Meet the Tiger Team

The people who make Tiger tick.

Vanessa Challess

Principal, Tiger Law Ltd

Vanessa Is the driving force – force being the operative word – behind Tiger Law and its sister businesses Tiger HR and Tiger to Go.

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.

Sebastian Mattern

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 Savory

Admission to the Roll of Solicitors pending.

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.

She has now completed her legal training and is due to be admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in the near future.

Since joining Tiger she completed her LLM and LPC with Commendation 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.

She is relieved to have finished a demanding part time University course. All the same, with school age kids and her increasingly busy role with both the Tiger companies, 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.

Cynthia Jakes


Cynthia is a Latvian national and, having previously worked as a property paralegal, she qualified as a solicitor and was admitted to the Roll in November 2019 having completed her training with a London-based boutique law firm, specialising in company, corporate, commercia and employment law. Something we can all relate to from time to time, she has struggled with anxiety for a number of years. Turning this into a huge positive and as a result of developing tools and techniques, she has developed a unique perspective when it comes to tackling challenges which gives her real insight into the pressures our clients face as business owners. As a lawyer, she is very passionate about business, innovation, entrepreneurship and technology and often thinks outside the box to reach clients goals, something that fits right into the Tiger ethos. She describes herself as the “black sheep” of the legal industry due to her different approach and perspective to challenges. She is often described by others as “ahead of the time”. Way to go, Cynthia! Since 2018 she has led the WLAM (Women Lawyers and Mothers) project, which was created for the purpose of tackling the low numbers of female partners in private practice. It is described as “one of the most influential groups that the legal world has seen this decade”. In fact, this is how she met our founder, Vanessa. She was recognized as one of the two winners of the Westminster and Holborn Law Society Rising Star Award 2019 and one of the six finalists for the Inspirational Women in Law Awards 2019, in the Under-35 Lawyer of the Year category. She is also one of the Nominees for Women in Law Award 2020. Apart from this, she loves ballet and theatre. She often spends her free time on the golf course watching her husband play golf whilst reading a good book. She is also fascinated by science, particularly with neuroplasticity and neuroscience and the use of the knowledge in business for more effective and productive results. She was attracted to Tiger Law because of the deeply rooted company values of flexible working and embracing advancement of technology to achieve what’s best for the clients. The business model is shaped to reward efficiency and provides a lot more than just legal advice: the Tiger team really cares about its clients and it shows.

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.

Rebekah Manning

PA to Vanessa Challess

Rebekah has been working with Vanessa since the first of the Tiger businesses (then InHouse Legals, now Tiger to Go) first started. She is pretty much the glue that sticks everything together here and manages our operations with supreme efficiency on a day-to-day basis. 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 Vanessa as the business took shape.

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.

Rose George

Office Administrator

Rose is the newest member of the Tiger Team and has come from a very different background in terms of employment. Rose has always had a keen love for animals, obtaining a degree in Animal Science and volunteering at many animal rescues during her time as a student. She’s spent the last 10 years working for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home caring for the unwanted waifs and strays and is now ready for a new challenge albeit a very different one!
Rose has always enjoyed admin based work and with previous work being so physically demanding and having unsocial hours she thought a change in job would better fit her lifestyle. And going from from one animal charity to a law firm that supports TOFTtigers makes the transition even better. Rose’s role at Tiger is to deal with any admin based work coming into the office so she’ll generally be your first port of call at Tiger Law.


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.

The Team at Tiger Law is here to help

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