Find out more about the people behind the advice in this new series of interviews with our solicitors. Corporate partner Adam Kudryl shares his law journey.
How long have you worked at Harper James?
I joined the firm in 2018, following a career break in New Zealand during which I ran three businesses – a cross fit gym, a sports clothing brand and an events photography studio! I moved back to the Midlands to be closer to my parents. My career break was the best thing I ever did as a business lawyer, because I experienced first-hand the issues my clients face, which gives me real understanding and empathy.
What inspired you to practise law in the first place? Tell us about your legal career so far
I first caught the law bug while working as a legal cashier at the firm that’s now DLA. I had progression on my mind, did a week’s work experience in the corporate team and that was that. I studied law at Anglia Ruskin University, then took my LPC at the College of Law (now University of Law) London. I started off at Wollastons in Essex and was then offered a job for a British Superbike racing team. Wollastons didn’t want to lose me, so offered to sponsor me through law school and take me on as a trainee. This showed me early on that hard work pays off. I stayed with them for nine years and during that time, they merged with a large regional top 100 firm.
How does working with Harper James compare with other firms you have worked at?
It is the firm I have always been looking for. As a junior lawyer, it was fun to work in traditional law firms and gain experience, but as you get more senior, you get caught up in politics and bureaucracy. The impact that working with Harper James has had on my family life is immeasurable. I have two young boys and for the first year of my eldest son’s life, I was seeing him for an hour a day. Now, I eat with them every night, I see them so much more, I am always there for bedtime and I don’t have a commute. Harper James’ ethos is all about providing a good client service, not how many hours you are seen to be sitting at your desk to deliver that service.
Define corporate law in a sentence
Law without rules (sort of).
What’s the best piece of corporate advice you’d give a business?
Don’t keep your corporate lawyer at arm’s length. The more they know about your business, the more they can help you.
What has been the proudest moment at Harper James/of your career so far?
I supervised a solicitor from NQ to associate level, from where he could springboard to a job with a major city firm. It’s a great feeling to have helped develop an ambitious lawyer’s career and see him doing so well.
What do you do to unwind?
CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting! I have a garage gym and was very proud to become a British Masters weightlifting UK champion and gold medal winner in February 2020.
Tell us a prediction for your practice area in 2020 or beyond
I don’t think the corporate area will be greatly affected by the current economic climate. Lots of businesses we are helping with fundraising are the types of business that will continue to thrive. They are businesses that are solving problems and changing the landscape.
What advice would you give regarding the challenges businesses will be facing from the COVID-19 outbreak?
I would tell businesses to be open-minded and willing to embrace the new ways of working that they have adopted because of the outbreak. When normality returns, seriously consider keeping in place some of those changes, whether that is for the wellbeing of your workforce or to enable you to keep operating with lower overheads.