How can you reduce risk and maximise value in your business?
Zahra Pabani has been a family lawyer for over 25 years. “I’m passionate about helping people, but I’m also passionate about finding solutions”, she says.
A Ugandan refugee from a poor family, Zahra took a computerised quiz at secondary school that told her she should be a social worker. Her form tutor encouraged her to look into a law degree, and the rest is history.
At Irwin Mitchell, she deals with all levels of family law, with a particular niche in wealth protection for business owners, entrepreneurs, MDs and CEOs. She is also a market lead for the firm: an ambassador who talks to groups of people about their personal and professional strategic aims and objectives, and the legal support they need to make this happen.
With this hat on, she joined Vistage – alongside some of her colleagues – for our Peak Performer Webinar on November 22nd. The subject? “Securing the Future Business; Reducing Risk and Maximising Value with AI, your contracts, your people and yourself”.
We caught up with Zahra to learn more about the eventt. Read on for an overview of the four topics covered in the webinar recording, which you can download here.
Reducing risk and maximising value…with AI
Graham Thompson, former military intelligence operator and Irwin Mitchell’s Chief
Information Security Officer, spoke about AI: navigating its impact on security, privacy, compliance and ethics in an age that’s driven by ESG.
The results of our Vistage CEO Confidence Index reveal that a relatively low number of SMEs are currently using AI within their businesses. However, it’s an area that’s likely to continue to grow. With 30% of SMEs intending to reallocate budgets so that they can incorporate AI into their core business operations, business owners need to consider not only the positive impact that AI can have on their businesses, but also the risks that come with using these technologies.
Reducing risk and maximising value…with your people
“Your people are key to your success”, says Zahra. “So how do you create a truly flexible workforce that actually works for you?” This is a topic that was covered by Irwin Mitchell employment law expert, Elaine Huttley. Whether your business is large or small, flexible working can sometimes cause problems.
Elaine’s session, explains Zahra, answered a number of questions. How do we get ahead of employee poor performance? Do you have the right documentation in place? What do you need? What do your people want – and need? How do you deliver it? Have you got the paperwork right?
“Elaine deals with questions and issues like these on a day-to-day basis”, says Zahra. “In this session, she really brought her knowledge, insight and expertise to the table”.
Reducing risk and maximising value…with your contracts
Irwin Mitchell lawyer Katherine East specialises in commercial dispute resolution, and her session focused on business contracts – from a number of angles. As well as giving top tips on drafting commercial contracts and what to do in the event of a contract dispute, she also discussed the new rules on Fixed Recoverable Costs that came into play this October.
“If someone hasn’t paid you, can you sue them?” asks Zahra. “If so, how do you sue them? And can you get your costs back if you do have to sue them? Watch the webinar for Katherine’s advice.”.
Reducing risk and maximising value…with yourself
Private Client Partner Naomi Neville’s focus in this recent Vistage session was on how to look after yourself. “Among the topics she covered were how to protect and maximise your own wealth, whether you have a will in place, and whether you have your estate planning sorted”, explains Zahra.
Zahra’s own knowledge and experience also came into play here. “One thing that business owners need to consider is protecting their business against relationship or marriage breakdown”, she says. “Wealth protection tools such as pre-nups, post-nups and living together agreements can make a big difference”.
“Forewarned is forearmed”
“The key takeaway from this session is if you don’t know about something, you don’t know the questions to ask about it”, says Zahra. “You don’t know which resources to access. You don’t know if you need to speak to a lawyer, or to someone else.
This webinar, she says, is for any business leader, or member of the senior leadership team – but could also have use for anyone who works within a business, at any level.
“Listen with an open mind”, she says. “We’re trying to bring bitesize chunks – hot topics that are impacting businesses right now. If you’ve got a problem, if you’re thinking about growth, if you’re just looking to learn and develop your knowledge in other areas, or if you feel like you may need to work with lawyers down the line, it should be a worthwhile session.”