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Interview with law firm Astute Law Limited

Interview with Thushara Polpitiye, Managing Director of Astute Law Limited

Welink Legal

Welink Legal

Astute Law Limited, based at 5 Chancery Lane, London, houses a team of employment law professionals, specialising in services for both businesses and individuals.

 

Whether you are an employer protecting your business, or an employee protecting your rights, Astute Law Limited brings more than 35 years of legal experience to the table, offering fixed cost packages to give you that extra peace of mind.

 

 

Part 1: Presentation of Thushara Polpitiye, Managing Director of Astute Law Limited

 

 

1. Introduce yourself:

 

My name is  Thushara Polpitiye, Tosh to my friends,colleagues and clients. Also I'm the Managing Director of Astute Law Ltd, a specialised Employment Law firm.

 

 

Part 2: Description of career of Thushara Polpitiye, Managing Director of Astute Law Limited

 

 

2. What drove you into becoming a lawyer?

 

I've always loved helping people and I have put this high personal value into becoming a lawyer. The service industry can be hugely rewarding if you feel like you're making a difference to people or in the world, and that’s what we always strive to do.

 

Helping employers and employees succeed.

 

 

3. How long have you been working as a lawyer?

 

21 years as a qualified employment law solicitor, and 20 years running Astute Law, formerly known as Astute HR

 

 

4. What drove you to set up Astute Law?

 

I set up Astute Law to tailor our legal services around what I thought clients really wanted when dealing with difficult problems in the workplace.

 

Before I started the firm, I did some research on Google for the top ten things that people hated about lawyers.

 

This gave me some pretty good insight into the best way of tailoring our services to give people what they wanted, and in the way they want them.

 

Most law firms charge by the hour rather than by the problem solved,  so clients are paying for time rather than a fixed price for an agreed outcome.  With that in mind, I wanted us to be different to how law firms usually operate. Astute Law gives certainty of price for a promised outcome, responsive communication, ownership of our client's problems and making sure they understand that we'll do what it takes to help them succeed.

 

 

5. If you hadn't become a lawyer, what would you have gone into?

 

I always fancied being a teacher, sharing knowledge and shaping minds.  At one point I also thought that being a Breakfast TV presenter looked like a good laugh and they always seem pretty joyful - so maybe a media job! Instead, I do that now through our YouTube channel, webinars and podcasts. For access to our HR/employment law herd join our Facebook Group : https://www.facebook.com/AstuteLaw

 

 

 

Part 3: Job and missions when you are Managing Director at Astute Law Limited

 

 

6. What is your role in the law firm Astute Law Limited?

 

The Managing Director and Founder of Astute Law Ltd.

 

 

7. What is a typical day like?

 

Work starts and ends every day with a team huddle so we all know what we are doing and the best way to get over any challenges the team may be facing in any way.

 

My week can vary quite a lot because of the nature of the work but there are regular features to my week including CEO Networking events and forums, promotional activities, like podcasts, live weekly Q and A webinars, dealing with any support issues for the Astute Team, being an access point to all clients if needed and having an overview and management of client cases.

 

 

8. What are the most rewarding aspects of your job as a lawyer and Managing Director?

 

Client feedback. We ask every client for feedback and it is a hugely gratifying feeling when you know that client outcomes have been met or exceeded, and that they feel we have operated in such a way that they have also become an advocate for Astute Law by telling others of their experience of our services.

 

 

9. What are the main difficulties as a lawyer and Managing Director?

 

When you take on more and more clients, it is difficult as the head of a company to respond to all requests to work with you directly.

 

Time constraints mean that I cannot always have personal control over a client’s case, where I will have to delegate to one of my brilliant team, but I am always involved.

 

 

Part 4 : Qualities & Skills for a lawyer and a Managing Director

 

 

10. When you began working as a lawyer, what were the main challenges?

 

When I left my old firm to start Astute Law, I started with nothing at all. So at the beginning it was very challenging to start again from square one.

For the first few months I had to attend more networking events than I can remember - building that initial client base is really hard but if you put in the hours and be willing to make sacrifices, you can make it!

 

 

11. What do you think clients expect from Astute Law?

 

I believe that they expect to get the job done effectively and economically. They expect clarity of communication, no legal jargon, value for money, tenacity, gravitas and knowledge that they have picked the right lawyers to get the job done to their satisfaction.

 

 

12. How do you describe yourself at work?

 

Dedicated, Approachable, genuinely caring and operating at level 10!

 

 

13. What advice would you give to someone starting their own law firm?

 

Have a clear plan of what you are going to do from day one and ask yourself the following: What are your values? What do you think you can do better than other law firms? Who is going to work with you? What is your purpose and mission in life as well as the business?

 

You also have to ask: What is your market? Where will you source your clients from? What is your company message going to be? And finally, make sure you have reserves of capital to make it work.

 

Also, it is really important to not devalue yourself or discount your pricing because you are new in the field of Employment Law. Your pricing should be reflective of the outcomes you can achieve for your clients in a time frame that meet their needs.

 

 

Part 5 : Developments for your Law firm Astute Law Limited

 

 

14. How do you see the legal industry changing in the next few years?

 

One of the most interesting things that are happening in the legal sector nowadays is the emergence of subscription services where you can effectively have legal assistance throughout the year at a fixed nominal monthly rate. This I think will be really good for the consumer who will be able to have more choice of help at a rate that is not cost-prohibitive.

 

Another change that= is already happening due to COVID are virtual courts ie there no longer being a requirement for attendance at court. The next steps will be the virtual lawyer and the advancement of AI in the legal world – sounds like another Terminator movie!

 

 

15. What impact is that going to have on law firms?

 

The impact of that technology on the way I work is something I've already noticed. One of the things that clients love today is the notion that they have a legal expert in their pockets. As and when needed for peace of mind.

 

This relates to doing what it takes to achieve client satisfaction: being in contact with a responsive Employment Lawyer can certainly help.

 

It also means that the way clients can expect to receive help and the way lawyers can expect to deliver that help will be worlds away from the old school traditional appointment with a lawyer in their office. Those days aren’t necessarily dead, but they will be rarer.

 

 

16. How do you keep up to date with important industry news?

 

The SRA requires lawyers to do CPD or Common Professional Development. This ensures that Employment Lawyers stay on top of changes in the law.

 

We do about 17 hours of additional training every year altogether,  web-seminars other professional forums, conferences to stay on top of our game.

 

 

Part 6 : Other

 

  • Hobbies: I’m a bit of a fitness freak, but also love eating out and socialising with friends and family

 

  •  Music: I listen to so many different types of music from classical to pop, from hip hop to even country sometimes (don’t tell anyone! )

 

  • Food: Love sushi and also partial to a damn good curry – Thai/Indian/Srilankan

 

  • Hidden Talents:  Not sure I have any - What you see is what you get !

 

                                                            --

 

 

 Contact the law firm Astute Law Limited by clicking here

 

 

Thushara Polpitiye, Managing Director of Astute Law Limited

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