Name: Karen Holden
Business: A City Law Firm limited
Location: London, United Kingdom
Industry: Legal Services
Reason for starting? I was disillusioned with the target-based commercial law firms’ approach. I wanted to offer clients quality services and work in a firm I respected and one that had passion. It was tough in the early years working all the hours, and then I threw a child into the mix. Being an entrepreneur makes me a better lawyer as I can now offer practical as well as legal advice, and I share my mistakes so my clients can hopefully avoid the same ones. I am proud to have a wonderful growing team who are the company’s principal assets; tremendous experience and skills and a client base that appreciates the passion my solicitors have. We won the most innovative law firm London; we were listed in top legal 500 and best startup business law firm, which we are very proud of. We have been invited to give talks by Natwest, the business growth show and a law society — we enjoy our many seminars and talks.
How do you define success? Success for me is of course a work-life balance and financial security. I define my firm’s success as: maintains its integrity at all times. Offering clients genuine honest support that are for their benefits, not the lawyer’s. Seeing the firm and team grow in experience, specialist roles and notoriety. People staying with me for 8 years and accepting promotions is a success that the firm and I are selling the dream to others and sustaining the reason for its creation.
Biggest success: Aside from a wonderful partner and child, my firm has its own building in the City of London, which has been a real challenge for us to find, but now we have our name advertised on the side of the building.
Related: How a Teenager Turned Doodles into a Million Dollar Business
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Cash flow, which is normally the killer for most businesses. There were times we really struggled; now we have learnt how to avoid this.
1. Not to extend too much credit to clients
2. Controlled monitors over payments
3. Debt recovery processes
4. Not extending yourself too much
5. Cash flow statements and budgets to keep ahead of the game
Who is your most important role model? My mother as a single parent. She worked all the hours to support me and offer me a future. Her determination and hard work always keeps me going and inspires me. I want to make sure I show her that her hard work paid off.
Edited by The Story Exchange