Kim Simmonds wanted to create a law firm that was different from all others. A place where lawyers were happy to come to work and didn’t feel they had to watch the clock and bill every six minutes. Most importantly a law firm that wasn’t stuffy or intimidating, where clients felt understood and cared for, knowing that her team of lawyers were focused on helping them with every aspect of a deal, no matter how long it took.
“In order to achieve the goals I had set for myself as an employer, I decided that I needed to focus on one area of law and do it exceptionally well,” she explains. “Law 365 is unique because it is the only law firm in the world to cater solely to the day to day needs of Microsoft Partners. This makes us appealing to our clients because we really know everything about their business. We offer our services on a subscription pricing model, which is easy for Microsoft Partners to understand because it’s modelled on the way they do business (SaaS Model).”
" For ambitious businesses that can’t (or don’t want to) hire their own legal team, we’re the perfect partner. "
Being married to an established Microsoft Partner entrepreneur, Kim knew first-hand the problems that companies like his faced going into negotiations with clients. “Often they’d be met by a team of in-house counsel and it was almost impossible for them to argue favorable terms to protect themselves as suppliers. The other issue is that Microsoft Partners are not that big and they can’t afford big legal bills,” she explains. “I wanted to bring the dream ticket to their door; specialization, affordability, impeccable client service and ultimately to be a team with the clients. For ambitious businesses that can’t (or don’t want to) hire their own legal team, we’re the perfect partner. We understand the commercial terms that need their attention and are able to argue for those without ruffling the client’s feathers.”
“Clients always tell us that we give them the gift of time to do what they do best – run their business, bring in new deals – after they’ve handed off the legal worries to us,” says Kim. Often a business owner or CEO can spend hours pouring over contracts that they’re not confident they understand, which is a great source of anxiety. We come in and put their house in order, and they can focus on growing again. We also help strategize their business, thinking always about cash in the business, how to streamline their contractual processes and to maximize annual recurring revenue,” she adds. “We go beyond the ordinary lawyers’ role. Once your house is in order, you become more attractive to buyers, so we often find that we bring value to companies preparing for acquisition.”
According to Kim, women need to find their voice in any organization and once they do, they are phenomenal leaders. Women have great leadership skills, great ability to juggle various things at once and are often very innovative. The empathy that women feel can really help address old ways of working and hierarchies that don’t speak to the modern workplace.
“I think you need to be the change you want to see. When I had children, I realized that I couldn’t work the hours I’d worked in the traditional legal environment and be the mother I wanted to be,” she says. “The choices seemed polarized – either hire a team of domestic help and spend your life in the office, or compromise your career ambitions to be a parent. I hope I’m showing there’s another way. The women working for me demonstrate daily that they are 100% committed to our business and also to their families and their careers. I don’t demand compromise, and in doing so allow them to excel at home and at work.”
Kim learned the hard way what kind of employer she didn’t want to be. In 2010 she was working for a very prestigious American Law firm who quite brutally sacked almost her entire M&A class with just 2 months notice. Her work visa was tied to that job, so she was forced to leave the country and her entire family who were based in New York.
“I returned to the UK alone, worked three jobs and slept in a friend’s living room for a few months, all the while studying to dual qualify in England (I was a New York Attorney first). It was hard work, difficult to manage on very little money, and although I had made friends and reconnected with a lot of university friends, quite lonely. It gave me the grit I have today to deal with stress and appreciate the now and the abundance I have in my life. I am truly grateful and so very proud of getting through that trying time.”
Preparing for growth
This is big year for Law 365 in terms of growing the team as they have hired several new lawyers and launched an employment practice to complement the other services they offer clients. They are also exploring the potential of AI in the business.
“I want to streamline and cut out all the negatives of working with lawyers and bundle that with the little and big changes we are making to achieve this,” states Kim. “My problem is that I want to do too much sometimes. Reigning in my ambitions can be hard, but I’ve learned it doesn’t mean they’re off the table, they just might not happen this week.”
Kim Simmonds, CEO & Founder
We’re different because we’ve modelled ourselves on what you want in a modern law firm. We asked 50 CEOs of Microsoft partners and leading tech firms and they told us that the traditional legal model was broken.