A Manchester solicitor who started her own legal consulting business less than two years ago specialising in due diligence has been rewarded for her entrepreneurial streak.
Zoe Holland set up Zebra Legal Consulting in December 2012 as its managing director. Despite the tough economic conditions the firm has established a nationwide reputation within the niche market of due diligence boasting a team of 40 legal specialists working in areas such as crime, probate, serious fraud and commercial property.
Last Thursday (10 July) Zoe’s determination to go it alone was recognised when she won ‘Best New Start Up’ at the prestigious Women In Business awards ceremony organised by Downtown Manchester In Business and staged at the Lowry Hotel in the city. The awards are designed to recognise female entrepreneurs, business owners and decision makers based in and around Manchester.
“Delivering a new business concept in a legal sector undergoing seismic change certainly has its challenges,” says Zoe. “The aim was to refocus my legal and law firm management skills to create a business that enables law firms and key sector stakeholders to embrace change. Our approach all along has been to help law firms adapt and evolve to remain competitive, profitable and risk aware, giving essential ‘visibility’ to new entrant investors and banks.
“Within 17 months Zebra has established a nationwide reputation having advised banks and law firms together with private equity and AIM-listed PLCs such as the financial services group Fairpoint. We are a modern virtual legal hub drawing on the experience of a network of acclaimed lawyers and barristers who work on a flexible basis as technical auditors. Our start-up costs were minimal which has allowed us to invest in new technology as the business has expanded.”
Zoe was one of over 80 nominees at the Women In Business awards and has since received considerable praise from within the legal profession for her win. “Zoe Holland and her team at Zebra Legal Consulting are enjoying unparalleled success in the field of due diligence,” said Hilary Meredith, CEO of the London & Cheshire based firm Hilary Meredith Solicitors who were themselves recently audited by Zebra. “I cannot recommend her highly enough.”
“I am delighted to be recognised as one of Manchester’s leading business women and for applying my 18 years of legal practice in a new way,” adds Zoe. “People say there are fewer opportunities for women in business and that the economy isn’t right for start-ups, but we have shown that’s not necessarily the case. It can be done!”