Dr Philippa Roles began her career working for an international law firm in the City. “I found myself assigned to the tax department for part of my training and discovered I really enjoyed it so when I qualified I chose to specialise in tax.”
When Philippa was expecting her first child she made the decision to move out of London.
“I tried commuting for a while when I returned from maternity leave but the journey left me too tired, so I took voluntary redundancy. I was fortunate enough to then be offered an opportunity by a forward-thinking firm in Reading where I spent 10 years building a tax team. I was made a partner and was responsible for running the firm’s corporate social responsibility programme. I also became involved as a non-executive director for different companies which helped me develop a more pragmatic approach to advising clients.
“As my three children grew up they were increasingly missing out on opportunities because I was constrained by the requirement to always be in an office at prescribed times. I was also losing two hours a day to commuting. Unfortunately, due to the supervisory nature of the role it’s not possible to be a law firm partner and not be physically present, so I eventually took the decision to leave the safety of employment and walk off the cliff edge into the world of self-employment.”
OFF THE CLIFF EDGE
After doing a lot of research Philippa approached the Jonathan Lea Network.
“Although based in Sussex which is a considerable distance from where I now live on the Isle of Wight, Jonathan has set up his firm so efficiently that it feels as though I am working closely alongside him and the rest of his team, while their comprehensive understanding of how best to market and deliver legal services has led to a constant stream of new instructions.
“The whole team have done so much to support me in starting up, while the work has been wonderfully varied and comes from all around the UK as well as overseas. I have so far assisted clients with IR35 concerns, employee share plans, Enterprise Investment Scheme tax reliefs and corporate restructurings. Although much of my involvement has been focused on corporate tax, the breadth of my previous experience means I can also advise on property taxation (including joint venture structuring and VAT). Similarly there is also the expertise to do more cross border work, such as advising on international group restructuring and repatriation of assets overseas.
“The volume of UK tax law and regulation increases year on year, and becomes ever more complex and harder to navigate. The demand for advice and assistance from specialist tax solicitors is increasing all the time and working with Jonathan’s team I feel well placed to help do this in a cost effective and value-added way. “Alongside my tax work, not only am I now spending more time with my children while enjoying life in the countryside, I have also founded a company called Arson Fire with my partner and his daughter. Arson Fire is a range of chilli based condiments and liqueurs that we currently make and retail out of Adgestone Vineyard on the Isle of Wight.”
The Jonathan Lea Network is a SRA regulated firm of solicitors who focus on advising businesses, helping clients pragmatically protect themselves from risk, reduce and resolve disputes and successfully capitalise on opportunities.
The team consists of employed trainees and solicitors in their Mid-Sussex office, who combine seamlessly with a remote network of trusted, specialist consultant solicitors.