As any Quaker knows (and so too would many a non-Quaker), Truth is a central Quaker concept. In fact, Quakers used to be called “Friends of Truth”.
Historically, Quakers were famed for only speaking the truth, as they saw it. It was therefore of paramount importance to me that the principles of our law firm was enshrined in the name of the firm for all to see. The concept of Truth is embedded in our DNA. Whether you like the name of not (and I am still not sure that it is the right name), the name certainly stands out!
Over the years, Quakers often fought unpopular causes – slavery being the prime example – and I therefore wanted any law firm that I established to also take on moral battles, even if they were not lucrative. I very much hope that the in the last five years we have done that, providing hundreds of free hours of legal advice along the way, and winning some very important claims.
We have offered No Win, No Fee agreements – which are truly brilliant funding agreements – to individuals who couldn’t afford a solicitor, which allow them to have access to justice, which is without doubt an ethical funding agreement. If you hear of people criticising No Win, No Fee agreements, essentially they are criticising the ability of the non-wealthy to instruct a solicitor.
Though not particularly well-known for their legal skills, Quakers were of course famed for their business acumen, particularly during the Industrial Revolution. Cadburys, Clarkes, Lloyds, Barclays, Rowntrees – are just some of the names of the brilliant Quaker businesses which I wanted to emulate: they grew rapidly, and ethically, by looking after their customers and their staff. It was acutely important to me that as a Quaker the business side – not just the legal side – was well run. If the law firm didn’t make a profit, it would close and would therefore be unable to help anyone. And we had to pay our bills in a timely way, too.
Quakers do not of course have any moral domination on what is and what isn’t ethical. I suppose all that a Quaker-inspired business can do is to try to be ethical, doing its best to work out what that might be. Are we perfect? No, but we do try to be better and better each day.
Do we only represent Quakers?
No. We represent all people and many businesses, too. It would be un-Quakerly – as well as illegal – to only represent Quakers.
Do I work with Quakers?
No, I am the only Quaker in the law firm.
Get in touch with me, Andrew Gray, for expert legal advice today.