Coodes Solicitors has appointed a chief executive with 30 years’ experience of running multinational companies to drive the next stage of the firm’s impressive growth.

Gerard Hickie (pictured, left) joined Coodes on 1 December in the newly created role of CEO, with a remit to grow the business, while maintaining its commitment to customer service.

Gerard’s career spans senior positions in major companies, including L’Oreal, Vivalis Ltd and Garnier UK. Formerly chief executive of Littleton Chambers in London, he brings legal experience through running one of the UK’s leading sets of barristers.

Coodes, which has a network of offices across Cornwall and Devon, has seen impressive turnover growth of 40% in the last 10 years, including a 5.5% increase in the last 12 months, more than double the national average for the sector. The firm has 20 partners and more than 130 staff.

Coodes has also created the new role of chairman, which will be filled by partner and head of commercial services Peter Lamble. The new structure allows former managing partner, Jeremy Harvey, to lead and develop the firm’s employment law practice, a key growth area for Coodes.

Peter Lamble (pictured, right) said: ‘Appointing a CEO is a natural next step for Coodes. Gerard’s impressive management experience gained at home and abroad will help drive the next chapter in the firm’s growth.

‘With a track record in both the consumer and business-to-business sectors, he is well placed to ensure we maintain the excellent client service for which Coodes is renowned.

‘In particular we are continuing to invest in growing our services to business by recruiting the best people, and Gerard’s appointment is part of that strategy.’

Gerard Hickie said: ‘I am joining an excellent firm that has the confidence and vision to grow while remaining true to its roots, and that’s a great combination. Coodes is well positioned to grow its client services, especially in the business market, and I look forward to being part of a talented and committed team.’