A chat with Eliot Hibbert, founder and COO of Nexa
Eliot Hibbert founded Nexa over five years ago. Today he is Nexa’s COO based at its headquarters in Oswestry. He recently sat down with Judy Salmon to talk about his own legal journey and his hopes for the future. This is what he had to say:
“I moved to Wales from the New Forest when I was quite young – I can still remember a bit of Welsh if I need to!
It wasn’t exactly a childhood dream to become a lawyer, but after reading English and politics at Keele University I stayed on for an extra year to do the CPE then landed a job as a paralegal doing residential conveyancing.
I ended up doing my LPC part-time and qualified into the commercial property team. My career developed into more general commercial work and I eventually headed up a commercial department.
One of the firms I worked in was a prime example of how not to run a law firm; the culture was toxic, a couple of partners made life miserable for the majority of the workforce. It made a big impression on me.
As I became more senior, I felt more and more that I didn’t want to be stuck in an office and I started looking at what the alternatives might be?
It was the early days of new model law firms such as Keystone, Excello and Gunner Cooke but I was attracted to the idea of becoming a consultant.
I’d always worked hard to build relationships with my own clients as I realised this meant you could be more mobile as a solicitor, and it gave you more flexibility if you had the leverage of a client following.
It was a client of mine who suggested setting up my own firm and my clients who believed in me and invested in Nexa.
I wanted to build a modern firm from scratch, taking the best bits from others. My aim was to build a better culture that wasn’t too corporate, that was more easy going and open. I hoped to attract a good mix of experts who were also nice people, who fitted into a collaborative ethos, and I think we have achieved that at Nexa.
Our consultants are running their own micro-businesses so there are no top-down targets from us, our role is to provide a high-quality level of support to enable them to flourish. As we grow, of course the challenge is to maintain that level of service, but I think on the whole we are getting it right.
My hope is that Nexa keeps growing in the right way, that its people are happy and that it is respected in the legal market.”
–Eliot Hibbert, COO & Founder