Getting the best advice for clients
Patrick Fleming, director of Cleaver Fulton Rankin on how the company continues to be successful
Tell us about your business.
Cleaver Fulton Rankin is a market- leading commercial law firm which combines more than 100 years of heritage with an innovative approach.
We have around 80 people and operate from Bedford Street, Belfast.
We provide excellent legal advice across the full range of legal practice areas covering commercial and property law as well as litigation, construction, corporate reconstruction, planning and environmental law, employment law, charities, IT, banking and private client.
A number of our lawyers are qualified to practice in multi-jurisdictions and we can also call upon assistance from a range of international partner firms.
This means we are ideally placed to offer advice to organisations that are entering the Northern Ireland market and those from Northern Ireland with a requirement in other locations.
What is your unique selling point?
There aren't too many UK law firms who can lay claim to being in business for more than a century. We were established in Belfast in 1893.
Whilst this heritage is hugely important for us we like to think our key difference lies in the experience our clients enjoy with us. As a firm we are renowned for our energetic client focus and our commercial sense.
Put simply, we always to strive to provide our clients with the best commercial outcome, but we hope they also find the experience of working with us as something that makes us stand out.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are many and varied and reflect the huge diversity in the range of legal sectors in which we operate - from blue chip multi-national corporations to high net worth individuals and many others such as Titanic Quarter Limited including the Titanic Belfast building, Whitbread, Airtricity/SSE Renewables, AES Kilroot Power, FG Wilson, Belfast City Airport, Lindsay Ford, Bryson Charitable Group, The Lyric Theatre and The MAC.
What have been the biggest challenges for your business over the last year?
The biggest challenge has been to adapt to a changing marketplace. We've met that challenge by keeping our client's needs to the forefront at all times, being innovative and by working more intuitively.
Where do you see the opportunities for your business in the year ahead?
Overall, as a business, we are confident that the next 12 months will be positive for us. We have a strong reputation for sound, commercial advice and we are committed to growing our centres of excellence within the firm in anticipation of and response to emerging sectors.
How do you view the health of the Northern Ireland economy?
There seems to be evidence to suggest that there are moderate grounds for optimism. Technology is clearly one of those sectors crucial to a full recovery of the local economy which is one of the reasons why we are delighted to be sponsoring the Excellence in Technology category.
Should the Executive do more to help local business?
It's encouraging to see job creation being identified as a major priority going forward.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Avoid legal problems down the line by protecting your idea, have clear contracts and do your research. It can be a painful experience if an entrepreneur with a great idea finds they've had it 'replicated' by someone else.
Cleaver Fulton Rankin is sponsoring the Excellence in Technology category