Lacy Scott & Knight

Lacy Scott & Knight – Solid Foundations for Success

Lacy Scott & Knight is known throughout the East Anglian region for its reputation in auctioneering and property consultancy. It has retained the services of MAD-HR since January 2020.


With a heritage dating back into the 1800s, Lacy Scott & Knight is one of the East of England’s most prestigious property businesses.

Experts in land consultancy, and auctioneering, the firm has more than 40 staff across two sites.

The background

From advising on land development and property surveys, to conducting auctions of fine art, Lacy Scott & Knight is a well admired and trusted brand on the business scene in the East of England.

The firm now has some 40 staff, all based across two locations, Bury St. Edmunds and Stowmarket delivering expertise across a much expanded list of services.

Prior to the pandemic, the partners had become increasingly aware of the need to consolidate HR policies, procedures and documentation, particularly given the intended growth of the team.

“Professional, understanding and relevant”

“MAD-HR conducted an HR review for us, looking through our current practices and ahead to possible projects, which was such a useful session.” Read the full review

MAD-HR Feefo Rating

The case for support

Having grown in scale and offering since a merger in 1997, Lacy Scott & Knight had remained without its own designated HR offering in-house.

A chance meeting at a business event with MAD-HR’s Charlotte Bate, would provide partner Gerard Smith with the perfect opportunity to look again at how HR could be explored in an effective and efficient way.

While no specific issue was prompting the consideration, it was clear that the leadership team saw the time was right to visit contracts, explore commission structures, and embed best practice approaches on such issues as grievance or sickness.

Lacy Scott & Knight instructed MAD-HR in January 2020 – just two months before the country’s pandemic lockdown would be declared.

The approach

MAD-HR wasted no time in getting to know the team behind Lacy Scott & Knight, in particular with a view to fully understanding how the business straddles a number of different service provisions.

While there were no immediately apparent issues in regards to current employees, directors were keen to bring fresh eyes to the way staff were contracted, especially with reference to the commission-based structure which exists.

It was whilst this work was under way, that the Prime Minister made his now famous statement in March 2020, that the country would be going into lockdown.

From that point forward, intended MAD-HR resource on such aspects as contract updates, became shifted on to ensuring that the company was well equipped to understand new employment legislation, furlough, reduced working practices – and all other employee-related changes introduced by government.

“While it was never possible to know that we were about to experience a pandemic, we were certainly glad to have had MAD-HR at hand when Covid became an issue,” says Leah Ivory, for Lacy Scott & Knight.

“They were able to keep us fully informed about how changes would impact our staff, what the obligations of the business would be, and how we should handle things like furlough.”

As restrictions adjusted and companies were advised to return to the workplace in greater degree, MAD-HR were able to provide the necessary expert advice – while always keeping one eye on helping the firm remain on target for its longer-term strategy around hiring and expansion.

The verdict

Working closely with MAD-HR’s Charlotte throughout the last two years, Leah has herself received some degree of HR training, and now acts as the direct report link for the consultancy service.

“Charlotte and the team have all been so great to work with,” she says.

“They’re so knowledgeable and willing to explore different ideas and approaches for us, no matter what the scenario, but they’re also really friendly, and well liked by all employees.

“It’s certainly a benefit that our staff can feel they are able to chat to someone outside of the business about what they’re thinking and feeling – whereas they may feel the opinion is a little more biased if the HR solution was entirely in-house.

“It absolutely feels like MAD-HR understand our culture and are fully in-step with what we’re trying to achieve.”

Top client tip

“Give the HR practitioner as much information about individuals and issues as you can, so that they can really get to know your business and what you’re about.

“You want them to be able to do the best job possible for you, so helping them understand your organisation inside out is really a necessity.”