It’s been a couple of months since I’ve joined the team at Freeman Fisher and I wanted to reflect on my time so far.
Prior to Freeman Fisher, I qualified as a corporate solicitor into an international law firm where I spent my time learning my trade: I worked on a number of high-profile cases and advised a variety of businesses, from start-up companies to public listed companies, seeing how each company differed and was built in the image of their owners. What I admired most was those clients who had the entrepreneurial mindset to turn something from an idea into a reality, or even better, a successful business!
Feeding from the energy of such entrepreneurial characters along with a long-standing dream of setting up my own bar and restaurant (having spent years working in one throughout my studies) it became more and more difficult to accept that being a lawyer was enough.
Fortunately for me, the opportunity arose where establishing a business became a possibility. Much to the annoyance of my parents, I handed my notice in and stepped into the unknown and decided to pursue the dream of setting up a bar and restaurant with a friend.
During my time away from the law, I learned an incredible amount from concept design, building a team, establishing workable systems, marketing, business development (the list could go on). It took a lot of hard work and dedication, sleepless nights and a lot of trial and error before things started to take shape.
Now that my ‘baby’ has grown up a little, the team has expanded and the reliance on me to be there day to day has reduced. It was at this point that I decided to return to the legal profession as I felt I wanted to use the knowledge I had gained and help other businesses in their unchartered journey of starting up and launching a business.
It’s safe to say that it hasn’t taken me long to reacquaint myself with the bulk of documents involved in corporate transactions – check out the list of deals that our team have been involved in these past 2 months – (Sale of Eclectic Hotels, Purchase of the new site of El Gato Negro and the Private Equity Backed management buy-out of Total Resources (UK) Limited) to name but a few!
One thing I have noted is a change in my approach towards working with clients. I have found it much easier to step into their shoes to try to understand what they have gone through to get to this point and why each step, particularly an acquisition or disposal, is so important to them.
One of my first client meetings at Freeman Fisher was with an entrepreneurial individual who was looking to purchase his first business in a management buyout situation. Rather than fire a tonne of questions to gather facts and details, we shared (and even joked) about our business experiences. As a result of this commonality, I was able to gather what the business was about, what concerns this individual had and tailor the help and guidance required.
One of the main difficulties for business owners when going through a sale or purchase, is that they still have to run their business in addition to being taken through all of the necessary time-consuming legal procedures and providing a raft of documents (for example, during due diligence and disclosure). It is therefore important that we, as lawyers, make it as clear and relatable as possible , enabling them to focus on just what is required for the deal so that they are also able to continue making the commercial decisions in their business that have allowed them to get to this point in their growth.
In summary, whilst simultaneously being a corporate lawyer and running my own business, I feel that I am now in a much better position to help others realise their goals, as a result of having a far deeper understanding of the realities of the business world.
Here at Freeman Fisher, many of the team have followed a similar journey which, in my opinion, has shaped an extremely commercially minded and pragmatic approach in each team member. Having worked both within and without the legal industry, without doubt, I am confident that there are not many other lawyers out there who could provide such a unique difference when helping you make your next step in your business journey.