Day in the Life of Jessica: Owner of CEL Solicitors - CEL Solicitors

7:30 am – I find it more challenging now that I have a family to fit time in to exercise but I understand that it is the key to a healthy lifestyle and so I start every morning with a HIT workout using my 8 fit App. The workouts are around 10 minutes and easy to fit into my busy lifestyle.

7:45am -10:00am – this is family time. At CEL we put a big emphasis on striking a healthy work life balance and that is why we embrace flexible working times and work from home (even before Covid). There have been over 5 babies born since opening the firm in 2016, including my own, so we are flexible more now than ever with our working hours.  As a busy business owner, I choose this time to enjoy breakfast with my family and get my daughter, 2, ready for her day. It’s always a happy start to my working day.

10:00am – my commute. I have around a 25 minute commute by car into the city depending on traffic. Most people view commutes or queues as a nuisance but I view it as a golden opportunity for personal development. I will listen to one of my many business/management audio books I have on the go. I’m currently listening to “amaze every customer every time” by Shep Hyken. Or if I have a big meeting and need to get in a champion mindset I’ll blast my Spotify tunes all the way in.

10:30am – COFFEE. I’m simply not human until my first cup. We’ve invested in a snazzy coffee machine and we ensure that we buy locally and ethically from a company called Crosby Coffee.

10:35am – 11:15am – every Monday I sit down with my PA Ashley (aka my work wife) for a briefing. Ash runs through my weekly itinerary, making changes as we go along before leaving me ready to attack the week ahead.

11:15-11:30am –I personally review and compare all the stats from last week to this week including any projections, new and settled cases, minutes from the board meetings and budgets. I will set a new agenda and goal for the week. Thanks to our amazing staff, system developer, Ken and our account manager, Thom B, I have all this information available at a click in easy to read reports.

11:30am – 12:00pm – final consultation and catch up for the week commencing with my marketing manager and sister in law, Laura, and business development manager, Thom L. We run through any strategies, updates and press and meetings for the week.

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch – every month I personally sit down with every member of staff for a monthly review including a mental health wellness check such as discussing stress levels in work and management of caseloads. This is one of my favourite and most important parts of my job; personally evaluating what the company is doing well and what we can improve on plus individually tailoring career plans and company growth. A lot of the time I will take staff out for lunch to have the meet, usually next door in Marco Pierre White’s or grab a beer from our bar and sit on the think swings.

1:00pm-1:30pm – meeting with the builders. In December 2019, we moved into a brand new 8000 sqft office with a huge vision of what we wanted the office to look like including pool table, living walls, modern art to name a few. Lockdown has delayed the completion of the office so now that some restrictions have been lifted with construction companies I’m free to continue project managing the office build and finalising the last of the furnishings and finishing touches.

1:30pm -2:00pm – Weekly meeting with one of the teams that I am expanding including implementing work flows and system mapping as well as tactics against the Defendant during Covid. I have always embraced technology and believe maximising its use is key to our current and future success.

2:00pm -3:00pm – pre-lockdown I would chair twice weekly meetings with the entire company in the amphitheatre where I would set the agenda and goal of the week, highlight any news or successes and open the floor to the other teams to contribute and share trends, ideas and news. Now with social distancing, we will do zoom meetings recorded by Ashley in the office with the skeleton staff and accessed by our home workers.

3:00pm – 5:00pm – as owner and director I wear a lot of hats in the company so I spend a lot of my day reviewing files and answering questions from the teams including reviewing briefs to counsel and liaising with our panel of experts, costs company and barristers as well as chairing case clinics in the amphitheatre. Case clinics are an opportunity for staff to present issues or difficulties with a file or work in general and we will problem solve as a firm to moot solutions. This holistic approach allows staff in other departments to contribute to solving the firm’s problems as a whole with different perspectives.

5:00pm –6:00pm  we finish for our working day at 5pm and 4:30pm on a Friday so I use this time informally to get on top of any emails and do any extracurricular work such as mentoring university students, drafting blogs and press releases and of course a daily post to LinkedIn which is my favourite networking platform. On a Friday its dress down and the fully stocked bars open which is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with colleagues and celebrate the passing week.