As we mentioned in our last edition of The Board Minute, Healys’ Corporate & Commercial team has expanded. This time round, we get to hear from Corporate Solicitor Jamie Tavares.
Tell us about your legal and entrepreneurial background.
I’m not one of those people that says I wanted to be lawyer from the age of three! I ended up studying law because I was obsessed with the British TV show The Bill in the 90’s! When I had the opportunity to choose the subjects I wanted to study at college, I decided law was the best option. Once I began studying law my tutor opened me up to the idea of becoming a lawyer and the rest, as they say, is history. I qualified as a corporate solicitor in 2016 after a few breaks in studying, one of which saw me and a friend set up our first business together amidst fears of graduating and not having any prospect of securing a training contract due to the 2008 recession. A few failed “businesses” later we decided to set up a women’s networking platform, to bring women in business together to network and connect and hopefully grow sustainable businesses together.
What are you most passionate about in terms of your work?
My passion comes from wanting to support people to realise their dreams. Whether that be growing a company with the aim of exiting, or looking at growth through acquisition, each client that I have worked with over the years has always had a dream connected to their business affairs and that’s what ignites me.
What are you excited about contributing to the CoCo team and Healys as a whole?
Having been with the team for some time now, I am looking forward to seeing how our different specialisms continue to complement each other and provide a wraparound service for clients.
March celebrates Women’s Month and the theme for this year is #EmbraceEquity – what does that mean to you?
I believe embracing equity is one of those things that requires real thought and a level of flexibility to be built into any system, process or organisation. It’s about recognising and even celebrating people’s differences and ensuring that the services we provide meets them at the point of their specific need. It’s a subjective concept that requires a person-centric approach. It’s also about open communication and actually doing the work to understand what people’s specific needs are to ensure we are not operating based off of assumptions or from our own world view. Ultimately it requires building relationships, being a good listener and providing solutions for people based on what they’ve told you.
In terms of the work the corporate team advises on, what advice would you give to start-ups?
I’d advise start-ups to think big! To imagine themselves operating as a successful, profit generating company and ensure the systems, processes and protections are in place from the get go. I’d say to start off with the understanding that you may be in a position to sell your company one day and when that day comes, you want to make sure you achieve maximum value for all of your hard work. That means putting the right protections in place, ensuring the day to day operations are being carried out diligently (and legally!), maintaining a comprehensive record of data and looking after your employees. Ensuring all of that is covered is not something I’d expect a start-up to be able to execute themselves and so I’d also say, seek professional advice for the areas that you are not skilled in, whether that’s data protection, employee care, accounting etc. You can’t be expected to know it all but services like our SUSSED programme are designed to support start-ups because we recognise the risks associated with not having the right protections in place.
What role do other experts and advisors play in the start-up journey of businesses like the ones you work with?
Following on from my previous point, advisors can really help to protect the integrity and value of businesses. My grandma always used to say to me “prevention is better than cure” and I think that rings true in business. Experts that are able to steer business owners are invaluable in my opinion and that means investing in relatable but astute accountants, financial advisors, tech/data specialists, business strategists and the like. Early investment can often help to avoid costly mistakes.
Thanks to Jamie for sharing her thoughts and experiences in this edition of The Board Minute. If you are keen to talk to Jamie and discuss any of your business matters, please contact her on: email@example.com