Tom Foottit
Roythornes' Spalding office

Tom Foottit - Partner

I have close relatives who are farmers, so combining a legal career and farming comes very naturally. I originally worked for a law firm in Northamptonshire. I used to come across Roythornes on the other side of deals. Then, as now, they were a firm with a great reputation for agriculture and I remember being impressed by the quality both of their work and of the clients they acted for. So when the phone rang in 1997 and someone asked whether I was interested in joining, I didn’t have to be asked twice!

What’s struck me since being here

First, the good working relationships inside the firm. Of course we have our moments, but – on the whole – we do think of ourselves as a team. That makes things a lot less stressful than if we were all competing against each other to be top dog. It also means we can get the work to the best people for the job rather than being territorial about things.

Second, the depth of our client base. It spreads further and is more varied than I could have hoped. Our clients are far more than ‘just’ farmers. They’re business people first and foremost. They tend to work at the top end of their sector and they need top-end lawyers to service them. Yes, they’re demanding but I wouldn’t expect anything less. It keeps you on your toes.

Third, the overt way in which our clients express their appreciation for what we do. Firstly, by settling their bill – when all’s said and done that’s pretty crucial – and secondly, by their unsolicited thanks for a job well done.

Finally, the power of a Roythornes badge. I remember when I first went out and about at shows and events wearing a badge with Roythornes on it. Clients came up and congratulated me on my move to the firm. That had never happened before, and I knew I was in the right place.