Derbyshire women in business: legal services

Women in Business

Women in Business - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

5 top experts in the Derbyshire legal profession.

Helen Salisbury

Helen Salisbury - Credit: Archant


Partner & Solicitor - Nelsons

What's special about your business?

Nelsons is a forward-thinking law firm that continues to evolve in fresh ways relevant for the modern world. There's a desire to push forward to ensure we're being as responsive as we can to clients and engaging in a way they want to engage, which is why our IT is at the leading edge of the sector. Nelsons is also committed to breaking down hierarchies - we have an alternative business structure, which allows employees who aren't solicitors to reach partner status.

What's your best piece of business advice?

'People buy from people'. There's a need to be approachable, empathetic, and understand that, although there's a piece of legal work to deal with, there's also a person who needs assistance and guidance. Our purpose is to ultimately give clients a voice, fight for them, help them seek justice and steer them through the complex legal issues they face.

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What do you love about your job?

I'm part of the wills and probate team, so there's lots of client contact, which I love, and you get to meet a variety of people regularly. I like getting to know people and working to gain their trust so they feel comfortable with me. It's about providing confidence and assurance to clients, as well as demonstrating high professional standards.

Nelsons, Sterne House, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3WD 01332 378697

Kirpal Bidmead

Kirpal Bidmead - Credit: Archant


Solicitor - Flint Bishop LLP, Legal Services Director at Derbyshire County Cricket Club

What is special about your business?

Our Family & Matrimonial team is recognised as one of the leading family law teams in the Midlands. We advise individuals on a wide range of family law issues and were shortlisted for 'Family Law Firm of the Year' (Midlands and Wales) at the LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2019. We understand our clients' individual and business needs and give practical and pragmatic advice. We specialise in wealth preservation and aim to empower our clients to make informed decisions. Should court proceedings be necessary, we are expert at litigating to secure the best outcome for clients.

What do you love about your job?

I love to see the impact my work can have on a person's life. When a client first comes in to see me, they are usually at their lowest ebb, understandably as they may have made the huge decision to separate from their partner or had the decision made for them. I guide them through the process while protecting their interests, empowering them to make decisions and eventually move on with their lives.

What keeps you focused?

First and foremost in my mind is achieving a fair outcome for my client, with the welfare of any children being the priority.

St. Michael's Court, St. Michael's Lane, Derby DE1 3HQ 01332 226 126

Jenny Priestley

Jenny Priestley - Credit: Archant


Owner - Maple Accountancy Ltd

What's special about your business?

Maple combines the expertise and knowledge of a top 20 Accountancy Firm with the care and service of a family firm. We pride ourselves on delivering a proactive and bespoke service for our clients, putting them and their business needs at the centre of everything we do. By applying our skills, we help clients to achieve accelerated growth and profitability. That, combined with improved control of their business, allows our client to have confidence over the future direction and outcome of both the business and themselves.

What do you love about your job?

What I love about my role is the diversity of issues and opportunities our clients bring to us to solve. It's immensely gratifying when you help someone solve a problem they thought was insurmountable.

What's the best piece of business advice you have been given?

The best advice that struck a chord with me is by Napoleon Hill 'Don't wait, the time will never be just right.' It's very true; nothing will ever be perfect, it's always best to make a start now with the resources that you have now.

83 Friargate, Derby DE1 1FL 01332 207336

Sue Cunningham-Sawyer

Sue Cunningham-Sawyer - Credit: Archant


Associate and Licensed Conveyancer - Flint Bishop LLP

What do you love about your job?

I am passionate about guiding clients through every stage of their transaction and get a huge sense of satisfaction finalising complex property matters and meeting client expectations. Receiving positive feedback from my clients makes the job that much more worthwhile. I act for a diverse range of people from those working in professional services through to many rural based clients including farmers, large estate owners and high-net-worth individuals.

If you could go back and tell your 13-year-old self something, what would it be?

Stay true to yourself. Honesty is always the best policy in your personal and professional life. Invest in bricks and mortar, and shares, and start a pension early. I advised my daughter to make her first investment - a dishwasher.

How do you unwind?

My weekends are always busy. I am preparing my gundog for working tests and trials. I have a Chelsea FC season ticket and squeeze in family visits around home games. I love the theatre. Swan Lake was the last outing, though my husband fell asleep.

St Michael's Court, St Michael's Lane, Derby DE1 3HQ 01332 226 164

Claire Rudkin

Claire Rudkin - Credit: Archant


Partner and Head of Wills, Probate, Tax & Trusts - Flint Bishop LLP

What do you love about your job?

I love the variety. One minute I could be providing specialist tax advice and later-life planning, and the next I could be dashing off to the hospital to take instructions for an urgent will. The next day I could be mediating between distraught beneficiaries or negotiating with HMRC over a complicated estate - all while managing my team.

What's your best piece of business advice?

Always take time to understand your clients and their needs. No two are the same. This goes a long way to ensuring that you are always acting in their best interests. I frequently provide estate planning advice to clients worth more than £10m with extensive business and agricultural assets and manage trusts valued in excess of £300m. This is where my accountancy background comes into its own.

How do you unwind?

Outside of work, my two children keep me busy and so the only time I truly switch off is when I am either reading a good book or walking in the Derbyshire countryside with friends and family.

St Michael's Court, St Michael's Lane, Derby DE1 3HQ 01332 226 117

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