Corporate Vision February 2017

, BusinessWoman of the Year UK, Samantha Essenhigh of Essenhigh Farrington Law, tells us what makes her tick and shares with us the secrets to her success. A Woman’s World “The work that we do is extensive,” begins Samantha, speaking of Essenhigh Farrington Law where she serves as CEO. “The Firm works in multiple specialised areas and has won several awards over the course of the last 12 months for our quality of representation and success in Clinical Negligence, Cosmetic Negligence and Civil Litigation. We have also won an award for our Customer Service but I am particularly proud of the restructuring that has taken place and the work that we now do for, and on behalf of, business owners, ensuring that they are legally protected whilst also promoting their growth so that they can achieve their desired goals. We do this now through ‘The Legal Concierge.’” The Firm’s mission state is ‘Modern thinking – Traditional Values’ and its goals include promoting and actively encouraging business owners to look at the benefits and assistance that The Legal Concierge can afford them. Samantha divulges more about her role within the Firm, and her career to date which led her to such a prestigious position. “I have worked in law since I was 17/18 years of age so as I have said the experience that I have gained has carried me through. I also truly believe however that having a different mind-set is important to achieving all that we set out to. Back then I could only ever have dreamed of owning a law firm which I have built from the ground up whilst not a solicitor or a barrister. “My road to CEO of an ABS has certainly not been a conventional one though and it has been challenging to say the least. I started in law many years ago as a junior secretary and have effectively worked my way up within the profession studying and learning from those around me as I have done so. I am a true believer that experience is what can make you great at what you do rather than just good if, you are prepared to do what it takes to achieve your dreams. “I founded the Firm in 2008 with a colleague and have driven it forward from the start, though I am very aware that I could not have achieved that which I have without the love and support of family, friends and above all colleagues. I have had the privilege of working with individuals who have given a great deal to both me and the Firm in terms of commitment and, above all, loyalty. It is important to remember that business in any form is not always plain sailing and having people you can trust close at hand is something to count as a blessing.” Regarding women in business, Samantha is committed to ensuring that Essenhigh Farrington attracts the best female talent from within the industry. She ensures this by promoting strong family values and ensuring her staff enjoy a good work-life balance. “Eighty percent of the staff in our Firm are women,” she states proudly. “I think our success in attracting talent comes down to the message that we send out. We are each dedicated to the work that we do and are committed to ensuring that the standard of that work is exceptional. That said we are also a firm with family values and we support our female as well as male staff ensuring that they take quality family time. Life is all about balance and by giving staff members things like unlimited annual leave, flexible working hours, Christmas and New Year off and appreciating that they add to the value of the firm, evidencing this and encouraging their growth and development stands us apart from other law firms as does the variety of work that we do.” Despite Samantha’s strong ethics, there are still a lot of challenges for women working in the corporate environment. She embellishes on how she has overcome some of the difficulties she has encountered along the way. “Whilst the industry has changed I am sad to say that there is still a great deal of elitism and sexism within it. As a woman and a “non- qualified” fee earner it is easy for people to assume that you know little or have little of value to contribute to the profession. All I can say is that not everyone shares the same views and that the proof of what I, or someone like me can accomplish is there for all to see. Having respect for peers and appreciating the position that I am in, that no one is infallible nor can anyone know everything is what keeps me grounded, focus and determined. As do the hardships that I have encountered along the way. Patience also is often key a virtue which, admittedly, I can often struggle with.” Samantha’s success is inspiring to say the least and she shares her advice for other women looking to succeed in the law industry. “Work hard, be open-minded, be respectful, find a mentor or coach who is prepared to guide you and help you see things through different eyes, dare to be different, don’t be ashamed of taking a modern and fresh approach to what is considered the norm, remember that whilst the law is there before us in black and white changes are often needed, don’t be scared of doing things differently, remember that our job is to help others, that whether you are legally qualified or not you are no better than the client you serve, be prepared to accept that you cannot always be right. “Women are just strong and able as men. Above all as a business owner remember that you need to be able to improvise, adapt and overcome.” K Company: Essenhigh Farrington Law Name: Samantha Essenhigh Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: 19 Anchor Street, Southport, Merseyside PR9 0UT Telephone: 01704 514780 1701CV31