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11 Aug

11 August 2016

Spotlight On ... Larry Coltman: Outstanding Contribution, FirstPro 2016

Larry Coltman is a long-standing and highly respected litigation lawyer with his own Coventry-based practice.

We asked him about his win and his career.

How did it feel when you were recognized for your outstanding contribution?

It was lovely to be recognized in this way; I was very touched.

I’ve been around a long time and putting myself forward is not the sort of thing I tend to do so it was a complete surprise when I discovered I had been nominated by Louise Bennett.

Can you tell us a little about your career?

I came to Coventry to work with Warner Cranston, where I built up a full service office before we merged with a US practice in 2001 to become Reed Smith.  When the practice moved to Solihull, we became Hill Hofstetter and I retained the debt recovery business in Coventry as Coltman Warner Cranston LLP.

I was President of the Chamber for two years, have been a governor of Coventry University and am now a governor of Coventry University College.

What’s your view of the local economy?

Brexit definitely has implications for our region, perhaps particularly JLR and its supply chain. Jaguars and Land Rovers are great cars and a lot are sold into the EU – I hope that continues to be the case.

I’m Chair of the Stratford and South Warwickshire Branch of the Chamber so I know many businesses, particularly those in the leisure, care and agriculture sectors are heavily dependent on migrant workers and are now concerned.

There are implications for my business too.  Part of my practice relates to EU-related commercial agency work so there will definitely be some change and in the face of a recession businesses are cautious about extending credit so debt recovery work tightens.  We are going to have to be flexible and adapt as our exit is negotiated and the situation evolves.

I’m perhaps a little pessimistic at the moment, but very much hoping I’m proved wrong.

You obviously have a number of roles around the region?

I’ve had a very good life so I think it’s particularly important to put something back.

There is a desperate need in the voluntary sector for all sorts of skills. The boards I’m on have a large number of new retirees; it’s a great way to bring your experience and skills to bear where they are really needed.

I’m also on the board of the Chamber and the board of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management.  Fresh blood is crucial though so I’m always advocating new members join.

How do you unwind?

I used to run until last year, when my knees gave out training for the London Marathon.

I couldn’t do anything so took up cycling last March and now love it; 75-100 miles at a weekend isn’t unusual!