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

Lumley takes over from John Alderton in leading the office of 25 partners and more than 250 staff.

Alderton has been head of the firm in the region for nearly 10 years and will continue to lead the restructuring and insolvency practice in Leeds.

European managing partner Jonathan Jones said: “Prew’s dynamism and drive has seen her lead the charge on many fronts at the firm. She is rightly recognised as a trailblazer, and we are delighted that she has agreed to take up this important leadership role.”

John Alderton and Prew Lumley, Squire Patton Boggs

Lumley joined the firm, which was then Hammonds, as a trainee in 1994 and was made partner aged 29.

She then stepped down to start a family, did a job share with Karen French, then they became the firm’s first job-share partners. Lumley became an equity partner five years ago, while still working part-time, as she continued what she describes as her “squiggly career path”.

She told TheBusinessDesk.com: “The story for me is trainee-made-good in a firm that has been so, so supportive of me and has given me fantastic opportunities. But also where I’ve been able to make my mark in a really meaningful way, utterly supported at all times, with some flexible working and some flexible decisions.”

Lumley’s 29 years with the law firm has seen her career develop in tandem with the firm’s own growth from being Hammond Suddards through Hammond Suddards Edge, Squire Sanders Hammonds and, since 2014, Squire Patton Boggs.

“I feel like I’ve worked for three law firms in the same guise – aspiring Yorkshire law firm, national/European law firm, and now global law firm. We’ve grown organically in such a fantastic way that it doesn’t feel like the same firm, albeit that it is.

“For me to be able to grow with the firm as an individual and go from doing small-ish property work to doing global real estate work has given me everything that I’ve wanted from my career.”

She wants to continue the culture of the Leeds while maintaining the business growth of recent years.

“Obviously the key marker of success for any office managing partner has to be the growth of the office,” she said.

“I see growth in a number of ways – yes, turnover is important and I want us to grow our turnover, I want to grow our client base.

“But I also want to grow the team. As somebody who has been here since a trainee, I’m very proud of the fact that an awful lot of our Leeds partners have been at Squires a very long time.

“Retention of staff and giving people those opportunities to grow their career while staying within our firm is a really important thing to me.”

Lumley, who has led the firm’s UK retail real estate team for 10 years, also spent five years as the elected chair of the LeedsBID when it was first launched.

“I love the fact that I was able to see and promote Leeds for what it really is, and I want us as an office to continue to do that,” she added.

“I want us to be the go-to law firm for people to come and work for, and I want us to be the go-to law firm for the region.”