Legal Brokers Ltd started life approximately 15 years ago as an online conveyancing referrer.
Jon Hilton, LBL Director, agreed a £500 overdraft with the bank and four weeks later www.conveyancingbrokers.co.uk was born. It's had a face lift or two since it's inception and at it's peak the site was generating 20 cases a day.
From that sprung the current www.legalbrokers.co.uk which is essentially our workhorse site. Initially we simply used it as a mechanism to gain Conveyancing enquiries which we passed on to lawyers. We then purchased the domain Legalbrokers.com for £20,000 and now run our professional services through that domain. ie. Conveyancing searches, Case Management, Introducers Quotes and Law Firm Sales.
We started introducing PI work, in the days before the Ministry of Justice existed, to solicitors via www.accidentsolicitors.com.
With the volume of conveyancing work we were generating (and it became a struggle getting lawyers to pay out on accepted claims) we "parked" the PI marketing in favour of property work. We were only doing 15 or so cases a month.
We also experimented with a video website called Funkytv.com in the hope we'd sell out to Google for billions. That hope hasn't materialised, unfortunately. We subsequently took down the site to make space on our servers. We may resurrect it at some point.
With the introduction of Home Information Packs we invested in all the case tracking automated software "stuff" and whilst HIPs were alive they became 50% of our turnover. At the point we saw their demise appear on the horison we began working on Property Searches. It was a natural progression and we've returned over 100,000 searches to this point.
In the Northwest we generally carry out those searches ourselves. Outside that area we instruct third party firms. Additionally we wanted to share that work with Legal Brokers Ltd franchisees hence the word "franchise" entered our vocabulary.
As an incidental point the "buying and selling" of law firms has been a growing source of activity for us. We also supply Fee Sharing lawyers to law firms.
Jon currently leads the team and he's a former tunnel engineer, estate agent, mortgage broker, IFA, sales manager for a house building firm, salesman for two law firms, and marketing manager for a firm turning over £20 million pa.
He's ran various, worldwide, marathons and triathlons. Finished two Ironman events (UK & South Korea), ran the Bulls at Pamplona, completed a relay swim across the Channel. Been a Black Belt in Ju Jitzu. Held his hang gliding licence and currently flies a vaguely posh microlight. He's flown his little aircraft to Canada and the Middle East and won a handful of flying awards.
He gets a little embarrased by such things but prior to starting LBL he helped put searchlights on the Eiffel Tower and project managed the lighting on the Millennium Bridge across the Thames.
As a distraction from all things work related Jon flies people around for charity hence if you want to make a donation to our Cancer charity, and fly for an hour above the northwest, please check out www.justgiving.com/jon-hilton.
Back to Legal Brokers again and, as a final comment, if you're looking for a Franchise model our business experience suggests you consider one that offers various income streams. And that's where we can help.
If something in the above has sparked your curiousity and you're interested in discussing how we can work together please get in touch.
Legal Brokers Ltd