Adrien Herbert has 12 years’ experience as an in-house legal counsel and qualified in 2011 when working in broadcast media, at NBCUniversal in London. After almost six years with NBCUniversal, she joined UCAS in 2014 on a contract and spent two further years with the education sector service provider, concentrating on commercial contracts, IT, data protection and outsourcing.
Law is Adrien’s third career, having spent nine and fifteen years respectively, in publishing and marketing consultancy.
Why I like working with SMEs:
“SME’s face some very particular challenges when dealing with ‘bigger beasts’ in commerce. It’s incumbent upon a good legal advisor to understand the risks and to offer appropriate advice, which will ensure a necessary level of protection for companies often operating in a more ‘entrepreneurial’ phase of development. Experience of working in many such businesses has been of real benefit to me when advising my clients.”
Alla Fairbrother is an experienced and effective solicitor with clear business focus and many years of legal expertise supporting businesses of various sizes and industries.
Alla has provided legal support to businesses on various areas of law and has broad UK based international experience in all types of legal matters concerning a particular business, with more in-depth experience in commercial / business law, including:
- Reviewing, drafting and negotiating a broad range of commercial contracts
- Confidentiality agreements, NDAs and CDAs
- Supply of goods and / or services contracts
- Purchase agreements, both direct and indirect
- Distributor and dealer agreements
- Supply, installation, commissioning and some construction contracts
- Franchise agreements
- Research, development and student sponsorship agreements
- Some licensing agreements
- Marketing support – contracts, advertising, review of materials
- Initial stages of disputes with customers, suppliers and quality / product liability related disputes
- Compliance – competition, anti-bribery, export controls, product compliance
- Data protection
- Some company secretarial and corporate matters
Alla’s experience includes various sectors and companies, including Cummins Ltd (automotive, manufacturing, engineering, sales, distribution and service support industry), ADT Fire and Security Plc / Tyco (fire and security, manufacturing, sales, installation and service support), Burger King Ltd (franchising and retail/ food industry) and Electronic Arts Ltd (independent interactive software games manufacturer and distributor) and support to such business functions as the Directors and Management, Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Acquisitions, Purchasing, Communications, Finance, HR, EHS, Quality, Research, Development, Engineering, Compliance and other functions.
Alla qualified as a solicitor in 2009 having completed her in-house training contract with a secondment to Eversheds’ London office and is also a Russian lawyer since 2002.
In her own words…
“I am passionate about providing practical, useful and timely legal support to small and medium businesses where I can focus on what’s really important to my client’s business and make an effort to really understand specific objectives and goals so that I can see legal issues from their prospective.”
Altaf is a barrister at Hardwicke, Lincoln’s Inn with 19 years’ experience in banking and finance, restructuring, corporate and commercial law but who started his career as an entrepreneur with a regulatory technology startup set up by a US law firm in London.
He qualified as a barrister with Hardwicke, Lincoln’s Inn but later cross qualified as a solicitor in the Banking Department at Linklaters in London where he specialized in private equity, leveraged finance and restructuring transactions. Altaf then moved in-house where he was Senior Legal Counsel at the Royal Bank of Scotland, advising on the sale of WorldPay and matters relating to merchant acquiring, and then as the Deputy General Counsel of the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in the UAE where he advised wholesale banking, trade finance and financial institutions desk, special assets and treasury.
Altaf currently advises on cross border matters with leading international law firms and multinational clients.
In his own words:
“I enjoy business. I enjoy learning about businesses, how they work, how best they should function and ultimately how to make them stronger and more profitable in the best interests of all stakeholders involved. It is with this in mind that I approach advising clients, be they banks, large multinational companies or SMEs. As such, I also realise that my advice must be practical, workable and achieve both legal and business objectives. With SMEs, this means understanding their problems while keeping in mind limited resources, and designing solutions that can work accordingly. It gives me great pleasure to see my advice resolve problems but also further the business.”
Amna Ahmed qualified as a solicitor in 2005, having trained at a prominent City firm. She then went on to work with a large US software company and gained significant experience in IT law as well as general commercial matters. Some of the contracts she has advised on include:
- Software licenses
- ASP agreements
- SaaS agreements
- Hosting contracts
- Escrow agreements
- Professional services agreement
In her own words…
“I enjoy the intellectual rigour of practical problem solving combined with the knowledge that I am making a real difference to a client’s business.”
Andrew Smith has 17 years’ experience in banking and finance, corporate and commercial law.
Andrew qualified at Deacons, a top 10 firm in Sydney then worked in the Banking and Finance Unit at Addleshaw Goddard in London from 1997 to 2002 acting for banks on structured property finance deals and large projects. He was appointed partner at Ashfords gaining broad experience in commercial contracts, corporate finance and banking. In 2011 he started an ABS law firm for Prydis, a group of financial advisors and chartered accountants building a legal team to deal with a broad range of business and private client work.
Since 2012 Andrew has worked in the SME market in the West Country. His clients are generally owner managed and family businesses.
In Andrew’s own words…
“It is vital not to look at a company in isolation but rather as a wealth generation vehicle for owners and families. I keep their interests in mind and try to always see the bigger picture. Helping smaller businesses can be tough as they cannot waste vital cash on professional fees so advisers need to work efficiently and cleverly. However seeing businesses grow and developing relationships with owners is the most satisfying part of being a lawyer.”