Meet the Tiger Team
The people who make Tiger tick.
Principal, Tiger Law Ltd
Vanessa Is the driving force – force being the operative word – behind both Tiger Law and our sister firm, InHouse Legals.
A graduate of the University of Reading and the College of Law, Guildford (BA Hons LLDip), Vanessa has an extensive track record as a highly skilled litigator and contracts specialist. As an SME entrepreneur herself, she has a depth of insight into her clients’ business challenges and the potential legal problems they might unwittingly fall victim to in their quest to grow a sustainable and successful business. That’s something not often found in those who have spent a career in the protected shelter of a traditional law firm and never fended for themselves in the real world a small business owner must navigate daily.
Clients frequently mention Vanessa’s willingness to take the time to both listen and to explain matters clearly to them as well as her realistic and budget-conscious approach. In fact, both businesses are designed around her determination to provide a service that ensures business people can pick up the phone and access advice and guidance sooner rather than later.
And that, friends, is the driver behind Tiger Law’s rock solid Fixed Fee policy. Because, at the end of the day, that is how we make sure our clients are not flying solo in hazardous conditions for fear of running up an outrageous bill.
Apart from this, Vanessa is very funny (as in: “humorous”) which helps a lot with running a houseful of kids as well as two businesses. She enjoys travelling, movies, a glass or two of good wine and her husband Alex. She also speaks fluent Greek.
Head of Employment Services
Seb is Tiger’s expert on Employment issues and as such he is a lynch pin of our services to business owners. He decided to specialize in HR, Employment Relations and Employment Law following 11 years at Group IMD, a leading media logistics provider, where he played an extensive role in growing and expanding the business from its domestic service to operate in 100 markets with local offices in 35 countries, as Director of Client Services and Operations.
Being an employer can be quite a minefield of expensive, productivity-sapping obstacles, it can be a very isolating and worrying situation to be in. Our clients appreciate Seb for his expertise and skill as an HR professional but even more so for his supportive approach and got-your-back attitude. Get Seb onside and you will most likely avoid trouble because his keen eye and skill as a communicator will ensure that there is no fertile soil or compliance oversight for problems to arise on his watch.
Seb likes to escape to the countryside or beach with his dogs. He also enjoys mountain biking, politics, spending time with friends and loves to travel. At home, he enjoys relaxing with a good movie with his partner of 5 years.
Leonie originally came to Tiger Law as our paralegal but entered into a Trainee Solicitor contract with us in late 2017. She recently completed 5 years part time study to attain a 2:1 in her LLB with Open University – a course she has combined with raising 2 kids, now aged 6 and 9 years.
She is currently studying for her LLM and LPC at the University of Law in Bloomsbury. Her 5 year stint as an advisor at Citizens Advice Bureau means Leonie has exactly the sort of real world experience that makes her ideal for Tiger Law’s down-to-earth philosophy.
Leonie has a particular interest in private client work and helps business clients arrange their personal planning to work hand in hand with their business succession planning.
With school-age kids, a demanding part time University course and her increasingly busy role at Tiger Law, we were sensitive when asking Leonie if she had any other interests! Her getaway is the Health & Fitness Centre and she likes to run. She relaxes by reading and watching movies with friends & family and a glass of wine. She also bakes very good cakes.
Leandra van Wijk
Head of Immigration
Leandra has qualified as an attorney, conveyancer and notary in South Africa and went on to establish and run her own successful law firm in Pretoria for five years before immigrating to England in 2008. She aimed to gain some commercial experience, and she started out in the corporate banking industry before taking over the legal and finance functions in a fast growing family construction business. One exam away from becoming a dual-qualified lawyer, she is particularly adept at Immigration Law and is currently studying further to gain a specialist certificate in this subject area.
Leandra’s personal experience of moving to the UK with her family, including two toddlers, gives her a unique understanding of the challenges that migration involves, legally, but also personally. She aims to help navigate the over-complicated immigration system and take that worry away so newcomers can focus on making friends and becoming involved in their communities.
In her free time, Leandra tries to keep fit and does Tae Kwondo and Krav Maga self-defence classes with her family. She likes reading a good book and taking the family dog for long country walks. She loves to visit her family in South Africa and speaks fluent Afrikaans.
Hayley is Tiger’s second trainee solicitor and is focusing on corporate and commercial law with us.
She has already obtained her LLB (Hons) following a six year law degree course at the University of Kent where she was awarded both “Most Outstanding Student” of the year group and “Best Academic Performance” in her peer group.
She is currently studying LLM Legal Practice (Solicitors) which combines the Master in Law with the traditional Legal Practice Course at the BPP University Law School in London.
She writes: “I have several years experience working in family law prior to joining Tiger. But studying the Business module on the LPC really spiked my interest in corporate and commercial law and that is where my heart lies.”
Off-duty, Hayley loves to go on adventures with her 11 year old daughter and enjoys trips to London to the theatre or cinema. She also loves to travel and is always on the look out for hidden gems to discover off the tourist track.
PA to Vanessa Challess
Rebekah has been working with Vanessa for 2 years and handles all our admin and client support with supreme efficiency on a day-to-day basis. She is key to the smooth running of both Tiger Law and InHouse Legals. Vanessa has been known to refer to her as her “office wife”.
Often the first port of call for clients with a problem, it’s Bex, as she is generally known, who is reliably and persistently in perennial pursuit of authorities like the Courts and Land Registry – a particularly thankless task given recent budget cuts. She keeps Vanessa and the team’s workload and billing on track and manages the various systems and case management tools that we rely on to run the business.
Bex started her working life as a hairdresser but soon moved into banking and later the pensions sector before joining InHouse Legals.
Bex loves music, especially the live and loud variety, reading and movies. She has a small and adorable daughter and she and her husband are always cooking up a new plan for another USA road trip.
Sarah joined the Tiger Group to help with our rapidly increasing workload in early 2018, not long after we moved to our new offices in Wye, near Ashford. Her original career was hairdressing but she has always had an eye on a legal career.
She is currently in the process of studying for a Legal Secretary qualification and hopes to progress to become a solicitor eventually. We’ve thrown her in at the deep end and with so much varied work going on at Tiger, she’s certainly getting a real world view on her studies!
With a family of three – two girls and a boy – all under 9 years of age, Sarah is on the go non-stop pretty much. She relaxes with friends when she can and loves music and keeping fit.
Like a lot of parents, the gym is a valuable escape with health benefits! Sunshine is her “thing” though, so getting away to somewhere hot with the family when she can is a big priority.
Talk to Tiger
Don’t wait till you have a legal or employment problem to talk to us at Tiger Law. Planning, Protection and Prevention are key to what we do for our clients. But if there is something going awry, or causing you worry then don’t put off dealing with it.