ESP started up in 2003 and we’ve been on an epic ride ever since. From our beginnings as an insurance backed employment helpline reseller, to launching our very own law firm, we’ve tried to stay true to our core beliefs and to deliver an exceptional experience for our customers and subscribers. We owe a huge thanks to our customers for joining us on this awesome journey and we hope that you’ll continue to be a part of our story.
ESP is founded in Albury, Surrey by Peter Byrne. Greatness ensues :-)
Hardings Estate Agents in Windsor become our first customer, they are still with us today.
We employ our first two staff. They are still with us today too!
We get to 50 customers and know our new business model is finding some traction.
We employ another 2 staff, making us a ‘monster’ company of 5 staff!
We sign up our first very large corporate customer supporting an in-house HR team (1,000 staff). A big step and our target market is now long term defined! They are still with us today.
First round of funding from Finance South East, following a presentation we did at Brighton University. Guy stops us in the car park; said he loved what we did and to call him. We did and he lent us £100k!
We get to 100 customers and turnover is doubling year on year!
We employ 2 more key staff. They are still with us today.
We get to 200 customers and turnover is still growing at over 30% every year!
We employ 2 more staff. They are still with us today.
Second round of funding from Finance South East. Another £100k.
We launch LiveHRDocs – a unique document creation; storage and auto-updating software solution.
We get to 250 customers and turnover still growing at 30% a year!
We employ more staff. They are still with us today.
We breakthrough the £1m turnover barrier!
We move into new offices in Woking, Surrey
We employ more staff. We are needing our very own HR Manager soon!
Our strategic partnership with Ward Hadaway Solicitors is established and the creation of an ‘ESP team of specialist employment legal advisors’ is born. They are still a key part of our business today.
We launch bespoke HR administration/Information software services. ESP HR Information Services Ltd has arrived!
We launch ESP Safeguard Ltd to offer specialist Employment Tribunal insurance cover to customers. We have our own General Underwriting Agency now. Our first FCA regulated company!
We launch our unique 'call reporting' software – allowing ESP legal advisors and customers 'real time' information access on all advice matters/queries
We employ our first in-house employment lawyer!
All-inclusive trip to Marrakesh for the whole team – our 10 year anniversary present to ourselves!
We employ our second legal advisor, a qualified solicitor with over 10 years’ experience.
We set up ESP Law Ltd and start the process of being approved by the SRA as an ‘ABS Law Firm’.
We sign up our single largest customer with 10,000 staff and 1,800 retail outlets across the UK!
We make a major upgrade to our core online HR resources web portal. We now have something beginning to look and feel genuinely market leading! Our non-stop aim is to make this way beyond market leading!
We head off on an all-inclusive trip to Tenerife for everyone. A reward for smashing our 2014 targets!
We breakthrough the £1.5m turnover barrier and achieve over £1m of recurring annual subscription revenues.
ESP Law is licensed and approved by the SRA!
ESP Law starts trading.
We employ our third legal advisor from DLA Piper – another qualified solicitor with over 10 years’ experience.
We sign up more major brand names and we get asked to tender for one of the largest corporate mergers in the UK this year.
The new esphr branding is revealed and our new website is launched!
We employ another top-notch employment solicitor with over 7 years PQE.
We make the shortlist of the prestigious Law Society Excellence Awards 2016 in the Excellence in Client Service category!
We get asked to tender for an outsourced ER service for a 14,000 employee sized organisation in the UK!
We welcome a big brand name health and beauty retail company as a new customer!
We post our best ever set of financial results.
We smash our new business targets and a team trip to Pennyhill Park Spa retreat is booked for June.
We sign up Keepmoat Ltd – a £1.1bn turnover housebuilder – as another major new customer.
We select Scriba PR as our first PR agency partner to help tell our story and spark more strategic ER conversation in our industry.
We sign up a leading global food company as a key new customer.
We run our first customer networking and training event. Over 80 attendees to our Mock Employment Tribunal event in London!
We are shortlisted for ‘Employment Law Firm of the Year’ in the prestigious Personnel Today Awards.
We are appointed employment law advisors to the Ladbrokes Coral merged businesses (25,000 employees).
For the second year in a row we are shortlisted for the Law Society Excellence Awards in the category ‘Excellence in Client Service’.
We are appointed employment law advisors to Greene King PLC (44,000 staff).
We recruit Arwen Makin into our legal team – a highly experienced solicitor with 15 years PQE.
We sign up another major ‘high-end’ premium clothes brand with 350 staff.
We smash our year-end financial targets – turnover up by 50% and we achieve 110% of our top tiered target.
We are appointed as group-wide advisors for a major FTSE 250 hospitality company.
We sign up a 4,000 employee Financial Regulator and a well-known 1,000 employee Water Utilities company.
We run a live disciplinary training event at BPP Law School in London for 50 existing customers.
We sign up Randstad, the leading 1,300 employee-sized national recruitment firm.
For the second year in a row, we’re shortlisted for ‘Employment Law Firm of the Year’ in the Personnel Today Awards.
Continuing our fantastic award streak, for the third year in a row we’re shortlisted for the Law Society Excellence Awards’ ‘Excellence in Client Service’.
We sign up a major publishing firm in London with 1,000 staff.
We recruit Rafia Ahmad, a senior solicitor with 10 years PQE. Rafia was a senior employment solicitor for five years with Backhouse Jones, the UK’s number one national road transport law firm.
We all fly out to an all-inclusive holiday in Tenerife as a reward for smashing our 2017/18 financial targets!
In categories that sound like they made for us, we are shortlisted for TWO awards in ‘ABS of the Year’ and ‘Boutique Law Firm of the Year’.
Another ‘monster’ customer win. An outsourced business with 27,500 staff... who would have believed this 10 years ago?
We attend the Modern Law Awards ceremony in Manchester and find out we’re highly commended for the ‘Boutique Law Firm of the Year’ category. We’re getting closer!
Another leading industry Regulator signed up. This one focussed in the IT industry sector.
LNER, the 3,500 employee rail operator comes on board!
Another record-breaking year-end performance! Turnover up by 18% and we achieve 130% of our top tiered target.
We attend the Legal Week Innovation Awards in the beautiful Landmark Hotel in London and scoop the Future of Legal Services Innovation (ABC) award! ESP Law is now an award-winning law firm.
A leading International Charity with 11,000 staff across 37 countries joins the ESP family.
We start working with a new marketing automation supplier, Force24, with the view to enhance how we communicate with customers and wider industry.
We launch MyHRCases – the industry’s only ER case management tool with 1-click employment lawyer integration.
We’ve done it again! ESP Law is shortlisted for Employment Law Firm of the Year at the Personnel Today awards 2019 for the third year in a row.
Our Konica Minolta case study goes live, highlighting how we helped the organisation navigate a challenging period of evolution, outsourcing and redundancy.
We host our #ESPLawLive event in London, helping HR professionals tackle workplace grievance and sexual harassment in the #MeToo era.
We publish our Greene King case study, which looks at our role in helping the UK’s leading pub retailer to uphold its 200-year-old reputation.
We also round off the year having secured 72 pieces of media coverage – reaching a potential audience of 2.7 million people. Thanks, Scriba PR!
We launch our ER white paper ‘Seven key challenges In-house ER teams face in 2020’ – which is still available to download for free.
In the same month, we were also shortlisted in the ‘Legal Services Innovation’ category ahead of the LexisNexis Awards.
The team is highly commended in the ‘ABS of the Year’ category at the Modern Law Awards, and our Boy’s Brigade case study is published – looking at how we helped a Christian youth organisation find the integrated HR support they were looking for.
Coronavirus takes hold – and we begin real-time briefings on the latest developments – including Q&As on the CJRS and critical advice for employers in their time of need.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we provide UK businesses with more than 800 hours of employer-based advice – a record number of enquiries and a 60% increase compared to time logged in the same month last year.
Our latest case study goes live, this time from international ventilation product supplier, Volution Group and how we became ingrained in their HR department.
Our thought leadership piece on HR legacy systems goes to print in theHRDirector.
We also announce a hat-trick of new starters for the ESP Law team.
The summer saw us continue to produce - and update - our range of Coronavirus Q&As on our blog to keep helping employers to navigate the Covid-19 crisis.
This month marked the first of our ER technology blog series – kickstarting with why it’s often the forgotten HR module.
Senior solicitor, Charlotte Ashton, joins the ESP Law team following an established background in immigration law.
Our collaboration with the Broker Network (HR Consultancy Team) goes live as our latest customer case study.
HR Magazine publishes Pete Byrne’s thought leadership feature on how employee relations (ER) is the secret to a ‘happy marriage’ between HR and employment law.
We like to think that over the past 13 years, we have offered a real alternative to our customers, who have been fed up with receiving poor advice and service from the HR helpline market and traditional law firms.
We are passionate about delivering an exceptional service experience to our customers, delivered by great people - who are really accessible, professional and with a level of technical knowledge that should come with the territory of real commercial legal experience. All delivered under a contract for services and subscription based business model.
Above all else, our customers tell us we are highly personal, highly commercial and highly trusted. Trust being earned from a real openness and inclusive feel to the relationship we establish over time.
It is probably why, out of every employment law advisory firm in the UK, we are the only ones to be backed, endorsed and promoted by HR Magazine - the leading HR publication in the UK.