Kent Life meets the partner/principal of Rix & Kay Solicitors

PUBLISHED: 08:32 30 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:15 20 February 2013

Kent Life meets the partner/principal of Rix & Kay Solicitors

Kent Life meets the partner/principal of Rix & Kay Solicitors

Vanda James on Rix & Kay's new Sevenoaks office, the importance of listening to your gut instinct - and porridge ...

Kent Life meets the partner/principal of Rix & Kay Solicitors


Vanda James on Rix & Kays new Sevenoaks office, the importance of listening to your gut instinct - and porridge


Tell us a bit about you


My late mother was a criminal practitioner and it was as a result of her influence that I became a lawyer. I was originally interested in accountancy but found it too 'dry'. I cut my teeth doing advocacy in the Magistrates Court but crossed over to family law in 1991 and have specialised in matrimonial and in particular those involving complex financial issues ever since. I have lived and worked in Kent for more than 25 years and for the last 12 Ive lived and practiced in West Kent. I was President of Tunbridge Wells & District Law Society until January this year and have been Treasurer for Kent Law Society since 2007.



Tell us about Rix & Kay Solicitors


Rix & Kay was established in Sussex more than 50 years ago (our principal office is in Uckfield), but with an increasing number of clients and referrers in Kent we decided to open an office in Sevenoaks last November. I was a Partner at another local law firm for 10 years before joining Rix & Kay in September 2011 as Head of the Family Team and Partner/Principal of the Sevenoaks office. We now have four offices across Kent and Sussex.



Any plans for expansion?


Rix & Kay plans to expand our business further in the Kent market by the growth of our office in Sevenoaks. In September we initiated our own monthly breakfast events at Tubs Hill House and at each one we have a local, often well-known, guest speaker. We have also partnered with several other local niche businesses and will be holding a number of sector-driven events in 2013.



Any advice for Kent businesses?


Prior to opening our Kent office we thoroughly researched and identified our market and found there was an opportunity and need for our services. Its important to know who your competitors are and differentiate yourself by having a unique selling point. Focus on your business objectives and ensure you work within and to a business plan. Always keep an eye on overheads and remember that old adage, cash is king and keep under regular review the effectiveness of business decisions - but have the courage to adapt a plan if things are not working out as hoped. Its a tough market, but if you do your homework and are realistic about what you hope to achieve, combined with a positive and passionate attitude about what you do, I believe new businesses can ride the recession and indeed flourish.



Best piece of advice youve had?


Always listen to your gut instinct. There have been a few occasions in the past when I have ignored it and with the benefit of hindsight, it was the wrong thing to do.



Other than family - your most prized possession?


I would say my Golden Retriever, Harvey, but as he is family, it has to be my ever expanding shoe collection. Bit of a girlie answer, but true!



Do you use social media?


As a firm we have invested heavily in technology and IT services to make it as easy as possible for our clients to contact us and to be kept up to date with legal developments. Our website is constantly updated with blogs and videos of current legal issues which link through to Twitter. We also offer video-conferencing facilities - invaluable with our increasing number of overseas clients.



Blackberry or iPhone?


Both. You can't beat Blackberry's for emails so I use that for work, but otherwise it has to be the i-Phone every time.



Do you have time to relax?


As an owner of a business, its really hard to strike the right balance, but as I've got older and seen what stress can do, I've tried to increase the amount of 'me' time and spend time with my family, particularly my 24-year-old daughter before she flies the nest. I'm a keen runner and my husband and I have started Italian lessons after touring Italy in the summer and falling in love with the country.



Your favourite restaurants in Kent?


We are spoilt in Kent with so many, but my favourites are The Vine in Sevenoaks, Reads in Faversham and Thackerays in Tunbridge Wells



What did you have for breakfast today?


My husband wanted me to say him, but actually it was porridge! Its the only thing that fills me up until lunchtime. Anything else and I'm eating biscuits by 11 o'clock.



GET IN TOUCH


Rix & Kay Solicitors


Tubs Hill House


London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1BL


01732 440854







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