Inspiring Reigatians: Kate Matthews
After 20 years as a Partner with major law firms across London, Kate Matthews (parent of former student) helped found Boddy Matthews Solicitors. This award-winning boutique legal practice works across commercial, employment, franchise-related disputes and arbitration proceedings nationally and internationally. Kate is also an accredited Mediator and has personally won a number of professional awards.
Did you always know that you wanted to run your own business?
As my career progressed and I enjoyed law, this was something I was working towards over time. I thoroughly enjoyed my training to qualify as a Solicitor at a City firm. As part of that training I worked in its Paris office, which handled complex matters but had the additional interest of comparing and advising in different jurisdictions. The commercial strategy for the client businesses going forward was of paramount importance and this enabled me to consider how different parts of running a business fitted together. It was always my ambition to lead in whatever area of law I specialised in and being a leader in law then meant being a key partner running a business as well as advising on the law. Being made a Partner over 20 years ago with a major law firm with multiple offices in the City of London and abroad, gave me the experience and confidence to branch out to set up a boutique legal business to have a greater say in the choice of client and practice area in which to specialise..
What would you say is your greatest achievement to date?
I have always considered each stepping stone throughout my life to be a great achievement, balancing work, with an active family life and pursuing my sporting hobbies. A high accolade comes from being ranked highly in the legal directories and top 500 lawyers nationally. In addition, I have received much recognition as a well-respected lawyer in my field by my peers, appearing in Who’s Who Legal for Franchising in each annual edition, and by clients and peers alike for my voluntary work, to encourage others, not only in law but in franchising and the commercial world make an impact. I have won many awards personally for this, such as the EWIF Woman Service Provider to the Franchise Industry of 2015 and 2021. Winner for the EWIF Ambassador of the year 2021. Our firm has won a number of industry franchising commercial awards each year from 2014 to 2021.
What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome thus far?
My greatest challenge is to fit all my plans into one day, balancing efficiency, responsiveness and quality of work, with time for my family and time for my sporting pursuits! I always seem to be tremendously busy.
What three tips would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
- Do your groundwork to understand the industry.
- Do not underestimate the time to put proper foundations in place for a successful future.
- Enjoy the area you choose to work in. That way any extra time put in simply feels like fun still!
If you were castaway on a desert island, which luxury item would you want with you and why?
A hairbrush! Very versatile implement and you want to look good when rescued!
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Enjoy all your time to its utmost and retain enthusiasm and energy for new opportunities as it means you will have a full and varied life.
What more could be done in your industry to make your workplace more diverse, equitable and inclusive?
Being part of a network or other platform to speak about and share your experiences, making the most out of them all. I am definitely a glass half full or even glass overflowing type person and having ideas to share can give motivation to others who may lack confidence. This will help with diversity and inclusion in everything we do.