“Our mission is to solve problems and offer services to enable businesses to be successful”

Nusrat Ghani
PAM LOCH (CENTRE): “People are our business”

On entering Loch Associates group’ smart open-plan offices located on Mount Ephraim Road in the heart of Tunbridge Wells I am greeted by a few friendly faces looking up from their computers – and then lo and behold, a cute dog named Ellie who comes padding towards me wagging her tail, looking for cuddles.

I’ll be honest, this is not what I had expected from one of the area’s most successful law and HR experts but then as I soon discover Loch Associates group like to do things just a little bit differently in order to get the best results possible.

The group’s founder Pam Loch set up her first business Loch Employment Law in 2007 in Tunbridge Wells after moving down from London.

After initially establishing the business from her home, Pam who is Scottish and uniquely qualified in both her birth country’s legal system and England’s, took up office space at The Pantiles Chambers before moving to her current premises.

ON THE PANTILES: Pam and her team


“I wanted to set up an employment law business because I recognised quite a lot of clients would often make mistakes and get caught out in tribunals because they hadn’t followed the correct process,” she explains as we sit down to chat.

“And to me that really came back to day-to-day HR handling and ensuring things got done correctly.”

As a result, Pam then established HR Advise Me – a specialist HR consultancy to run alongside Loch Employment which focused on issues such as discrimination and bullying cases to unfair dismissals and redundancies.

After having set up these two businesses, Pam – who has practiced for the past two decades and written numerous specialist employment law articles and books – launched Loch Wellbeing then Loch Mediation.

She says she did so after spotting a gap in the market which wasn’t looking after the emotional needs of clients. This has become even more vital a service with Covid so Loch Associates Group have now also set up ‘HR Medi-Specialist Check In Services’ to help with managing employees’ return to work post coronavirus restrictions being lifted.

This all seems like very forward-thinking business acumen given how much mental health has come to the fore especially in recent times with the pandemic and the advent of home working and furlough. But then again Pam says she is always learning, always seeking out how she and her team can make what they offer the best.

“We want to find solutions to problems and achieve the most positive outcome for all involved. People really are our business. We work in partnership with clients to help them deal with the ever-shifting landscape of looking after people at work. We are experts in developing solutions to help organisations manage and look after their people.”

The group is now known as Loch Associates Group and its USP is that it provides a totally comprehensive service for businesses and individual clients – a one-stop shop if you like.

HELPFUL: A one-stop shop


“We provide a pragmatic range of services from employment law advice, HR consultancy, health and safety, employee wellbeing programmes and mediation services to ensure clients have access from a single trusted partner,” explains Pam.

“We are also here to help our local and wider business communities keep up to date on key changes in employment law and HR through media, professional associations, and industry bodies.”

Since expanding Pam informs me the group is about to launch Loch Business Solutions with the aim of providing Commercial Law services and Loch Dispute Resolution in order to assist clients involved in litigation.

She adds that this is possible because Loch Associates group’ various specialist departments work both independently as well as in partnership with each other.

“This allows us to tailor services and develop bespoke solutions perfectly suited to the needs of clients and business culture.

“Our mission is to solve problems and offer services to enable businesses to be successful. To achieve this, it is critical to drive innovation across the businesses in the group, identifying the trends and issues facing clients and shaping expertise into effective solutions for them.”

FOCUS: On finding solutions


The group currently employs 20 people in their Tunbridge Wells office with five additional members running the Loch Associates Group branch in Brighton. The group is also currently running a virtual London office with plans to set up a bricks and mortar location soon.

In terms of Loch Associates Group’s clients they are certainly diverse; ranging from schools to high net worth individuals, to start-ups and smaller enterprises. Most are based in and around the South East but Loch Associates Group has some from as far afield as Birmingham, Newcastle and Melton Mowbray thanks to Pam’s longstanding career and impressive contacts book.

Having recently won a coveted BAHBAs business award as well as clutch of other top industry awards including a Times of Tunbridge Wells Business trophy in 2017 for their excellent expertise, Pam and her team are clearly on track when it comes to delivering legal advice, HR support and coaching for those individuals or employers who may find themselves in a difficult situation at work.

“As a business, we have been client’s conscience, their business partners and above all their go-to people expert.”

And this Pam says has certainly been proved even further because of the ongoing pandemic: “The team at Loch Associates Group has worked unbelievably hard to support clients through unprecedented levels of instability and concern.”

Like so many others Loch Associates Group had to also seriously re-think the logistics of how it would continue to operate in order to ensure clients were looked after during such an unnerving period.

“Even though I sent everyone home to work remotely I still came into the building with my dog Ellie. I thought to myself we’re allowed to go out and walk our dogs so I thought I’ll walk her to the office.”

PAW PATROL: Ellie, Loch Associates Group’s official Chief Officer of Morale


Ellie, by the way, is considered very much part of the Loch Associates Group team – she even has a job title: that of Chief Officer of Morale.

“The court system tried to develop during that time but there was a bit of a lag at the start so I wanted to make sure that we could still deliver and that our clients were represented.”

But it’s not just her clients that Pam has been focused on over the past turbulent 18 months. She tells me that when she was allowed to start welcoming a few members of staff back to the office a lot of the younger members came in first.

“Many were struggling being in a shared flat or whatever and so a few of them actually asked to come back. Some also felt they worked better being monitored and supported.

“I’m an employment lawyer with a 20-year career but some of my team are just starting out in their careers. I think some were finding it difficult doing things remotely and given the nature of our work it is often easier to talk about cases in person.”

Pam made certain adjustments so staff could operate safely, thus ensuring they still delivered to clients but were also able to support one another.

“We made the office completely open plan and totally refurbished it. It’s really important that our staff don’t work long hours and take holiday so we as a group work really hard at making sure our employees do that. I’ve just got to crack it myself that’s all!” she laughs.

Now that they are operating on a semi-normal basis Pam explains how the office functions:

“This has always been a dynamic fast-paced environment but with Covid we have had to operate differently by taking things online or doing Zooms or Microsoft Team meetings.

“Essentially though our HR team helps with day-to day-queries from businesses who might need additional support or expert advice. This could be regarding disciplinary action against a member of staff or stepping in to support bigger HR teams in larger companies.

“Our employment solicitors tend to deal with more strategic issues and the drafting of more complex legal documents. There is a real USP with us as we literally have HR staff members sitting alongside our solicitors. They’ve got direct access to one another and therefore can talk to each other about certain issues.”

Pam acknowledges that traditionally this would be done by different firms of solicitors and HR experts so to have them all under one roof not only cuts out tonnes of time and paperwork, it helps Loch Associates group’s clients obtain faster and more effective solutions.

“If we’re working with clients together then we often know their culture so it’s a seamless transition as we know how certain businesses like to operate. Having said that each client is different. Businesses grow, evolve and repurpose.”

Loch Associates Group also boasts specialist medical HR experts, and all of them have come from a medical background.

“My husband Bruce was a Major in the Army but he also has management experience from running A&E departments. So he has exposure to HR but also the necessary skill set that comes with being a nurse. He and his team can therefore empathise; they know how to engage with employees and that is certainly a big help with sickness or absence issues – which we see a lot of.

“What we try to do is add on additional services that we think the clients would benefit from to help them manage their people. Constructive solutions are really what we’re about. And that’s what I really enjoy: finding a way out of a situation.

“There is no one else out there doing the range of services that we are offering and I think our clients quite like that. Having all these experts under one roof means we can deliver timely fast services to clients. One of the key things we’re renowned for is our prompt and speedy responses – getting back to clients making sure we can help.

“You’ve obviously got to be careful you don’t become a counsellor but a lot of the time there are plenty of emotions involved in cases and situations. Sometimes people are very vulnerable especially if they’ve been accused of something like discrimination and bullying – and they have to run a business while this is all going on.

“We’re often involved in helping the client get through that situation, not only from the legal aspects but being able to help them focus on running their business while all this is going on without getting overly stressed about it – trying to get through the fog.”

And what are Pam’s own personal rewards of running a group like hers?

STAFF: Enjoy opportunities


“The development of our staff,” she immediately replies. “One member started as an admin apprentice but wanted to do a law degree. We continued to work with him while he was doing it and he got a first-class degree.

Another was working with us as a secretary and we helped her get her paralegal qualification. Then there’s another staff member who started out as an intern after university. We trained her and she is now a qualified HR consultant.

It’s really nice to see these people go on and develop. Our brand is dependent on doing great work and so we want people who work with us to be part of the journey.”

And despite not having as much face-to-face contact with Loch Associates Group’s clients as she would like Pam, a very prolific networker, says she has found a way around this.

“We have had a high level of engagement and communication with clients and the business community on Covid related topics, providing guidance for employers through articles, blogs, emails, social posts, podcasts and webinars.

“They have been fantastic as you can bring people from all different geographical locations together.”

But Pam reveals not being able to chat to people in the same way after an event is something she has definitely missed over the last 18 months.

Ever the proactive people person, Pam – who is a past President of the West Kent Chamber of Commerce and local Law Society – has now co-founded a local networking business group entitled enTWine.

“Two former female presidents of the West Kent Chamber of Commerce and myself got together over lunch last summer. We’d just found out the organisation had gone into administration and thought it was a real shame. So we decided we could do something similar but more as a business forum for people locally.

COFFEE AT THE READY: For all-important networking


“We came up with the name “enTWine” and I thought of ‘we share, we listen, we benefit’ because I do think it’s important to listen to other people as you can learn so much from other businesses.

When I arrived in Tunbridge Wells I didn’t know anyone so I joined the West Kent Chamber of Commerce and the president at the time introduced me to many people.

I then managed to build up the Loch Associates Group by connecting and networking with people locally. So I really do recognise the benefits of it. I think it’s just about trying to support each other – particularly through a pandemic. That has been really important.”

Pam hopes the first in-person enTWine meeting will be next month but the date and venue have yet to be confirmed.

“A lot of the ‘enTWiners’ are keen for this to happen. We currently have around 60 members in the group. Virtual networking will still be around as it fits in with so many people’s lives but I’m confident face-to-face meetings will come back.”

As I get up to leave Pam tells me that although she has set up Loch Associates and is its official spokesperson the group is very much a ‘team effort’.

“People need people. This is a team effort – it’s not about me – I really need the team with me and that’s why it’s critical to get the right people because they are what makes it all happen. They really care about what they do and they want to be a part of the group and that’s fantastic.

“I’ve got to be honest that’s why I set up the business in the first place because I want to work with people like that – who want to do a great job. It’s about having some fun too! You have to as you spend so much time working with each other”

As a group’s ethos, that certainly gets my vote.

To find out more visit: lochassociates.co.uk



  • Expansion of business with people at its forefront – people are their business
  • Development of innovative new solutions for clients
  • They work independently as well as in partnership with each other allowing them to tailor services and develop bespoke solutions
  • Their mission is to solve problems and offer services to enable businesses to be successful
  • To achieve this they believe it is critical to drive innovation across the different businesses in the group, identifying the trends and issues facing clients and shaping expertise into effective solutions for them
  • Their team come from a wide range of backgrounds, which means they are able to adapt their approach to suit business’s needs and provide practical and realistic advice



TIMES BUSINESS AWARDS: BBC DJ Ken Bruce (right) presented Pam with the Best Small Business Award in 2017

Loch Associates won this year’s Professional Services Award at BAHBAs 2021 and in 2014 and in 2017 won a Times Business Award

Commenting on their recent BAHBAs win earlier this year, Pam says: “After such a difficult year, this recognition means the world to us. The team have worked incredibly hard in supporting our clients over the last year in developing solutions to help them manage their business and look after their people. I’m so proud to have such a fantastic team working with me and look forward to what we can achieve together in the future.”



PAM LOCH: Writing about her experiences


Pam Loch has written chapters in The Workplace Law Handbook and Business Development for a New Legal Ecosystem on her experiences to help with the career development and business development for women lawyers.



Photographs: Rose Bainbridge. Creative Direction: Lee Smith

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