Founder and Principal of Tiger Law, Vanessa Challess, joins Robert Hanna for an episode of the Legally Speaking Podcast.

Tiger Law was founded on the principles of prioritising clients’ interests, championing diversity and inclusion, and forcing the legal profession to embrace the future.

Based in Kent but serving clients nationwide, the firm covers a range of practice areas; including company law, property law, family law and IP work. She set up the innovative firm after being made redundant from her previous role (whilst pregnant with her third child and being the sole breadwinner in her family!).

Topics discussed include:

  • Her unique transnational upbringing, and the story behind Tiger Law’s inception
  • The legal and operational need-to-knows of starting your own firm in 2021
  • How she grew the business, and how they’ve pivoted to cope with COVID-19 linked disruption
  • Why the firm has embraced legal technology but has not embraced the billable hour!

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/legallyspeakingpodcast)

 

Transcript

 

Rob Hanna (00:00):

Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast. I’m your host, Rob Hanna today, I’m delighted to be joined by Vanessa Challess. Vanessa is the founder and director of Tiger Law. A firm that was founded on the principle that the client’s interests are paramount. Vanessa is also the co-founder of Tiger Bites and Vanessa previously worked as a senior associate at Griffin law, where she provided both corporate and individual clients with support in resolving or litigating dispute. So a very, very warm welcome Vanessa.

Vanessa Challess (00:34):

Hello, Thanks for having me.

Rob Hanna (00:36):

It’s an absolute pleasure. And before we dive into all your amazing achievements within the legal space, we have our customary icebreaker question here on the Legally Speaking Podcast, which is on the scale of one to ten, ten being very real. How real would you rate the hit TV series Suits in terms of its reality?

Vanessa Challess (00:59):

Around about 0.5, but that’s why we love it. Isn’t it?

Rob Hanna (01:05):

Yeah. And if you had to be a character, which one would you be and why?

Vanessa Challess (01:10):

Harvey!

Rob Hanna (01:10):

Of course, who else? Yeah, exactly. So I think that’s a very fair rating. So, so let’s start at the beginning. Tell our listeners a bit about your family background and an upper.

Vanessa Challess (01:23):

Oh, my family background. Well, I’m half Greek. I was born in South Africa. I’m bilingual. I moved to England when I was about four. Apparently I was very perplexed as do I. Everybody didn’t speak Greek. And I always thought of myself as being too Greek to speak English to English to be greek. So kind of cool between the two cultures, which are very different. In fact, over the past few years, I think there’s more to it than that, which probably feeds into my interest into neurodiversity in the law, but yeah, backgrounds. Well, let’s be honest. And blunt about it. I was lucky enough to get a scholarship into senior school, the boarding school, and my parents moved me from that boarding school and into private school that didn’t seek me and I didn’t seek them. I then got expelled four times and I left 15 with nothing. I kind of clued my way back from that studied philosophy at university. And perhaps I’m not the desperate disappointment, my parents that I once was.

Rob Hanna (02:38):

You mentioned South Africa, whereabouts in South Africa?

Vanessa Challess (02:40):

Johannesburg!

Rob Hanna (02:43):

And Greece?

Vanessa Challess (02:44):

Yes. So, my dad’s British, my mom’s from Corfu and met on Corfu. My dad, was an electrical engineer, but in R and D. So he went to South Africa to help design the rail system down there. And, I came along, they didn’t want me to grow up in a park hide and it was a very troubled violent city. I came back to England when I was about, yeah, about four.

Rob Hanna (03:13):

And, and just talk us through the, the journey before founding Tiger Law and Tiger Bites Because you worked as an associate at Griffin law. What was that like? And how did you find your whole training experiences becoming a lawyer?

Vanessa Challess (03:27):

Yeah, I trained in a big provincial and Canterbury. I qualified into commercial litigation, but considering that, I had one equity partner. He didn’t really talk to me for two years because I turned up in a Trouser suit, it kind of set the tone for my legal career. I am largely unacceptable to traditional practice. That’s been made very clear to me any number of times. And I can’t say I had many happy experiences in private practice either because I’d been past over, for what I perceived to be quite mediocre, male lawyers, or I didn’t like the way billing practice was rolled out how we were trying to effectively dump time onto clients and so on. So I never really fit. And it’s bat me out the profession, much to my undying happiness right now. So, you know, I left Griffin law, and I went in-house into a company for about three months and that’s where the real story starts.

Rob Hanna (04:37):

Go on. That’s a good cliffhanger to start. Tell us more.

Vanessa Challess (04:40):

So I had found as a little consultancy called in-house legals, which was intended to be prevention rather than cure because when you marketing in commercial litigation, you’re basically giving someone your card and saying, I hope it never hits the fan, but when it does, here’s my number, you know, not the most positive thing to be trying to talk about. So, in-house legals was intended to put nice robust contracts in place with people before they needed to come and waste money on me. When it did go wrong, say trading terms and conditions, shareholders agreements, the commercial stuff. I went in-house to design software around that. So I was working with a team in Philippines and it was all very useful. It’s really fed into what I’ve done since, but I got pregnant with my third child around the end of November. Beginning of December by January, I had hyperemesis and I was extremely sick.

Vanessa Challess (05:38):

I had a week off. My employer was in the middle of liquidating, one company in Phoenix into another. My certificate had pregnancy related complications on it. He decided he didn’t want a pregnant employee. They will lay my HMRC tax code up the new employer. My contract didn’t was and still am the sole breadwinner in my family. So, I had four mouths to feed, soon to be five. Job on Friday, no job on Monday. That was the scenario. And at that point I had really had it up to here, decided that I never wanted to work for the man. Again, I decided to take in-house legals that little consultancy on the side and turn into everything that I did. So I worked for this guy for another month. I sacked him as a client, best meeting, ever grinning from ear to ear. As I left, I made him swear at me, which I always take as a victory. And, I then spent the next few months getting bigger and bigger treading boards, networking, working, I mean working all the hours. And I had my baby in August. I started my PA just before that. And, I mean on Monday I met a senior partner as accountants on the Wednesday. I was having a baby two weeks later, I was working with him.

Rob Hanna (07:05):

Wow.

Vanessa Challess (07:08):

So, all the work that I put in while pregnant enabled me to spend more time with the baby, I would wear him. I breastfed for a year while I was building business. So there were two of us. Then there was four of us. And, as the relationships grew with accountants and size of the clients, because the clients we wanted to work with. Weren’t having greasy breakfasts, they were busy running their businesses or abroad, you know, say to meet the kind of guys that we needed to work with. It was accountants. They say with their relationships that we needed, but then it quickly became apparent that while I had set out to create something, that was the exact opposite of all firms that I knew, actually these clients needed reserved activities. So we had to consider becoming the fully fledged law firm and that was at the beginning of 2017. And tiger was born.

Rob Hanna (08:07):

There we go and that’s such a nice story and, you know, inspiring, you know, I think there’s so many inspirational words there in the journey and resilience comes to mind immediately from sharing that. So thank you so much. So as you have experience of founding your own, what would you say are the key legal areas individuals should consider when trying to protect a business?

Vanessa Challess (08:30):

well, I mean, you have got contracts in a few different directions. The main one that you’re going to want to worry about to get off the ground and start making money as a contract that you have with your clients. So just being organized in terms of how you want to be trading, how are you going to be forming contracts with your clients, payment, cancellation complaints, all of those sorts of things. And that’s part of your business planning. The terms and conditions are one size fits all for anybody, let alone a law firm. And with us, you just have to be even more aware of your regulatory obligations also on top of that. But, I’m a real risk taker and I don’t spend weeks spilling out exercise, but planning stuff, I get the basic plan and then you do it. So with starting the law firm, then one of the first steps is your PI insurance.

Vanessa Challess (09:31):

And yes, already wearing sniff you until you’ve got your PI insurance, quoted and to get your PI insurance, you need to do some form of business planning, which is against my nature. And I’m not really interested in that, but you need to, yeah, just being methodical and then thinking about the people you’re working with, if you’re a Co-Owner, what does that agreement look like? If you’re 50/50 with someone and it’s almost like writing a will, which is unpleasant, but having those thoughts and having those conversations early on and making sure you’re all aligned. But when may, I started by myself, so I didn’t have that element.

Rob Hanna (10:16):

Such a valuable point that I can’t stress enough, particularly for the business owners and partnerships, when the honeymoon period is happening, half the fallout conversation, then what would happen when we break up, if we do break up, I think that’s really Sage advice. So, you mentioned in 2017 that you transitioned and then founded tiger law and you’ve been hugely successful. So tell us, firstly, why the name tiger law and a little bit more about the firm and what you do.

Vanessa Challess (10:43):

Okay. So we had been running a SAS company while we still are on the side and, we didn’t use a particular picture for it. It was a Tiger mother and her Cub, but that picture really stuck with me. And I loved it. It’s on our website, it’s on my wall here and it’s a tiger mother leaning down and looking at her Cub like this. And you just know what she would do if you tried to interfere with that Cub, it’s the feeling of real aggressive protection. And that’s how it just spoke to me as a mother, as a business woman about my team, about the clients. And I just kept coming back to it and I didn’t want to call the firm Challess Law, Challess partners. I wanted to do something different, not for the sake of it, but that’s just who I am.

Vanessa Challess (11:37):

So I spoke to the guys, I was a bit self-conscious about it. Tiger? Really shall we? But, they liked it, we all just went for it. So with a background in litigation and having been called a pitbull and a rock Viola and all of these lovely things, tiger seemed quite more fitting, and we instantly go more work, more reserved activity related work. So we had been set up to create contracts and resolve disputes. You know, if we could, as far as he could, without being a law firm, it seemed as we became a law firm, this all kind of crystallized. Everything moved over from in-house legals into tiger. And so we went from doing shareholders agreements to buying and selling companies, which involved commercial property, landlord, and tenant. We got commercial property on board. And as we grew, it became quite apparent that our core clients were entrepreneurs and only managers, whether this was startups, funded startups, first investment rounds, all the way through to 40, 50 year old companies.

Vanessa Challess (12:51):

And we’re talking about succession planning. It’s always been about treating those directors and only managers as human beings holistically. So we started doing bits of property for them. I was not interested in conveyancing at all. It just seemed like volume misery to me, but we would do cash purchases, sales and stuff for our own managers. When we were looking at succession planning necessarily that includes the trading company, what they want to happen with their shares and some estate planning. So at that point we’re doing company commercial M&A commercial litigation employment. Tiger HR does HR on the side. That’s a stand alone firm as well and bits and bobs of intellectual property, property, and private client at the beginning of first lockdown I thought, oh crap, what’s going to happen. If my staff dries up, you know, cause we’re a luxury product. What do people stop paying first legal bills? Those are the first time I thought we need some bread and butter standard, more high street services for individuals to protect the firm and reach out and connect more locally at least because we’re on the high street here, but we weren’t in high street law. So we started family and private client, last summer. And in fact it works really well because it feeds into litigation particularly where you’ve got families or founders who were falling out and their directors, shareholders, and employees, and have family contents. So yeah, that’s what we did.

Rob Hanna (14:44):

It’s great to see the sort of organic growth and the success of the firm and the journey that you’ve been on. And I know as a growing firm, that champions flexible working, how would you manage to stay competitive against these larger law firms?

Vanessa Challess (14:59):

I don’t compare myself with them. I’m not really interested in them or what they do. So it was designed around my life. I had two children already. I started when I was pregnant and then I had a baby. So it was never going to be the case that I wanted to replicate anything like what the big boys were doing. Just got no interest in it as it happened. That meant that I attracted people who wanted to work. Like I worked. So I’ve been doing this over six years and during COVID, it has felt like this conversation, they’ve been talking and people are catching up, but it’s nothing new to us. So what it has done is removed any self-consciousness about how we work and where we work. And when we work, it’s become a lot more acceptable, is a conversation that we’re all having.

Vanessa Challess (15:50):

And I think lawyers in particular are waking up to this. What I haven’t done, is set up the single cell consultancy type network. This is a real firm. It’s not people out there doing their own thing in their back bedrooms. It’s a firm, we’ve got two offices that people come and go from. Some people prefer never to come in. Some people want to work, Full-time in the office. The very last thing I want to micromanage people, these are grown up people they’ve been tenacious enough to get into law. So who am I to question when and how and where they work, if the clients get what they need, then I’m getting what I need. It’s as simple as that.

Rob Hanna (16:39):

Yeah. I love that sort of, you know, grown up approach and, and on the topic of attracting your tribe, you have grown over time. So what do you look for when hiring new lawyers?

Vanessa Challess (16:50):

Attitude, Yeah. Sense of humor. So I have made the mistake where someone seems to want to work like tiger works and seems to get it. And then doesn’t, but generally you wouldn’t ask to work at tiger unless this was how you wanted to work. So it’s almost, self-fulfilling it almost filters out people before they even get to me because you either like this, so you don’t, if you’re very risk averse, this isn’t the model for you. So I don’t have to read that out. Those people just don’t come into us. By the same token, I had a city lawyer call me last week if they really want to speak to you because my city firm in Piccadilly wants me to go back in. They think I’m not working at home. And so people are starting to contact me to ask me, and I’m not putting feelers out. So it’s really asking technical stuff. I’m going to take as read. It’s about personality.

Rob Hanna (18:00):

I love that. You said that one of my first sports coaches used to say a A I E, which is attitude is everything. And I think that just echoes everything that you said there. And yet, like you say, you can, take everything else, um, as read. Okay. So moving on on the firm’s website, you also have a number of resources, helpful resources. So you’ve got your blog, a podcast. Tell us about these and how you also utilize social media platforms. So effectively as a law firm, because it’s a very modern approach.

Vanessa Challess (18:29):

Well, I mean, that might be because we aren’t looking at what anyone else is doing. We’re doing stuff that we think we need to be doing. It comes from my knowing what my personal invitations and giving the stuff that I’m good at to other people who are really talented at it. So, I hadn’t used LinkedIn really. It seemed very dry and boring to me a couple of years ago, and I didn’t want it to rest on any laurels. I have that kind of anxiety constantly eating away at me, just keep going. So I got onto LinkedIn before the Christmas, before COVID hit. And I started being more vocal and concentrating more on what was going on outwardly to tiger. And then over the course of look down, we started programs like the tiger Cubs, and that’s how I met Daisy Dorado. And she’s now a member of the team, and she’s so talented at social media and design stuff that she picks out.

Vanessa Challess (19:36):

It’s just beautiful, but she really, really gets us. So she gets it, being vegetarian as we support conservation programs, the tigers in India, for example, she gets all this stuff. I didn’t have to ask her to do anything. It just comes. So it’s really about collaboration with the team as well, because my imagination stops here, but everybody else is having, they want to express themselves in their own practice areas. I really want people to build their own brands. It’s not about them fitting into Tiger. It’s about them doing what they need to do and being free to do. So say for example, Stephanie, just sitting over there has done podcasts around roots into law. And to know it speaks for our attitude on diversity and diverse routes into law from Cilex, SQE and so on. So I didn’t ask Stephanie to do that. That’s something she’s passionate about and she wants to express that. So she’s been interviewing people and it’s been going out, this isn’t something that I’m responsible for. So it’s just giving that emancipating people go be free, create.

Rob Hanna (21:02):

And I just love that approach because that is just so liberating. You know, the firm’s greatest asset is its people. And I think allowing people to have that personal brand, you know, it’s the famous Oscar Wilde quotes think be you, cause everybody else has taken. And I think, you know, that authentic voice that you allow people to have and people even say to me, you know, oh, I see all this stuff, the podcast, etc etc. So my greatest USP is being myself and not caring about what other people are thinking. And, you know, ultimately you’re doing a great job and building a great tribe as a result of that. So love it. Okay. So in addition, you’ve touched on a few of the initiatives that you have developed. And I think another one you’ve founded was tiger bites in April, 2020. So what exactly is that? Tell us a bit more.

Vanessa Challess (21:46):

This comes from this idea that we can systematize and automate areas that lawyers are involved in. To the extent that lawyers then are able to concentrate on stuff that AI let’s call it. AI, it’s not. That tech can’t replace, which is understanding the humanity of clients. Clients started build fell that companies, that companies are like children to them. So shareholders’ agreement can be drafted after you understand the relationships, the dynamics and the rest of it. That’s the really interesting stuff that I think only humans can do. The actual drafting is the least interesting part of that, but it’s what a meal we make of it don’t we. So it comes from that idea from in-house legals, then looking at building software around it, and that kind of bubbling over for a few years. And I met Simon on LinkedIn. He’s in Germany and lately we’ve brought Scott on board and we’re concentrating on convenyancing actually as a primary target, I see a lot of platforms and a lot of solutions to conveyancing and speeding it up.

Vanessa Challess (23:08):

Actually, all it’s doing is pretty pitying a system that isn’t fit for purpose. Hip packs were one effort that didn’t quite work out and we’re doing something with tech, which hopefully will replace the about five weeks worth of a solicitor’s work it’s coming. So Tiger bites is meant to assist lawyers, not replace Lawyers. So we’ve got chatbots that build our client care letters file opeining, clients on board, themselves online, all of these things, which cut down on admin PDFs, flying around and so on. And I’m having lots of increasingly interesting conversations with people who are in tech, not legal tech, but who wants to get into it. I mean, just this week, someone reached out to me and it’s really exciting conversation. It’s about making what we do identifiable charging in a way that clients can understand not having the black hole invoices scoping our work, accurately being accountable for it and not giving our clients how to tax at the other end, shouldn’t be too much to ask. She did.

Rob Hanna (24:22):

It shouldn’t and I think that’s for me, an expert is somebody who understands exceptionally complex things, but can say them in really simple language. So your client can understand that don’t bury it in the legalise and everything else that’s been done for years and years and years. And I just love, again, your open-mindedness willingness to try new things adapt, be modern. So why do you think legal tech is important generally? For the industry.

Vanessa Challess (24:48):

Well, I mean the dinosaurs died out didn’t they? They will in our profession as well while they are intense on replicating themselves like automatons, they’ve built the box and they wanted to stay in bots because the bots pays the equity partners. So they are trying to replicate generations of themselves. It’s like Stepford lawyers, isn’t it. And tech is a way for us. I’ve only really cottoned onto the word disruptors recently, but it’s it’s for us. It’s available to us to make this forward and have different conversations with clients. You don’t need to be paying 900 quid an hour for a partner when a genius doing the work, let’s be more transparent about this. If we can make our outputs uniform and transparent for clients. And part of that is tech that everybody’s doing the same thing. The same time the client knows what they’re getting. They know what they’re paying. It’s just going to set us apart from the old fashioned way of doing it.

Rob Hanna (25:56):

Yeah. And again, I couldn’t agree more. I think it definitely shines and shine your light even brighter, in the markets that you operate. So what more do you think then can be done by firms to help their staff adopt new technology?

Vanessa Challess (26:11):

Well, I mean, that’s up to the equity partners, isn’t it? It’s the equity partners that need to grapple with this. You would probably find stuff do what better, easier, quicker way to doing things. The only way you’re going to get equity partners cottoned on, onto this is to convince them about turnover and profit and the margin and how you can increase that margin by decreasing overheads. And by that, I don’t mean replacing human beings. I mean, if you are running a conveyancing department that runs on volume, let’s say it’s the least well-paid of all legal services. You’re not paying attention to innovating in that department. But if he did just a little bit, your profit would improve. Your risks would go down. Your staff would be less stressed. And that’s a better healthier business. So I really think it’s up to the equity partners to open their minds, but who’s going to tell them that?

Rob Hanna (27:10):

This is true. This is true. Okay. In terms of the future then, do you think that future lawyers will need to be these legal techies or not?

Vanessa Challess (27:20):

No. I don’t think they really do. I think the most they’ll need is training on a system that is already there for them. It’s not everyone who’s going devised the system. They don’t need to just needs a few people like me, to get assistance out there into the firms. So, no, I don’t think you will need to be technologically minded. I mean, let’s face it. Everyone is struggling with what I think are inadequate case management systems. Often firms are running too, aren’t they? Because one does the time recording and billing. The other one does the document production and storage. That’s something else that we want to look at, but they’re already having to deal with technology. They would deal with it more effectively. The technology was better now. I don’t think they need to be experts. And anyway, not every lawyer can be everything some are into tech, some are into being work horses. And that’s what they love and never really want to speak to a client, you know?

Rob Hanna (28:20):

Really well said. So you touched on a few points there. What are you expecting to see in terms of sort of legal tech trends in the next few years? And do you expect to see this kind of continuation of technological adoption of the legal sector?

Vanessa Challess (28:35):

I certainly hope so. What I think I’m beginning to see is that the big guys with the funds are already in it, building it, loving it, implementing it. Then you’ve got people at me and then you got high street. That’s just not interested in it. That it will be an interesting kind of oil and water thing happening in other areas of the market. I think we will continue to see development in, the way we onboard clients, scopes of work. I think more people will be using fixed fees and just being more packaged in what they offer.

Rob Hanna (29:18):

I know in the US they’re becoming more and more popular. These subscription-based models for legal services. Do you see your firm or other firms looking to adopt that sort of system as well and pricing options?

Vanessa Challess (29:31):

Yeah. I mean, that’s difficult because it’s very cut price. So you need to have front-loaded the work, and would probably be wanting to go the funding. If you were going to get into that, it is a way forward. I’m very wary of models like that coming over here, because I’ve been through the contracts, the terms, and I know what is sold online at the moment by a subscription. I often fix it. So you have clients who have not spent much money gone online, got shareholders agreement. It’s American, of course it is. You’re buying it over here for this jurisdiction. It witnesses, you know, all the Shakespearean kind of Americanisms that American contracts have, and it’s not for this jurisdiction. So if people are going to develop that they need to do better than what’s already out there, which is either a practical law template with the bits you need to fill in, empty for the clients to fill in paying extra for any advice on how you fill it in. And so on. It’s a model I’m looking at coming back on because it’s where in-house legals was kind of getting to in terms of still set-up cost to the client, having availability and number of different resources on that subscriptions and so on. But it’s not, it’s not on my immediate horizon.

Rob Hanna (30:59):

Yeah. And then I guess I’m moving to sort of, some words of advice for people who might be wanting to start their own business, not necessarily a law firm, what would you say?

Vanessa Challess (31:14):

Do it! You can do it! You absolutely can do not get trapped in planning. Plan a little bit, then make some money. I have met so many people. Who’ve got books, this thick, with neat writing, planning out every possible detail. Stop it, stop it. Just make some money, go out there and do it refine as you go. If you don’t know how find out do it, you absolutely can. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t.

Rob Hanna (31:44):

I just cannot agree more with that advice. And every time I hear a sort of fellow business owner, entrepreneurs say that it just reminds me how timeless Nike was as a business, when they first founded their slogan, just do it. It just reminds me every day, how powerful and how right they were, because you speak to so many people who procrastinate or stall or the excuses avoid the naysayers, get out there and just do it. Yeah, absolutely loved that. Okay. So you are a big advocate of having a diverse workforce that we touched on. What initiatives have you put in place regarding that?

Vanessa Challess (32:17):

I didn’t even think that’s been particularly conscious. I don’t recruit in a standard way. I don’t interview in a standard way. I definitely don’t have the assessment days and that in itself opens up the firm to people who don’t flourish in those sorts of situations. So particularly those within the neuro diverse community and with autism, for example, find assessment days extremely stressful, very difficult to deal with because it’s just like being in a pressure cooker. So they don’t get to show how amazing they are. Whereas when I recreate, it’s been much more natural and getting to know someone over a series of conversations, and it’s just transpired that this has been a better and more effective way of recruiting people. So recruitment processes, I think, are a major influence on how diverse any firm is because there’s people who are keeping us in our books and looking to replicate the next generation of themselves. They design recruitment processes that we doubt anyone who isn’t in that image. So of course those firms are going to be less diverse. And then you get onto what happens around maternity and the rest of it. But if you don’t replicate what they’re doing and you go with your instinct on how to grow your team, it will just naturally be more diverse, I think.

Rob Hanna (33:54):

Yeah, I agree. And I think you are, you know, everything that you’ve said and everything that you’re doing naturally, I think is attracting a diverse workforce. So, yeah, I really can’t sort of strongly promote you enough. So Vanessa, we must talk about the chargeable billable hour within law firms. What are your thoughts?

Vanessa Challess (34:15):

Yeah. So I’m talking about this quite a lot. I see lawyers talking about targets in terms of their stress levels, but it also, I think there’s an unspoken element to this, which is that I think it sets up an inherent conflict of interest between a lawyer and the client. If the lawyer is, giving chargeable targets, this will necessarily drive up costs the clients. If you are working on fixed fees, everybody knows where they are and that’s not the case. So we don’t have any chargeable targets at Tiger Law. Everybody knows that if someone’s got a target of five hours and they’re on four and a half and they’re tired and stressed, that half hour is going to end up somewhere, I don’t think it’s healthy for lawyers. And I think it can lead to unethical practices for Clients. In my background in litigation, for example, will you be more or less likely as a lawyer to resolve the dispute early on, if it’s a big part of your hourly recording? And the other point is whip is valeted. It means nothing unless it’s billable. So who cares if you’ve got 15 hours recorded one day when two of them are billable? It, you know, it just needs a complete overhaul.

Rob Hanna (35:36):

Well said, and let’s see what happens, watch the space. And I guess finally, as we look to wrap up, what are yours and I guess Tiger Law’s plans for the future?

Vanessa Challess (35:47):

Well, I mean, when I lost my job, it wasn’t my dream to start a law firm. I just wanted to replace my salary. That was it, and feed my family. So I did occasionally look around and go, what, where am I, what have I done? I’m apparently running a law firm and a couple of other businesses. So for me personally, I’m going to be 46 in a month and I will have a 10 year old when I’m 50 and two older girls. And I want to spend more time with them. Then for me, and for tiger law, this is a another transitional period in which I want to emancipate the people who are in the team and I want them to be bosses. So I think I am surrounded by people who are more intelligent and capable of than me that suits me fine, because it means I can start to take backseat and off the pedal. So, I want people building their own departments, creating their own brands, having a slice of the pie, so that I can just come back and do the nice stuff.

Rob Hanna (37:00):

Yeah. And I think that’s a wonderful outlook and way to look at things and so empowering for your team as well and current and future people that come on board. I’ve absolutely loved talking with you, Vanessa. I think you’re such an inspiration and we need more legal leaders like yourself. So if people want to get in touch about anything we’ve discussed today, what’s the best way for them to do that. Feel free to shout out any websites or social media handles.

Vanessa Challess (37:27):

Yes so, Tiger-Law.com. That’s our website, Tiger-Lawhr.com. That’s the HR company. I’m @liti_girl on Twitter, something similar to that on Instagram. Talk about dinosaurs. I’m finally on Insta. Tiger Law have both profiles on instagram. They’ve got their own profiles on LinkedIn instead of Facebook. Yeah. So we were all over the shop. you can’t get away from us really.

Rob Hanna (37:56):

So good to hear and rightly so, so thanks an absolute million Vanessa. It’s been a real pleasure having you on the show, learning more about your journey and Tiger Laws. So from all of us on the Legally Speaking Podcast, wishing you lots of continued success with the firm and all your future pursuits, but for now over and out.

Vanessa Challess (38:16):

Thanks very much, Rob.

Rob Hanna (38:16):

This week’s review comes from ye young SI really insightful and engaging five stars, only a few episodes in, and I feel like I’ve learned so much. The content is engaging and informative, and I believe I’ll be listening to this podcast very often. Thank you so much, young for super kind words from all of us on the legally speaking podcast, we really appreciate it.

Rob Hanna (38:41):

Thank you For listening to this episode of the legally speaking podcast. If you enjoyed the show and want to help support us, remember to leave us a rating and review on apple iTunes, you can also support the show and gain exclusive benefits, bonus content, or much more by signing up to our Patreon page, which is www.patreon.com/legallyspeakingpodcast. Thanks for listening.

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