Hedges was founded in 1789 by Sir John Hedges. Rather a lot has happened since then – the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars, the IT revolution, 63 prime ministers, 8 kings and queens, 14 recognised recessions, joining Europe … and leaving Europe. Having its original base in Wallingford, Hedges has been at the heart of the Oxfordshire community for 228 years, but it is only since it opened its offices in Oxford city centre in January 2013 that Oxford has been key to its growth.
Investment in Oxford
Hedges investment in Oxford has stepped up a gear recently. It undertook a significant expansion of its Oxford office in March 2017, creating a first-of-its kind legal showroom, a bright and airy space where clients can come to browse what the firm has to offer or just drop in to chat to one of the experts about whatever might be on their mind.
But Hedges’ biggest investment in Oxford has been in building a commercial team that can offer a truly holistic service to businesses in Oxford and the surrounding area.
Vicky Hernandez, who leads Hedges’ commercial property team, acts for a wide range of landlords, ranging from individuals to multi-national companies. Known for her no-nonsense commercial approach, Hernandez will always ensure her clients get their deals completed and ‘over the line’ promptly and efficiently.
Last year saw the further growth of Hernandez’ team which grew with the recruitment of Mike Cooper from the in-house legal team at Bicester Village.
Cooper brings with him a wealth of experience in all aspects of commercial property, but has particular experience in the high-end retail sector, acting for tenants on roll-out programmes and landlords in managing their portfolios.
Toby Walker leads the dispute resolution team, growing the legal offering significantly over the past few years.
An ardent proponent of alternative dispute resolution, Walker is a qualified civil and commercial mediator, adding an additional and highly-prized string to his bow by offering clients a real alternative to litigation, and the cost, both financial and emotional, that court proceedings can entail.
Carl Selby was recruited in October 2016 to grow Hedges’ corporate/commercial team in Oxford.
Selby advises clients on a wide range of commercial issues, including buying and selling businesses, internal corporate structure and investments. A self-confessed tech-geek at heart, he also has a real passion for advising on software contracts and data protection issues.
Prisca Bradley is Hedges’ most recent recruit, joining in June 2017, to add an employment specialist to its commercial offering.
Previously at Darbys (now Knights) in Oxford for 10 years, Bradley advises on all aspects of employment law and employment disputes with a particular interest in equality and diversity and whistle-blowing cases. She also delivers training to clients on diversity, equality, inclusion and unconscious bias, helping them to avoid claims before they have even arisen.
Advice for Life
So, why has Hedges built its commercial team in Oxford? Its tag-line Advice for Life encompasses its core philosophy of making the difference for clients in all of their legal needs, not just the first issue or a single transaction on which they instruct Hedges. It really does want to be with its clients all the way through their life journeys, whenever it is they might need support. Hedges simply could not do this without its current team.
It can advise clients on all of the key legal issues they may face throughout the life cycle of a business, from when they first start to when they sell up, offering their business true advice for life. Whether it is taking on new premises, negotiating important contracts, sorting out a dispute or making sure their business is complying with employment law, Hedges team works together to find the best solution for its clients.
Advice for Life is not just a concept for the commercial team though; it sits at the core of everything Hedges does. So, when a client sells their business Hedges strives to be their trusted adviser for their personal legal needs too. Its private client, family and residential property teams are on hand to pick up the baton and take care of all aspects of a business owner’s legal needs.