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The Team

View profile for Steven Petty
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As I was walking my dog (and Director of General Sociability at Feldon Dunsmore), Beatle in pitch darkness this morning (a particularly odd thing to do with a black dog – more on why in a moment) it struck me what a great team we make.  Despite the inability to see where on earth it was landing, I continued to hurl Beatle’s tennis ball into the darkness trusting that my teammate would be able to find it.  A few times, Beatle turned back to look quizzically at me, unsure whether or not the ball had actually left my hand.  A nod from me and a hand gesture to indicate the general area where I believed the ball had fallen was enough for him to charge in that general direction, he trusting my general guidance and me trusting his nose to pinpoint the exact spot where the ball lay hidden in a mixture of undergrowth and snow.  As we walked back home up the hill at the end of our walk with the sun rising over the horizon behind us, the ball was still safely in my hand.  We’re a good team.

A team, by definition, needs a minimum of two individuals.  The most important, of course, is my family which Natalie and I decided to turn into a bigger team over 15 years ago now.  Growing a team of any sort and remaining successful is incredibly hard.  In theory growing a family is easy but as parents of a first child conceived through IVF we both appreciate that even growing a family can be more complicated than you expect.  Our immediate family now consists of five humans plus the aforementioned Beatle, two cats, two rabbits (three including Mr Bun – see Natalie’s blog for further details) and four chickens.  A family isn’t automatically a great team though.  It requires plenty of hard work and like any team its success is measured by how it copes with adversity.  Almost exactly a year ago, our wider family suffered the very worst type of adversity when my brother-in-law’s life was cut terribly short by Leukaemia.  Walking Beatle in the dark is simply the tiny contribution I make to allow Natalie to leave home at the crack of dawn to offer her support to her sister for the day.

Support really is what makes the difference between a group of individuals and a team and in the case of the strongest teams that support is always offered without needing to be requested.

The other great team I co-founded is, of course, Feldon Dunsmore.  That team was started in 2013 when I sent Paul a text which simply read “What do you think of the name ‘SP Law’?”  He, of course, replied “Don’t you mean ‘PS Law’?”  The rest, as they say, is history

Paul and I quickly discovered that growing a successful business team is even more difficult than growing a successful family.  Through lots of hard work, the team has steadily grown over time but today marks the start of a new challenge for the business as we say ‘au revoir’ and ‘bon voyage!’ to Bethan Blackburn who leaves us to go travelling on the other side of the world for the next few months.

Like any business, members of the team have come and gone over the years but the business has always found new team members and become stronger than ever.  For the first time, Feldon Dunsmore will not be able replace a departing team member and become stronger and that is because Bethan is the closest thing you will ever get in the business context to irreplaceable.  If the essence of a great team is support offered without needing to be requested then Bethan has lived and breathed that ethos for every minute she has spent with us.  If that wasn’t enough, Bethan is also a brilliant lawyer to boot.  Little wonder, then, that as Bethan has announced her departure over the last few weeks, I’ve fielded a string of calls from clients telling me that Bethan will be greatly missed.  Our clients recognise the rarity of not only the quality of the legal advice they have received over the years from Bethan but also the incredibly high level of service and care she has shown every one of them.  The level of support our clients has received has been matched by the support which Bethan has given to every other member of the Feldon Dunsmore team.  As an ever-present in the office, we’ve all grown used to being able to walk up to Bethan’s desk to ask a question or seek assistance in some way and no matter how busy she is, Bethan has always found time for us all.

So thank you, Bethan, for being an outstanding lawyer, a fabulous team member but also (and most importantly of all) a wonderful human being.  Team Feldon Dunsmore will miss you beyond any words I can write here and we shall learn a lot about the strength of our team as we learn to cope without you.