Senior solicitor and Lancaster graduate Andrew Leaitherland has been given an Alumni Award at the 2013 summer graduation ceremonies.
The son of an engineer, he grew up in Cleveleys near Blackpool and graduated with a degree in Law in 1991. His subsequent rise within the legal profession has been meteoric.
After joining the Manchester-based law firm, DWF LLP, he became one of the youngest Managing Partners in the UK's legal sector aged only 35.
His combination of innovative leadership and focus on values saw DWF LLP named Legal Business, National Law Firm of the Year in 2011, when the firm also topped the Legal Week client satisfaction report for the quality of its legal and commercial advice.
Andrew's energy, drive and vision and his focus on people, profitability and profile, have helped to take DWF from 52nd largest UK law firm in 2006 to the threshold of the Top 20.
Andrew was recently elected by a unanimous vote to a further three-year term as DWF’s Managing Partner. It is recognition of DWF's stellar growth since 2006, which has seen the firm expand into Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham and London.
Annual revenues have increased almost six-fold in this time to nearly £190M and the work force has grown from 500 to two-and-a-half thousand. The firm is now casting its eyes further afield as it looks for opportunities in the Gulf, Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region.
See the video clip for Andrew's advice to students.