Helen Kay – Client-Focused Commercial & Franchise Lawyer
Helen Kay stands out in the legal field as a commercial and franchise lawyer with a client-focused approach. Her journey into law, initially inspired by the legal backgrounds of admired CEOs, led her to embrace the profession for its strategic and problem-solving aspects, ultimately finding her passion in the legal practice and business ownership.
This article explores Helen's career through a comprehensive Q&A, touching on her motivations, unique client service approach, innovation strategies, and the challenges she's faced, offering insights into her goals for the future and advice for aspiring lawyers. Helen's narrative reflects a blend of professional excellence and a genuine commitment to reshaping the client-lawyer relationship.
What inspired you to follow a career in the legal profession?
My journey into law was sparked by a fascinating discovery at a young age: many successful CEOs I admired had legal backgrounds. This revelation was a game-changer for me. I saw law not just as a profession but as a stepping stone to leadership roles in business. The strategic thinking, problem-solving skills, and deep understanding of legal frameworks seemed like the perfect toolkit for any aspiring CEO. So, I dove into the legal world, eager to build a foundation that would one day propel me into the boardrooms of top companies. But ended up loving being a lawyer (and now business owner)!
What's your approach to client service that separates you from the rest?
My approach is all about clarity, customisation, and value. I believe in demystifying the legal process by explaining complex concepts in straightforward terms. This way, clients feel informed and comfortable. I'm also constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance our services, ensuring we're not just following standard procedures but truly addressing each client's unique needs. Tailoring our offerings to precisely what clients require means stripping back unnecessary layers and focusing on what matters most to them. And when it comes to fees, transparency is key. We offer competitive, fixed pricing, eliminating any guesswork and ensuring clients know exactly what to expect. This blend of clear communication, personalised service, and fair pricing sets us apart.
How do you innovate and stay ahead of industry trends?
I fuel my innovative streak by immersing myself in business literature and seeking inspiration from sectors outside the legal field. My routine includes devouring business books and tuning into insightful business podcasts, which broadens my perspective. This habit allows me to infuse our practices with fresh, unconventional ideas, ensuring we're not merely following trends but actively shaping them.
What is the toughest challenge you've faced in your role? How did you overcome it?
One of my most challenging experiences was taking on a leadership role at a firm where the culture was toxic, undervaluing both staff and clients. Despite my best efforts, changing the ingrained attitudes proved impossible. However, this experience became invaluable, teaching me precisely how not to practice law. It motivated me to foster a more positive environment, prioritizing respect and value for everyone involved.
What are some of your goals for the next 5 years?
Over the next five years, my goal is to continue to transform perceptions and experiences associated with law firms, both for our staff and clients. I aim to create an environment that challenges the traditional, often intimidating image of legal services, fostering a more welcoming and engaging atmosphere. By focusing on positive interactions and valuing each individual's contribution, I aspire to set a new standard in the legal industry, making our firm a place where people are eager to work and seek assistance.
What is your advice for any younger lawyers who look to follow in your footsteps?
For aspiring lawyers keen on carving their own paths, remember, the legal world is vast and diverse. There's no need to succumb to the pressure of gruelling hours at big-name firms, especially if they don't appreciate your worth. Many firms, like lifestyle-law firm Rise Legal, prioritise a healthy work-life balance and nurture a culture that values its people. My advice? Seek out environments that align with your values and well-being. There's a place in law that not only recognises your talents but also respects your time and personal life. Find that space, and you'll not only succeed but thrive.