Natasha Lewis is an ambitious managing partner and co-owner at law firm, Lewis Denley. Natasha founded the business in 2017 and is a highly experienced residential property lawyer, specialising in all aspects of buying and selling property – including leasehold and lease extensions and transferring ownership.
Natasha is passionate about the future of female talent, regardless of background, and in her spare time she volunteers to support and develop the younger generation through education and guidance.
Natasha decided to be a lawyer when the business course wasn’t available at university so decided to try out Law instead. It was a last-minute decision that worked out!
She always wanted to run a business but at the time was unsure what it would involve.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
I studied a law degree and post-qualification I worked at various firms in London and Surrey. Prior to founding Lewis Denley, I quickly realised the issues in the legal sector where I discovered the idea to build a law firm with a great culture which focuses on customer service.
Lewis Denley offers many practice areas including property, employment, commercial, litigation and family law.
Over the last years 5 years, my co-managing partner Colin Secomb and I have grown the headcount to become a team of 22-strong with plans to introduce a private client team and corporate team shortly.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
As a newly qualified lawyer, I quickly spotted a gap in the market for a forward-thinking, client-focused law firm with the core aim of delivering specialist, bespoke legal advice to individuals and businesses. Hence Lewis Denley was founded in 2017.
I was particularly interested in specialising in property and have particular expertise in new build properties for large developments, including those that fall under the Help to Buy and Shared Ownership schemes.
How did you achieve awareness?
We used our initial contacts to inform people we were starting a firm and why we were different. We attended many networking events and focused on building our network and then the rest fell into place.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
We are self-funded. We decided early on we would not apply for funding and bootstrapped the company as we wanted full control. This was a really hard time as we were hiring team members but not paying ourselves. We made a lot of sacrifices but we believed strongly in the vision.
What are the key successes?
The main key to my success is willing to learn and grow, you need to keep developing and become a better version of yourself everyday. I often spend a lot of time learning as much as I can by reading and listening to podcasts to try and improve in any way I can.
I started the firm in my twenties so at the time I did not have any leadership experience, so I learned as I went along.
I am really proud of the team we have built over the last 5 years, the clients that believe in us by instructing us, and our 180 five-star reviews online about our customer experience.
Being innovative and not following the traditional mindset of the legal sector are my two main attributes. We are constantly thinking of new ideas and enjoy breaking boundaries. We have become heavily involved in legal tech and the customer experience and we quite often resist working the way traditional firms work. Being customer centric is pivotal in the success of Lewis Denley which we hope sets us apart.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
There have been many challenges, when starting a business you are faced with many obstacles. Balancing growth with quality, and lack of time working on the business as opposed to in the business are a couple of the biggest challenges. It’s important to really think about where you are investing your time and always delegate where you can. I no longer have any cases, as a lawyer that was a hard decision to make but the partners decided it was best for me to focus on the business and that decision has paid off as its allowed me to focus on growth and processes to improve the firm.
What are your plans now/for the future?
Enable Lewis Denley to continue to grow and achieve our high customer service ratings. We hope to also continue improving our legal technology.
On a personal level, I hope to travel more now I have more time to do it!
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
You will never be ready, you just have to go for it and then face the challenges as they come up.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
You have to be willing to take risks. I quit my job, but the next day we founded Lewis Denley. We had no investment but three months of run rate and a dream to keep us going!
Delegate early, focus where you put your time. Be self-aware and be ready to improve in the areas you are weak at. Find mentors who can help you and read lots!
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
Richard Branson, he runs 400+ companies and appears to be having the time of his life running them! Its important to not forget the fun in business!
Steven Bartlett, Founder of Social Chain who took the company public on a valuation of $200 million. I am also a huge fan of his podcast The Diary of a CEO.
Tony Robbins, he has helped millions of people transform their lives. He helps people to think big!
Sara Blakeley, from a young age learned that failure is nothing to be afraid of!
Michelle Obama is a role model for young women and an advocate in many sectors such as education, poverty and nutrition.
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let it go” Carol Burnett
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?