Richard Parnell: Passing the baton

For someone who was fairly indecisive about which interests to pursue in his further education days, Richard Parnell, 41, certainly climbed the Bridge McFarland ranks quickly once his eyes were on the ball.

A swift jump from politics and international relations to the world of law ended up being the beginning of an 18-year career with renowned Lincolnshire businesses. After just over two years in the Bridge McFarland Managing Partner seat, Richard and the firm are preparing to move forward with a new structure.


This feature interview was first published in issue 27 of the Lincolnshire Business weekly magazine, now available to read at www.lincsbusiness.co. Subscribe to the email newsletter to receive the latest edition in your inbox this Friday.


Richard, who now lives in Sudbrooke with his wife and three boys, grew up in Retford, Nottinghamshire and admits that, during his schooldays, he always wanted to be a carpenter or a fireman. “I actually then went to university to do geography”, he said. “I didn’t like it and switched to do politics at the University of Lancaster because that was where my interest was at that stage.”

He certainly discovered his niche in law however, finding his footing on the ladder after converting to the College of Law in York and applying for a training course at Chattertons Solicitors in Horncastle and Boston.

After gaining a trainee position at Chattertons in 1997, Richard went on to deal with some of what he still considers to be his most interesting and challenging cases.

Richard was admitted as a solicitor in 1999 and joined Bridge McFarland in 2001. By May 2004, aged 30, he’d been awarded the position of partner of the leading regional law firm, transferring from Grimsby to Lincoln. He has since gone on to play an instrumental role in the company’s mission to bring speciality practice to the forefront of the service.

Richard also works closely with organisations such as the Lincoln City Football Club, Lincolnshire Sport, the Amateur Swimming Association and Basketball England, among others. Photo: Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Business

Richard also works closely with organisations such as the Lincoln City Football Club, Lincolnshire Sport, the Amateur Swimming Association and Basketball England, among others. Photo: Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Business

Stepping down

When Richard took on the role of managing partner he was adamant that he didn’t lose contact with his roots. “As managing partner, one of the difficulties is it takes you away to a certain extent from your client base and the law itself. So if you spend too long out of that process then you can cut yourself off from it, so we tend to have a two to three year cycle of being in a managing partners post.

“I’ll be stepping down from the managerial role in about two or three months. Our financial year starts in May, which is when we will start the handover process. I’ve known that for a while and I’ve been putting measures in place to cater for that so it’s not just an abrupt change, but it’s pretty much a seamless change overall.


The full cover interview with Richard Parnell is available to read in full here. Look out for the next edition of Lincolnshire Business magazine, which is published every Friday.