Archive for September, 2014

Helen Molyneux, CEO, NewLaw

Helen Molyneux, CEO, NewLaw

Last Friday saw our first Breakfast Club of the season when we welcomed guest speaker Helen Molyneux, Chief Executive of NewLaw Solicitors to join us bright and early at the St David’s Hotel & Spa. Helen qualified as a solicitor in 1990, becoming a partner with Eversheds just four years later, and leaving to set up NewLaw Solicitors in Cardiff in 2004.

Helen began by outlining how, with the changes in legal service regulations and the introduction of the Legal Services Act in 2007, she saw an opportunity to create a new kind of legal business. Helen’s vision was to create a company which provided an outsourced legal service, working in partnership with consumer facing businesses. This was because, for the first time, law firms could be owned by non-lawyers, meaning large corporations could offer legal services under their well known branding.  As opposed to trying to compete with these national players, relying on a minimal marketing budget, Helen spotted an opportunity to partner with them, providing the legal expertise where they provided the customers.

Starting with just 2 employees in 2004, NewLaw now employs 440 people, with offices in Cardiff, Bristol, Glasgow and Basingstoke and now achieves a £33m turnover.Breakfast Club

Helen also explained that from the beginning, the plan was to build a business which could be sold. In order make this a reality, Helen worked to develop a business which had long term sustainable value, a value which was independent of the expertise of the people that ran and worked for it. With the original plan to be sold out by year 8, just 2 years later than planned in 2014, NewLaw Solicitors was acquired by the Helphire Group for a total of £43.2 million.

Moving on to discuss the relationship between businesses and government in Wales, Helen believes that rather than asking ‘what can the government do to grow businesses’ the right question should be; ‘what can businesses in Wales do to help the government?’ In order to ensure the sustained growth of the Welsh Economy, Helen feels strongly that we must become a ‘nation of entrepreneurs’ so as to stimulate the Welsh Economy and promote development.

Helen has recently been appointed the new Chair of the Institute of Welsh Affairs. Discussing this new role, Helen concluded her talk by emphasising that following the recent Scottish Referendum, Institutions such as the IWA have a big role to play in ‘establishing Wales in the debate’ and creating a clear, long term vision for Wales.

The next Breakfast Club will be held on 31st October with guest speaker Tim Williams, CEO of the Committee for Sydney. For further information and booking details, please contact susannah@petersenspr.com or phone 02920 549597.

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Harriet has just joined our team on a 10 week GO Wales placement, having graduated with a 2.1 in English Literature from the University of Reading this summer. We asked Harriet to write a blog to introduce herself and let us know what attracted her to the world of PR!

harrietHaving graduated from Reading University this summer with a degree in English Literature I suddenly found that, for the first time in my life, I no longer had a path mapped out for me. Having not taken a vocational course there was no clear career that I was destined for and it was enough to leave me feeling more than a little overwhelmed! However, I was keen to explore a career path that would allow me to expand upon and utilise the skills that I had acquired during the completion of my course. This made PR and marketing seem like a good choice, especially as it would put to use both my written and communication skills. Despite this, my lack of previous experience within this field meant that finding a position was easier said than done! This is why I am so grateful for the GO Wales scheme for allowing this opportunity and I hope that I am able to gain some valuable skills and knowledge of how a PR company works, whilst also being a valuable member of the Petersen’s team during my time here.

I’m now half way through my first week at Petersen’s and despite still needing to find my feet in a few areas I am really starting to feel like part of the team. Everyone in the office is so friendly and welcoming and they have been careful to give me enough tasks to keep me busy but not to overwhelm me! So far, despite only being a few days in, I have already undertaken a variety of different tasks, writing a blog post for a client’s website and working on creating new content for a number of different social media outlets. I’m also very much looking forward to attending my first Cardiff Breakfast Club next week, as well as assisting in the massive preparations that are inevitably involved in organising such an event.

I am really looking forward to how much I am going to learn over the coming weeks, particularly since working with a small team will allow me to fully experience all aspects of the role. I shall check back soon and let you know how I am getting on!