Hello and welcome to the arch law podcast, delivering legal solutions differently. My name is Andrew Leaitherland and I am the founder and CEO of arch law limited today. I’m joined by Andrew Fahey. Welcome Andrew. Nice to be. Nice to see you. You’ve had a busy, old time, which we’ll talk about in a little bit. I’m sure. For those of you that don’t know Andrew, Andrew is the CEO of Brookson or I think it trades Brookson one limited, but Andrew can correct me on that in a second. Brookson are our preferred supplier for, personal service companies. Arch portfolio members, but also, they provide an umbrella solution for our arch resource members could a long story short that there are a great payroll provider that supports is in the flexible working in the gig economy these days. And again, Andrew we’ll cover a little bit about that. Andrew w we’ve known each other for oh 20 something years. It’s quite scary actually. Isn’t it. It’s been a long, long time. And I’ve had the delight. I’ve seen your career, reached to the heady Heights of CEO, over the years. And you’ve done a fantastic job for those people that don’t know about Brooks. And can you tell us a little bit about what it is that Brookson does and how you are. Yeah. So the, the Brooks can groups specialize in supporting the flexible workforce. And originally, those services were just steamed at the individual workers to provide a counters, the payroll services with a real emphasis on keeping those people safe. So protecting them from all the legislative headaches from a tax legislation expensive from an employment law legislation perspective. And over the last 20, 25 years now, the range of services have exponentially grow and we put we’re an accountant. Provide an ICA w registered accounts to seek provider. We have our own law firm, which specializes in aisle 35 and employment status. We have a financial services business, which helps our individual workers with their investments and retirement planning and wealth management. And so we provide this complete 360 degree wraparound range of services from the minute somebody jumps out of bed and says, ah, my entrepreneurial spirits too strong. Now I’m going to leave the employed race. And I’m going to set up on my own from that very first conversation. We provide a handholding experience to the very day they retire and exit from the working practice. In addition to serving the workers, we also now have a range of services that help the recruitments in district that sauce and select work for these flips for workers and for the corporate and high vis themselves who now have to take on a responsibility with things like high 55 and managing the employment status on the increased admin overhead of engaging recruiters. So we have technology and compliance solutions for the anhydrous. It actually sounds really complicated, but it’s just not as it’s, it’s basically looking through the lens of everyone in that transactional relationship, whether it’s the individual, whether it’s the agency, whether it’s the client and making sure that you’ve got a solution that helps them navigate them and their way through the legislative quagmire that has developed over recent years, since I R 35 first became a thing, Can you give us an idea on scale? You know, it’s not a small business. How many contractors do you deal with on a regular basis? Yeah, so in the last 20 years, we’ve helped nearly a 120,000 individual workers. And on any weekly basis, we have around 12,000 contractors that we’re supporting across a whole range of products, whether that’s through the umbrella payroll or the council city provider. So, yeah, large high volume, high scale. And obviously we’ve got the vast majority of our members with you, as a solutions provider, how easy is it for one of our new members to sign up with you and to take advantage of your services? Yeah, very, very easy. So where we like to pride ourselves and set ourselves apart from any traditional accounts. And so a traditional payroll provider is we specialize in helping people make all the right relevant decisions. So the benefits of 110,000 people. Treading this path before is that we have all those lessons alone. So we’ll take people on the very same day through a way of working consultation. We’ll check off all the relevant legislation hurdles, and we can onboard them, including all development registrations within going 25 hour. Yeah, when we onboard new members, we talk about taking the friction out of the process. Lawyers generally are very conservative individuals, as you well know. So as a consequence, they really need to know that something is easy to join and we’ll take the hassle away from them. And that’s, that’s why we chose Brooks and really is certainly our experience with our members has been first-class in terms of them having the support that they need. Can we talk a little bit about, the broader, uh, set sort of the broader economy in terms of trends you’re seeing? Not just UK, but on a more global basis. I mean, obviously we’ve had a Atari few years going through COVID, uh, people have adjusted to different ways of working. Remote working has become more of a thing. Flexible workings become more of a thing. And, and certainly there’s been a lot more. Yeah, there’d be blue. We’re thinking, do you know what, why can’t I set it up by myself? Why can’t I have my own business? What are you seeing in terms of, Brooks and say experience of, uh, of trends that, yeah, so I think you’re right there. Andrew Colby does suit the chart. The appetite are for flexible working, both in terms of our acceptances leaders and managers of our workforce. We’ve got to learn and adapt to manage our workforce, to trust them and empower them to work in a remote way. And, and that psyche will spearhead the next generations of engagement model. And in addition to that, technologies has been dragged forward through this period, taboo default. We will live our life through Microsoft teams, And we sit in that trend follow through wholeheartedly into the foot school work. Is that across all individual types of sexes, whether that’s technical and engineering, whether that’s legal and professional webinars, it, uh, we’re definitely seeing the demand for and hive is to look, to fill work with flexible workforce. And we’re seeing that in the UK, beyond. I think the size of the, the amounts of workers in the U S who operates in this way is that I’m 55 million. Now it’s a significant percentage of the, workforce and the same in the UK. And it’s a trend that will continue in spite of some of the regulatory hurdles, administrative burdens that, that get posted. Well, it’s really interesting to see isn’t it we’ve seen just since January a massive uptick in people interested in working in a different way. They realize that the ties that bound them to large law firms actually aren’t that strong, um, One thing. I was always, as you, as you recall, Andrea was always very big on, and I think you were too was making sure that the right culture was created within the law firm, based around the values which we set, so that people can actually feel a sense of cohesiveness, a sense of addition to that, particular, business. Uh, and I think that’s even more important these days when you’re looking at people not having. The concept that they’ve had in the past or the proximity that they’ve had in the past. Uh, where are you now in terms of Brooks and you’re setting clear values of building a culture, which people combined. Yeah. So, uh, as with every organization, we have to do this as a necessity through the COVID pandemic. Um, we’ve really grabbed hold of this. And, you know, we, I have a along said Brooks, and it’s the face of the flexible workforce. And I think if we were to be honest and look in. We probably weren’t the face of flexible working for our employees as much as we were holding the banner for our customers. So now that’s really changed now. So we still have three regional offices. We haven’t moved the Northwest, the Midlands, and involved with down south. But we’ve now enabled and empowered our workforce to work in a way like our customers do. So we’ve changed all the offices and we’ve refurbished them. Now it’s a big drop in, sort of flexible working corpse rather than a traditional office space. And we’ve had to retrain our leaders, the managers in how to look at performance management and sit and look up, um, creating the right culture in a hybrid of virtual way. And that there were so many small. Um, processes that need to be looked after, and re-engineered, if you truly believe this is the right way to go and we do, and we’re seeing that pay dividends now in terms of attracting different people from our talent pool is national irrespective of which office we’re looking for. So, um, The evolution of the office culture is, is an interesting one. And I think it’s something that everybody will have to work harder arts initially, and have to be far more defined. Then you’ll have to over-engineer parts of it. But as, as we’ve all smart people, they will find a way in eventually we’ll start to sort of learn how to do this, and it will become sort of symbiosis to our, to our need to, so we’re very confident that with all the. The great cultural benefits that we had previously will sort of seamlessly transform into this hybrid work in policy that we operate. It’s certainly, I mean, the challenge is that connectivity point isn’t, it is making sure that people feel connected to an organization. And, and part of it, particularly if they’re only working a day or so in the office, I was talking to a, a client in the tech space relatively recently, and there, they were talking about having people in the office five days a week. And I said, isn’t that completely against everything that your industry is trying to. Uh, and the response was, well, we’re a relatively new business. It’s the only way that we can ensure that we’re embedding our values appropriately. And you kind of think, have you got the right values then if you need to be in the physical space with someone so that they can really understand what your values are, have you got the right values? It’s a complete change program and you do, you do have to commit to it. And one of the areas that I’m yet to think through fully, if you’ve a flat bug many, many, many decades ago, when we started working with together, the opportunity I got to work and from people IQ by just being in the vicinity from watching them, observing them. By osmosis picking that type of stuff up. I think we, as leaders are going to have to think about how we offer the next generation of people that through a more hybrid remote way, how do we get people access to that softer gen select a type of support that people gave without realizing that we’re giving, giving it and, and we’ll figure it out. But I think that’s one of the things that may be worries, miss site. How, how did the next generation learn from people in a slightly more or less structured? Yeah, just, to make it very clear to everybody under. And I worked together when I was a non-executive Broxson, uh, and Andrew would regularly come into the monthly management meetings and I’d put my grumpy face on and Andrew would laugh, laughing at me, which seemed to work at the time anyway. So, so, so that’s the main thing. Let’s talk about, what’s been keeping you busy over the last month or two it’s it’s been well-publicized that, you’ve been the victim, unfortunately, as a business, as a bit of a cyber attack, which, which has created a few issues, which luckily you now through a and everything seems to be back to normal and, of all people for it to, happen to the, the person that started his career in it. I that was a little bit unkind, but anyway, there we are. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Andrew, tell us a little bit about what happened in Sofar as you can and how you got through it. And any lessons learned that that, that people can apply to their own business moving forward? Yeah. Okay. So, when do I became with this? So. The industry as a whole has been targeted. So three of the top five providers in the space of sort of three of our moments where we’re targeted. Um, I have a view as to why, you know, there will be a assumption that these businesses sits on large elements of cash because their payroll and, thousands of thousands of individuals, which isn’t always the case, but that’s, that’s an assumption rather than anything else. So, I’ll talk about my specific experiences. So, um, at the turn of the year, we were subject to a cyber attack, which is called ransomware free pump zero. What that in effect means is they, they want to access your network. They want to encrypt your network and they look to extract states from that net network, hold the business to a form of ransom Robinson to do that. What we have to do in a space of sort of four to six weeks was completely rebuild a infrastructure that has been in place and grow and exponentially over two decades, which consists of 113 virtual servers are connecting businesses all over the UK. We had to rebuild that in sort of three to six weeks. Is there a huge effort on. We referred to earlier on around culture and behaviors. And you know, one of the positives that come out of a situation like this is seeing a free hundred strong employee army stand up and really push back against this and work round the clock, rebuilding processes, procedures. Um, many of them working ridiculous hours around the clock to ensure our customers care so dated and see through this. So was so safe to say we are now outside of the, the other side of this, advice, making sure people have cyber insurance. it is a godsend in this and they are extremely helpful in terms of the expertise that they drop into you from a it forensics perspective, from the assurance perspective, from a legal perspective, you, it was a definite asset having that drops in. And this might sound critical and it’s good. Cause it’s meant to, because the. The law enforcement element that wraps around this criminal activity, isn’t as sophisticated as it should be. So you will not get the support from that parts, um, your cyber insurance and the spot they give you is certainly what allowed us to pivot so quickly. And I must say you don’t go on records that say the amazing people, our shareholders, and buckers that we have that helps us through. Are you good? Certainly. I mean, it can happen to any business concept and it’s, as you say, making sure that you are in the best position possible to respond as quickly as you can, to that with as little disruption to your end customer. Uh, and certainly you did that, you know, again, as an end customer, we were told within hours what was going on, we were regularly updated sometimes three, four times a day. As to what was happening, and you could see that, all the stops had been pulled out to, to get the business up and running again for their benefit of the customer. So well done that, that was a remarkable transformation in a very short period of time. And I’m sure you never want to have to leave that. So the future I’m dreaming arch. Isn’t just a UK business. We’ve now got 20 plus members in Australia. Uh, we’re looking at Singapore at the moment at Dubai, other locations as well. What does the future hold for Broxton in terms of, geography in terms of providing solutions more broadly outside of the UK? Is there anything in the pipeline do you think, or is that something for another. It’s always been something that we’ve been interested in. In 2014, we moved from being privately owned to venture capital owned, and then anybody that’s been through that process knows the conversation, goes something on the side of this, which is, we’d like you to double in size. We’d like you to become acquisitive and we’d like you to sell more things to more people as well. Um, Oh, with the pair of you to our investment, we’ve ticked off the Dublin in size and we’ve ticked off the being acquisitive. We’ve taken role in road, CNC and selling more things to more people. Now, thank you very much for having me on doing that. Pleasure as always. I thank everybody for listening to delivering legal solutions differently.