Martin Hasyn from Progeny Private Law shares a day in his working life
Progeny Private Law started life back in July 2015 when we left our ‘comfortable’ lives in a Top 100 full service law firm to embark on a new journey as the owners of a boutique private client law firm.
Over the past two years Progeny, as envisaged, has grown considerably with the help of our external funders. Having received our ABS licence from the SRA in April 2016, the Progeny Group was able to really come together and start to build. We now have a ‘sister’ law firm, Progeny Corporate Law; a wealth management firm, Progeny Wealth (which was previously Lawrence Scoffield, a long established Leeds IFA led by the Progeny Group’s MD, Neil Moles) and Progeny Asset Management. The Group has also recently acquired a North London wealth management firm - Quadrant - to bolster its proposition in London.
The aim of the Progeny Group is to turn traditional advice on its head. Most law firms act for family businesses and entrepreneurs, but forget that they are generating wealth. Our aim is to put the protection of the generated wealth at the heart of our advice, and to provide co-ordinated legal and financial advice to high net worth individuals, business owners, entrepreneurs and families.
I am based in our Leeds office, so when working there my day starts around 6am, with a view to leaving the house around 7am. This usually means I get to see my three young children (briefly) before I set off. I leave the chaos of breakfast and the school run to my long suffering wife!
I am lucky enough to live in Harrogate so I get a nice drive through countryside before hitting the traffic on the way into Leeds. I will usually arrive in the office around 8am. The rest of the team are early birds so I often find myself to be the last person in! My day is mainly split into my client work and management issues.
I will have around 30 to 40 active client matters on at any one time, so I will have worked out a ‘to-do’ list for the week on a Monday morning. However, life is never that straightforward and you can be sure that something will crop up as soon as that action plan is done. As we are acting for clients in relation to their personal affairs I often arrive to find several emails from clients have arrived since I left the office the previous day.
We work closely with the Group’s finance team, so there are often calls or emails first thing discussing cash flow, budgets, and any payments that need authorising. As a regulated business we do hold client monies so we need to make sure that everything is in order, and as the firm’s COFA (financial compliance officer) that is my responsibility.
We have a great team around us, so there will usually be a catch up in the diary with them reminding me to do various things and check documents that they have prepared on client matters.
Although we are part of the Group of companies we still work with many other professional contacts. The best way to stay in touch with them is to have regular meetings, whether that be a quick coffee or a lunch somewhere. If I’m not doing that then I make sure that I get out of the office at lunchtime to at least make sure I do a little exercise!
The afternoon is more of the same with a mixture of client work and management responsibilities. At some point each day I will also have a catch up with my co-director Frances Davies to discuss any pressing issues, new work, the latest bit of compliance that we need to deal with or (and more interestingly) to find out the latest instalment of Frances’ life as a ‘celebrity’ ocean rower (she was part of the Yorkshire Rows team that rowed the Atlantic last year).
As always there is a bit of a rush towards the end of the day to ensure that you have got anything urgent out of the door and to clients. The day in the office will usually finish around 6.30 to 7pm and depends on whether I need to pick up my son from whatever club he is at.
It’s then back home, hopefully in time to read a bed time story to my twin girls, followed by the more difficult task of persuading my son that he should be going to bed. At some point after that it’s time to cook dinner, hopefully speak to my wife, and then relax watching some sport or comedy on the TV!