Leading law firm Healys LLP continues to grow its corporate and commercial offerings by appointing new commercial lawyer, Samantha Oakley. Joining a new firm during lockdown has prevented the team from meeting Samantha in person, so this week Stephanie Prior, Business Development & Marketing Manager at Healys LLP, caught up with new board member to explore her background and expertise in more detail…
1. Samantha welcome to Healys! Please tell me a little more about you and your legal background.
I spent most of my career working in-house for various tech and media companies. I was lucky to follow the tech/media convergence journey working for a smartphone OS before Android and iOS were created – I also worked for an on-demand TV subscription platform before Netflix and Amazon Prime became the way that most people binge-watch now! This lead me to working for Channel 4 and Comic Relief (which are both actually not-for profit). A couple of years ago I set up on my own and moved to Brighton as I knew there were a lot of tech and media SMEs based there who could hopefully benefit from my previous experience. Also, Brighton has a lot of social enterprises which is something close to my heart (and I am originally from the Brighton area!). I am also a trustee of a local charity that enables disabled people to live independent lives and would like to get more involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives.
2. I understand that you specialise in assisting tech, media and creative companies?
Yes, I love working in these areas, especially when they come together e.g. in the gaming world or the new innovations that are happening because of AI (and was fascinated when Kanye West gifted Kim Kardashian a hologram of her dad – now I think I have heard rumours that artists of old could do gigs as holograms!). Also, I saw first-hand how 4G made a huge difference to us being able to access content on our devices anytime/anywhere, so I am excited to see how 5G is going to move this forward (my inner tech geek is also interested in how nanotechnology is enabling us to process more and more data, quicker and faster!), particularly with devices and IoT.
I work with a lot of businesses that are platform/app/SaaS based, as well as e-commerce and healthtech, and am amazed by all of the different and innovative things they are working on, including in wearables.
I also like to follow the trends in film/tv content that we like to consume and my feeling is that (perhaps none too surprisingly) it seems like we are moving more toward people wanting to watch things that are feelgood. I really admire how productions have continued throughout the pandemic.
Although not strictly tech or media companies, I also work with, and know, people who run events businesses and would like to do what I can to help support them through these tough times.
3. How have you found joining Healys remotely?
It has been great, although I am actually working from home at the moment everyone has made me feel so welcome – I am looking forward to the day I can see everyone in person.
4. We are all currently working through rather unusual times. What have you found useful to keep focused and motivated?
Last year I felt privileged to help some businesses pivot and/or move online, it helped to feel like I was supporting people (in my own way) through these tough times. Also, I am part of a couple of networking groups that meet online and are about sharing our issues and asking other members for help, so they are very supportive and collaborative.
I have also been inspired by the staff and volunteers at Possability People (for whom I am a trustee) who have continued to support disabled people in the local area, especially as disabled people have been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
It makes me appreciate that I am lucky enough to have people who live nearby, so we can meet up at a social distance (all within the current rules of course!) and grab a coffee from our local independent coffees shops, where people are friendly too. For me the pandemic has really highlighted the importance of people.
This helps me to focus on the now, to stay positive and to try and make the most of each day!