Entirely North West


Monday April 15 2019

By Design Group hits £1.5 million turnover.

By Design Group hits £1.5 million turnover.

By Design Group, the HR & employment law specialist, has hit a six-year trading milestone of £1.5 million in FY2018. Revenue has grown steadily from £533,330 in its first year of trading (FY2013).


Founded in 2013 by a small group of disillusioned big-firm employment lawyers with a desire to do things differently, the business now has 19 employees covering disciplines including employment law, HR consultancy, HR investigations and training. 


“It’s been a rollercoaster ride since we opened the doors – one of the low points being early on with the introduction of employment tribunal fees which resulted in an almost immediate drop in tribunal claims of 80%,” explains Sue Morrison, managing director, By Design Group.


“That was a significant challenge for us, so we broadened our business and in 2014 began HR, investigations and training offerings – recognising that workplace investigations are often done by lawyers or ex-police officers. We wanted a more HR-led approach that would stand up to legal scrutiny if required, so the HR team now train up investigators with input from the lawyers to deliver a quality assured solution. 


“Having the ability to offer both HR and employment law has delivered huge synergy for a range of medium sized and large clients – including the NHS and other public sector bodies, but also for SME’s. The HR team is able to offer organisational, team and people development and five years on we are delivering a rounded solution for any in-house team looking for support.”


By Design’s ethos has been to remove much of the ‘generic’ services that law firms in particular sell to clients, instead opting to create a bespoke service aligned to the client’s specific requirements. 


“Our culture and core values have been pivotal to our success, investing in our people and looking after staff wellbeing. We encourage employees to take time off specifically for this purpose and believe that it drives high levels of performance and client engagement which results in long term sustainable business relationships with clients,” explains Sue Morrison.


“Since deciding to start the business with some like-minded colleagues, we’ve never looked back – our approach is paying dividends.”


The By Design Group is based near Manchester Airport offering employees an easier commute than into the city and a much greater work-life balance, whilst offering clients a more accessible destination by car, train or tram.

"Having the ability to offer both HR and employment law has delivered huge synergy for a range of medium sized and large clients including the NHS and other public sector bodies, but also for SMEs."
Sue Morrison, MD, By Design Group

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