Denise Nurse and Janvi Patel
Janvi and Denise founded, and now run a successful NewLaw firm called Halebury, based in London. As ethnic women, they are definitely bucking the trend in a profession, especially at the senior level, that is dominated largely by the white men. They met each other while working at Charles Russell law firm and quickly became close friends. As individuals they are interesting business leaders and have unusual working lives – Janvi lives on the other side of the world to the business she runs, and Denise is a successful TV presenter.
They are also challenging the traditional working practices of the legal sector which has, historically, tipped the scales against lawyers with family or other commitments by introducing flexible working for their lawyers – and have really pioneered this way of working in the legal sector – who work as little or as much as they want.
Despite running a London law firm, Janvi lives in LA with her young family. This involves getting up at 4am every day to catch the London working day as well as very frequent transatlantic flights. An employment lawyer by background, Janvi trained and qualified into the employment practice at City firm Charles Russell. Following seven years in private practice, she wanted to be closer to business and started working within the legal team at Nortel Plc where she covered the EMEA region, before establishing Halebury with business partner Denise Nurse. Janvi was recently nominated for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2014, awarded a prestigious Red Hot Women Award through Red Magazine, was named in the UK’s first ever Power Part Time Top 50 list, is a winner of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award 2013, and was nominated for the Asian Woman of the Year Award in 2013. She is a committee member of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women – Mentoring Programme, a contributor for Lexis Nexis and is a regular speaker at industry and business forums. Janvi has recently been appointed as a Board member on Practical Law’s In-house Consultation Board.
As well as her work in law, Denise is also a broadcaster who has presented for Sky News, Sky Travel and hosts Escape to the Country for the BBC. She hosts and speaks at corporate events on subjects relating to Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship. Denise has recently been appointed as a Board member on Practical Law’s In-house Consultation Board and is also an EMB Executive Committee member for MSDUK, the UK’s leading organisation driving inclusive procurement. Denise studied law at Liverpool University and qualified in 2000 with London City firm Charles Russell, joining their corporate commercial team. She then made the move in-house to work as a legal adviser for BSkyB before establishing Halebury with business partner Janvi Patel in 2007, the aim being to provide clients with a highly experienced, flexible, cost efficient in-house resource. Whilst at BSkyB she advised on technology and outsourcing contracts with a particular focus on new media. Together with Janvi, Denise has built a team of first class legal consultants and an excellent operational team. Having attracted a leading commercial TMT and employment team her continued focus is on supporting and leading that team and ensuring the best customer service for clients.
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