A Week in My Life: Tessa Laws, Partner at Acuity Law
Acuity Law was established to better serve a number of different industries with flexible and dynamic legal services. It specialises in work for the creative sector.
The creative specialism works in both London and Cardiff, serving TV, film and production companies, as well as a range of PR, marketing and creative businesses and professionals.
Knowing that creative individuals are very time-pressured, Acuity offers legal advice on everything from personal matters such as wills and finance, through to corporate affairs, property issues and even mergers and acquisitions.
A partner of the firm, Tessa Laws, shares what a week in her working life is like...
Monday morning starts with some intense planning – it’s going to be a big week. We’re closing the deals on sales of a few PR agencies this week, and as getting the ink dry on those contracts can often take longer than expected, some contingency time needs to be planned. We’re also involved with initial stages of looking at spinning off some magazine titles from a UK company. This involved a lot of international coordination, as the buyers are Swedes on one end of the deal and based in the US on another.
The team is also busy drafting agreements for distribution of electric scooters into Spain, so it’s quite a varied workload but there’s a lot to be done, and it’s all highly sensitive and time-pressured. Good planning is essential!
Acuity Law has just been through the process of a rebrand, and now the new site has launched we’re looking to build on the great new look. I spend some time in the morning meeting with our creative team to discuss our programme of events. We’re looking to dedicate more face to face time with the industries we serve, discussing some of the issues they are encountering on a daily basis, and the meeting covers brainstorming about which should be the initial focus, and who else we should invite to be involved.
In the evening, the London office just off Carnaby Street hosts a monthly drinks reception for Women in Film and TV – an industry body championing the creative talents of women working in production, direction, writing and every other associated role possible. It’s very well attended and very soon the space is full of talented women mixing, reconnecting and talking about their fascinating projects, from soundtracking gothic horror films to writing plays for Radio 4. It’s a great way to spend a Tuesday night and some amazing connections are made – we even have a recent BAFTA winner in the room sharing her unique experience. The drink and conversation flow long into the night.
With busy working days and a lot of networking evenings, it’s also important that we all take time for ourselves. I have six children, three of them step-children, and two dogs. We split our time between London and Israel, so the family is often on the go. I make sure I take time to do spin and barre classes twice a week. I may hate every second but it’s a good antidote to the food and wine that I cannot resist!
Most mornings we are making time to having breakfast and lunch with clients, contacts or possible recruits. It’s important that our practice and our advice fit in around their lives too. We often find that people in the creative industries can be very wary of legal issues, even though they are important. So we try to normalise these discussions, make them feel more informal to make them less daunting.
A few of the team and I fly out to Israel. We act for a few Israeli clients, and I have a small office there as well as family. The TV production business Keshet is a good example of how we work in the region, but we also have clients in emerging green industries such as fuel cell technology, and we acted for an Israeli solar investor and a bond product. So we squeeze in a little valuable face to face time with clients after the nearly five-hour flight from London.
In the evening we head to the Expo centre for an evening of a little glamour after a hard week of work – we have semi-final tickets to Eurovision, thanks to Keshet, who worked on a programme called Rising Star which selected the Israeli entry – very important in a host year. The evening is amazing – and also it’s so special to be able to share it with some of the team as a reward for their hard work and to celebrate the sale of my previous firm. It’s a truly unique experience seeing some of the very varied performers on home turf, and a well-earned evening of very varied entertainment after a long week!
After quite a big night, we catch up on some work – one of the deals has closed thanks to the amazing team back in the offices in the UK, and the other one is very close. We’re able to videoconference in to some more client questions and make sure that just because we’re not in the country, we’re still on top of everything. It’s a real benefit to be able to work so flexibly for clients – for both them and for us, and we’re also able to close off some end of the week admin before heading to the airport for the flight back to the UK.