Black Antelope Law – Shaheen Mamun – S2E21

This week on the Legally Speaking Podcast, our host Rob Hanna  is joined by Shaheen Mamun.

Shaheen is a Lawyer, Legist, Leader who was recently Shortlisted as ‘Lawyer of the Year’ by the Modern Law Awards in 2020 & Millennial Entrepreneur! He co-founded The Black Antelope Group, alongside Simao Paxi-Cato, to provide Business to Business services in the Legal, Coaching, and Consultancy Sector.

They support their Clients in achieving their objectives through a range of services that combine intelligence and awareness, communication, learning and decisive action: the traits that the Antelope symbolises and represents.

Black Antelope Law – ‘Expert. Objective. Accessible’

As an Award-Winning Lawyer Duo, they added their voice to the debate over the fusion between both the Solicitor and Barrister professions by establishing an embedded model in Black Antelope Law.

Their product is their people. They aim to meet the proficient demand for high quality and sophisticated representation. They were the first BSB Entity to be awarded a certificate of well-being from the Bar Council for addressing Mental Health at the workplace.

They have gone strength to strength by being recognised on the Honour Roll for the 2018 UK Social Mobility Awards, shortlisted for the Equality and Diversity Award at Modern Law Awards 2020, listed as the ‘Best Business Immigration Law Firm – England’ by the SME Awards 2020 and awarded Excellence in Cyber Law Services at the Innovation & Excellence Awards 2019 – Corporate LiveWire.


[0:00:00.7] Rob Hanna: Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast powered by Kissoon Carr. I’m your host, Rob Hanna. This week, I’m delighted to be joined by Shaheen Mamun. Shaheen is a lawyer, a legalist leader, he was recently shortlisted as the lawyer of the year on the modern law awards in 2020 and a millennial entrepreneur. So, a very big welcome.

[0:00:20.8] Shaheen Mamun: Thanks, so much Rob, for having me. I’m really thrilled to actually partake in your much-anticipated podcast.

[0:00:27.0] Rob Hanna: Well, that’s very kind of you, you’ve achieved so much very early on in your career, but before we go through all of that and the good work that you’re doing for the legal sector currently we must start with our open customary question on the podcast, which is on the scale of one to ten, ten being very real. How real would you rate the hit TV series Suits?

[0:00:52.9] Shaheen Mamun: I’m in the middle. I’m going to say five.

[0:00:55.9] Rob Hanna: Yeah, I recently rated it five as well. Why are you giving it a five?

[0:00:59.5] Shaheen Mamun: So, certain elements that they talk about, for example, the working life environment, especially when you’re on an associate or like a trainee lawyer in terms of the current relationships in firms with partners and the work they undertake, they explore it really well. Prime example is some of the associates that work for Louis Litt. However, obviously for television effects certain things are very dramatic and, you know, you can’t be just expected to bring cases within like less than 24-hour notice without following directions, et cetera. So as a lawyer, it does sort of drive my OCD up the roof, but they’ve done really well in terms of sort of exploring junior level relationships in the show itself.

[0:01:40.3] Rob Hanna: Yeah, no, absolutely. Listen, we need to move on to talk a little about you and what you’re doing, but let’s start at the beginning. Tell us a bit about your family background and your upbringing?

[0:01:51.0] Shaheen Mamun: So, my background, very straightforward, very simple. My father, well, he has a unique background in the sense that he fled the first Gulf war and came to the UK and settled there, met my mother. They started their own lives together and just like any other person living in central London. I attended primary school, secondary school all within Hackney. And you know, and really wanted to pursue a career in law purely because of the people around me and obviously the difficulties people face on a daily basis.

So, it was a very interesting sort of aspiration that I had from a young age. I went to university at Westminster where I was one of the first years to take part in a new course, which is quite common now, which is called the integrated course, which mergers that the law degree and the LPC to be together. At the time, it was quite unique because it was very cost efficient, so you weren’t paying for the LPC substantially as many people do, you are only paying that low degree level. From there I essentially joined the city firm undertook my training contract and as soon as I qualified, I ended up co-founding Black Antelope Law.

[0:02:59.2] Rob Hanna: Yeah. No, absolutely. But did you always want to be a lawyer? Was that always the ambition?

[0:03:04.3] Shaheen Mamun: Absolutely. Lots of people have this sort of general bias of assuming lawyers are very commercially driven. From a young age, I could see the impact of good lawyers, especially when they fight for human rights and social welfare, from a community perspective. So, I had to aspiration of actually, it was either going into law, or going into politics. Politics was a bit more difficult for myself because it’s not something that I feel passionate about as much as law. Whereas in law, for example, I feel like you can make change and it’s more progressive and you’re actually at the front or forefront. I think being a politician is a bit more vain. So, you’re more trying to promote yourself rather than trying to help the ideas of other individuals, et cetera at times and it can be very career driven. And so, it was a bit of an overlap, but at the end I felt like being a lawyer was more suitable for myself.

[0:03:57.8] Rob Hanna: Yeah. And then fast forward, obviously after all of your studies, you trained in London and had some legal experiences before, obviously co-founding your current operation. So, do you want to tell us a bit about your legal experiences prior to setting up?

[0:04:13.4] Shaheen Mamun: So, I undertook my training contract at a City firm called Marstone where I was part of a team that specialized in business immigration. So, we sort of helped entrepreneurs, investors, highly skilled migrants, et cetera, who wanted to enter the UK or remain in the UK with their families, et cetera. So, very successful department itself, something that, you know, that I felt very passionate about. And also – for some of the work that I did when it came to representing people from the EU and also just generally British immigration rules, representing spouses, et cetera. I was also very embedded in representing clients when they were bringing claims against public bodies for unlawful decision. From there, essentially my passion built up and I felt like I was very heavily involved with the law, from there. I was very commercially driven, but at the same time, I was quite loyal towards my vision of remaining in the human rights sector.

[0:05:11.8] Rob Hanna: Yeah, No, absolutely. And then sort of fast forward on from that you obviously have co-founded the Black Antelope group, which is described as you say, intuitive, inspirational, innovative. Do you want to tell listeners more about it and what you do?

[0:05:27.4] Shaheen Mamun: So, essentially once I had qualified as a solicitor, some of the options that were presented before me was to remain with my current firm and build my way my way up, become an associate and then a partner. Also maybe join another firm, where there are some offers on the table in terms of training as an associate or an assistant solicitor. However, I felt quite confident with the client base that I developed during my time as a trainee for the marketing campaigns, business development, going out there networking, whether it was virtually or face-to-face, felt quite confident about you know, what was expected from me as a junior lawyer I could actually exceed that.

And that’s where I came across my colleague who is a barrister and we also attended the same secondary school in Hackney. We’ve always had sort of visions about sort of challenging the stereotype would be a lawyer. We are often presented with the idea that leadership is quite restricted than that legal sector is very closed in terms of individuals such as ourselves progressing within the sector.

We were very keen to promote an idea that was very transparent, very millennial friendly and sort of challenge the stereotypes and traditions that the legal profession has that people can’t progress if you don’t conform to a certain value. So, we’ve set up our own organization, the Black Antelope Group and one of the first things that we did was actually did brainstorm what we should actually call our venture. And some of the ideas that we had, we wanted to walk away from the traditional law firm style, where, you know, it’s named after individuals, you know, very Latin, very outdated, very traditional. We wanted to go with something that was more compatible with the modern market.

So, you look at brands such as like Puma, for example, they don’t need to sell themselves as what they’re selling, but when you see Puma, you automatically recognize that brand. So, we went with a Black Antelope, which we thought was a very suitable logo for ourselves, suitable animal that represents our sort of traits in terms of intelligence and awareness. And from there essentially, it’s just been a roller coaster of a journey.

[0:07:36.4] Rob Hanna: Yeah, no, absolutely. I love that. I love that sort of mindset and approach and what you’ve kind of thought about putting things together. So, tell us a bit more than, about sort of the, – you know, the Black Antelope Law because again, that’s described very much as sort of expert, objective, accessible. Tell our listeners more.

[0:07:51.6] Shaheen Mamun: So, essentially, we have an umbrella organization called the Black Antelope group and that’s broken down into different arms. First arm is Black Antelope Law, which is providing expert legal advice to our clients and their businesses where we specialize in certain areas, such as commercial property disputes, litigation, probation, and immigration. We also have another arm called Black Antelope coaching, where we provide specific advice to young entrepreneurs, millennial entrepreneurs, SMEs, and young businesses in terms of running their business, and also managing their business. And also, just general mentorship, which might be quite absent in this sort of sector that they’re sort of pursuing and we have a third arm called Black Antelope ADR, which is all about providing mediation services. So, essentially, we bought these organizations together and we provide them in separate capacities without compromising our values by ensuring that our clients are aware that when they come to us, they’re coming for a specific service rather than just having it under one roof.

[0:08:54.4] Rob Hanna: Yeah, Absolutely. And I think It sounds great, but I’m sure you’ve had challenges along the way, you know, as we’re setting up anything in terms of giving some sort of honest transparency about the journey and where you’ve got to, do you want sort of share some experiences around maybe some of the challenges you’ve had and what you’ve had to get over?

[0:09:10.5] Shaheen Mamun: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean the first challenge I would say is the sort of perception of the competition amongst lawyers, especially with junior lawyers. So, I read a statistic the other day from the law society that was published on their website that said that the average age of a trainee solicitor qualifying is 29. Myself, I co-founder of Black Antelope when I was 26 so trying to get a training contract in the first place was highly competitive, very difficult, all comes down to the issue of the fact that law firms are businesses. And I think people forget that they’re looking for someone to invest in at the same time, someone that can help them financially. And there’s so many students myself, when I did my law degree, LPC, there’s so many students, you’ve got so many people from older years, younger years coming into the profession, conversion courses like the GDL, you’ve also got foreign qualified lawyers. The market itself is so saturated, it’s not that there’s not enough talented people. There’s just too many people so when the drive comes to getting a training contract, it all boils down to very, very very finite details such as the ability to market, busines development and just not just be a lawyer, be more of entrepreneur. Some of the other difficulties is also the common perception of when you’re a lawyer with BAME background, you’re seen as inferior to the traditional stereotype of a lawyer. So, it’s overcoming those prejudices and especially when you’re a young lawyer, you’re automatically seen as someone inexperienced.

When I was a trainee lawyer, I was involved with the management with the partners, getting experiences from a young age. Since I’ve been 17, I’ve been working in the legal sector. So, I had very good knowledge. Its also just demonstrating that you have the capacity to run a firm. It’s always, always about overcoming prejudices and I think that’s the hardest part of the legal profession, especially when I started the firm at 26 people assumed that, you know, do I have the means to actually go ahead with it. And I feel proud in the sense that we’ve been running for two years now and we’ve not come across those difficulties. And I’ve tried to actually demonstrate that it’s possible people who are sort of aspiring to come into law, they should be thinking about it from a different perspective rather than sort of following the same narrative.

[0:11:30.5] Rob Hanna: Yeah. And I just love that. I mean, there’s such entrepreneurial flare, which you’ve shown and ambition and risk as well, which is not necessarily always associated, you know, with sort of lawyers at the sort of start or thinking about going into their careers or branching out. So, I think that’s a really good role model and give for you in terms of sort of how far you’ve gone and will continue to go, I’m sure. And you know, you are an award-winning solicitor, but the other nice thing that I really kind of respect and know about you is you love to give back. So you are, you know, an equality, diversity and inclusion committee member for the law society. Do you want to tell us more about your work there?

[0:12:04.8] Shaheen Mamun: Absolutely. So, recently last year I was appointed onto the actual committee for equality, diversity and inclusion. So, I work with the Law Society to help implement, review and consider measures concerning equality and diversity within the legal sector, providing myself with invaluable resources and experiences on how I could assist. The Law Society is currently undertaking a massive campaign to raise awareness and one of the things I would say is that equality and diversity are a major factor within the legal profession today. It’s no longer seen as a chore for law firms it is seen as an opportunity to revise their strategy. As some firms are even taking a view on that, they’re actually looking to implement it as a marketing strategy When you look at the client base, the international client are available from all backgrounds, I mean, it just goes without saying that opportunities are available when you can tap into different markets, but you can only tap into different markets if you can demonstrate that you can take the tools that community’s needs. And the only way law firms have actually identified that is improving their equality and diversity strategy.

[0:13:13.6] Rob Hanna: Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think the other point I would kind of draw from the little lessons we came to know about us as a sort of business owner during COVID-19, during this pandemic. You know, there’s a lot of challenges that you’re probably currently facing, but what are you doing to ensure that your law firm is going to future proof itself? You know, if this is a sustained pandemic.

[0:13:37.3] Shaheen Mamun: So, one of the first things that we did when we set up the firm was heavily invest in the infrastructure such as remote working policies. The ability to actually consider our case management system, which is actually tailor made specifically made so it suits us as lawyers. From my experiences as a young lawyer, one of the worst things that I experienced within a law firm was how rigid it is, especially with, you know, the models that traditional firms sort of experience in the sense that they sort of talk about consultancy models and the flexibility, et cetera. They actually, when you go down to it, they’re very rigid and very, very behind the times unfortunately, so you expected to go into office at a certain time, there’s a lack of foreseeability. So, people are more worried about now, rather than looking into the future.

So, when we co-founded specifically Black Antelope Law, we looked into means where we could work all over the country. So, we had major plans of setting up firms all around the world before this whole COVID-19 situation and the remote working facility, it would have definitely helped a lot. Now that obviously there’s been a pandemic, unfortunately, and that’s affected not just us but all law firms, all businesses across the UK. Our remote working facilities, our measures that we’ve put into place have actually kicked in. So, it’s not been a major disruption in business. And that’s something that I feel proud of by actually highlighting it before, because a lot of law firms unfortunately, are facing the struggle now. They need to realize that we need to move on from the traditional paper system onto the more electronic system.

[0:15:20.4] Rob Hanna: Yeah, I think there’s definitely, you know, there’s just been a massive wake up call for a lot of traditional firms that have perhaps been stuck in the dark ages, typically with regards to, you know, remote, flexible, agile working, and it is red hot right now, as you can imagine. I think law firms that choose to embrace and look at that will do well. And those that refuse to and stick to the old ways, I think they’ll really struggle. And that kind of leads nicely on to mentoring because, you know, you do a lot of mentoring work generally in the wider sort of spaces. Do you want to sort of tell people about some of your mentoring work and why you do it?

[0:15:53.9] Shaheen Mamun: Absolutely. So as a young lawyer, when I was in Uni, I had the benefit of actually benefiting from a mentor who was working at a Legal 500 firm and she was very nice. She was a trainee solicitor at the time, and she also provided me with invaluable experiences, and it was something that gave me a bit more confidence, especially when I wanted to set up my firm, asking all these questions. How it was, what can I expect? What sort of exams should I do? And you, you know, any advice or mechanisms that I should be expecting. From a young age when you’re sort of fed that information, it gives not only gives you a surety, it also provides you with confidence. I felt like I was in a bit of a more unique position, obviously from a young age.

So, I feel like when I mentor younger lawyers or even lawyers who are looking to set up their own firms, I can provide them with that invaluable advice that they wouldn’t seek anywhere else. My approach to mentoring has always been straightforward I say it as it is, sometimes it’s not the best of news, sometimes it’s very blunt, but it’s also providing people the sheer honesty and share the journey and expectations of difficulties that they might expect but at the same time, it’s also helping them. Because one thing I’ve learned in the legal profession is the whole onus on competition is very significant, that people sort of ignore the benefits of collaboration. So, when I speak to another lawyer, whether they’re qualified or not qualified, I see potentially there’s, this is someone that I collaborate with. Someone that I might be able to assist or someone that might be able to assist me and it has happened, and I’ve benefited from mentoring. It works both ways. I feel like the more people we have mentoring, the more representative it is. The more people we have from different backgrounds, the more we can make the legal profession’s successful move away from this whole traditional method.

[0:17:45.0] Rob Hanna: Yeah, no, absolutely. Well said, I think people need to kind of come alive to the fact that, you know, if anything, from this pandemic, it really has shaken up the industry. Hopefully, you know, in the right areas, in some respects as well. Most definitely in terms of logistics for you as your firm’s sort of set up, how do you sort of charge for your clients? Do you have a traditional model, or do you do things differently in that respect?

[0:18:10.0] Shaheen Mamun: Absolutely. So, at Black Antelope Law, we are very unique in the sense that we’re both an organization that has both Barristers and solicitors under one roof. So, the traditional method would be, for example, if there was a litigation matter, a Solicitor would do the pretrial work, they would instruct counsel and then there’s two sets of fees that the client will pay for essentially. We’ve actually reduced costs on that by having it all under one roof. One of the other sort of means that we’ve introduced is very transparent costing in the sense that we only charge our clients predominantly fixed fees. Traditionally law firms charged by the hour, it can be very expensive, it can be very unclear, so we sort of set that out very early on in our instructions to clients, et cetera. And we sort of make it clear that they are all getting value for money at the same time, you know, it is very transparent, very effective.

And one of the inspirations behind that model was actually when I did my research for setting up Black Antelope Law, and I was looking around the market and other sectors. Nowadays, the public itself, I included myself, we’ve become very consumer savvy. So, when we shop around, for example, online, we want to get the best value for money at the best price and the best quality. I feel like the legal profession sometimes slacks in that and you know, when you go into a law firm, for what they will be charging you by, you might not get quality, or you might be overpriced. And obviously that can have an impact in terms of the relationship between a client and their lawyer. So, we’ve been very transparent, we’ve tried to sort of adopt more of a, modern approach, and sort of fit in with the current model of pricing strategies and we feel like having fixed fees is the best way going forward.

[0:19:46.9] Rob Hanna: Yeah, no, absolutely. Okay. Well, that’s kind of cleared. You cleared that up and shown how you’ve managed to get quite you know, you showed innovation there in terms of bringing things under one roof and just that. To some of your wider work, typically with the MOJ, you know, in terms of justice of the peace, do you want to tell people a bit more about that?

[0:20:03.4] Shaheen Mamun: Yeah. So, I’m a criminal law magistrate, which I also was appointed at the age of 27, I was very young, again when I went into the interviews and went through the whole procedure. I have been doing it for over a year now and it’s absolutely something that I love. One of the biggest things I would say, I just love is the fact that when I go on to the panels and actually sitting as a magistrate within the criminal law system, I feel very, very progressive in the sense that when I look at my peers, they all tend to be very traditional magistrates as they’re older and not representative as much. So, like having someone as young as myself is more reflective and is able to understand the situation people are in. Sometimes when I go into the actual like staffroom for example, everyone’s looking around and they’re thinking, am I in the right place? Am I sure that I’m actually meant to be here?

I absolutely love it. I would encourage more people to actually, if they’re very interested, especially a lot law students or younger lawyers, if they want to become a magistrate, they should be actually looking to do it. I mean, not only do you get experience, but it’s also something that, you know, it’s a life experience as well, it’s not just legal experience. Anyone’s entitled to apply, it’s a voluntary role provided that you meet the criteria and go through the interview. But something that I would suggest that if you’re interested in doing go online and actually apply directly to them.

[0:21:23.9] Rob Hanna: Yeah. Why not, people get themselves out there and that kind of lends itself again on to my next point about putting yourself out there and professional networking. Do you want to talk about the importance of that and how you found that sort of beneficial for you as a, not only a lawyer, but as a business owner?

[0:21:37.7] Shaheen Mamun: Absolutely. From my time as a young lawyer, it’s been very difficult to sort of try to knock on the right doors. I sort of felt very inspired by business individuals from a young age, I’ve been watching a lot of Dragons Den, Apprentice, et cetera. And you always feel like, you know, you could do it. I especially felt that I could do it, but when you’re a lawyer, it just feels like everything flips on its head. You just feel like you have to conform to the standard lawyer model, you can’t be entrepreneurial at the same time as being a lawyer. So, one of the first few things that I was very interested in was trying to see how I could merge that entrepreneur desire with, you know, my ambition to become a lawyer. And from a young age, I’ve been networking with other lawyers with other business, people from other sectors, trying to get insight as to how their mind works.

One of the most common questions I get is, how do you network? It has actually changed over the last 10 years. So 10 years ago, I remember when I made my first sort of LinkedIn account and going through it actually, you know, LinkedIn, you know, it’s only recently I would say five years or so that it’s become very, very normal. It’s become the standard approach for anyone to have, like if you don’t have LinkedIn now, and you know, most employers would raise a red flag straight away saying, well, why does this individual not have LinkedIn? But back then 10, 12 years ago, when I set up LinkedIn, it was an amazing tool that I had. And I was able to actually do virtual networking, which is something quite new to the market back then, where I was able to reach out to people that I don’t know personally never met them because of their experiences I felt very interested in connecting with and getting their advice and seeing, you know, how can I learn from them, et cetera, what I can benefit from them.

As a result, you end up with meetings, next thing you know I mean, they reach out to you five years, six years’ time, and they see that you set up your own law firm, they’re instructing you on legal matters. So, it’s also moving away from the sort of standard approach or networking. So, a lot of people assume they have to attend parties, drinking, going to the bar, pubs, and everyone’s sort of moved on from that. It’s got more to do with coming down to business, essentially. So, virtual networking is one way of going about meeting the right people, the way I see it is if you don’t reach out to someone, then you’ve already lost a contact before you’ve actually spoken to them. I mean, the most they can do is actually ignore you, but that’s the same as you not reaching out to them in the first place.

[0:24:07.8] Rob Hanna: Yeah. And that’s just a really simple way of looking at it, but it’s so true. And I just think now, particularly you’re looking at this from an entrepreneurial lens as well as obviously a legal lens. I think, you know, LinkedIn is so powerful. You know, there’s an argument to say that, you know, they’re more powerful than sort of websites in terms of positioning and we’ve got some really interesting guests coming up on the show and they have been on the show and have really talked about the power of LinkedIn. I think if people are under-utilizing that even in any professional services sector and beyond, I think they’re really missing a trick, but look, it can’t all be networking, legal, and it can’t all be hard work, you know, we need to have some downtime, you know, for mental health, you know, de-stressing, all of those things are very, very important, you know, so tell us a bit about you. What do you get up to for the downtime?

[0:24:50.6] Shaheen Mamun: So, a very interesting question. I mean, it’s something that I’ve only recently actually reflected on. So, from being a young sort of entrepreneur, a young lawyer, et cetera, I fell into the trap working like 12 hours a day, 10 hours a day, you know, constantly grinding out hours, constantly you know, it just felt like I was addicted to this adrenaline of work. You know, for example, you’re working on cases, you’re reaching out, you leave in the morning at like six, seven o’clock. And by then you come home midnight, one o’clock and it just felt like this high life is something that’s not addressed very commonly in the legal profession until now. One thing, I’ve actually learned to do is to take a step back, reflect on the work that I’ve done and sort of embrace some new hobbies and such. As an example, of recently I’ve actually been creating social media posts, et cetera, you know, being a bit more creative, doing artwork, et cetera, but it’s also spending time with your friends and family. I think sometimes you’re living the high life as a lawyer, very intense, very, very difficult, very hard for people to relate.

And when you take a step back and you spend more time with your friends or family, they provide you with a unique perspective of how they’ve perceived you, how you could actually benefit. Some of the work that I do is within the local community. I feel like the skills that I’ve gained as a lawyer is very transferable into the local community, so it could be like just gathering about, finding support, helping them petition. And it’s just the more people that you’re in contact with outside your capacity as a lawyer, it just feels like a well-rounded experience. There’s also reaching out to people that are in the legal professional, for example, that might be suffering from mental health issues, but you would never assume.

So, when I reach out to my friends, peers that I’ve met, just reaching out to them and asking them, how are they and next thing you know, they’re explaining to you and you just have this unique understanding. So, I’m always keen to learn new skills whenever I have time, et cetera. But sometimes it is quite easy to fall into that trap of working 12 hours a day, and sometimes you just have to accept that is not the right approach.

[0:26:53.7] Rob Hanna: Yeah, no, absolutely. And that’s very nice of you, and well-rounded off in that sense and we can’t underestimate the value of kind of being, spending time with your family, you know, people you enjoy spending time with and, and kind of making sure you do have some you know, downtime. I don’t think we should also sugar-coat the fact that, as business owners, you do have to work hard If you want things to progress. And the legal sector, as you mentioned is exceptionally competitive.

So, you know, you do have to be working smart, but you know, don’t forget to take downtime and really enjoying those moments when, when you get a chance. And I guess just sort of, as we wrap up, if people have been as inspired as I’m sure they will have been, you know, from your journey and the risk you’ve taken and where you’ve got to and all the great things you’re doing, how can people get into actual follow you or follow up on anything else we’ve discussed today? What’s the best platform for them to do that?

[0:27:41.7] Shaheen Mamun: I’m very, very open. As an individual I’m always happy to hear from different people from different stages of their lives, from different professions. So, reach out through LinkedIn, through email, go on our website. There is never not enough time for me to actually reach out, I’m always happy to help people. I think one of the sort of key experiences that I’ve understood is spending a minute or two with someone can actually help them go a long way and inspire them, just like it inspired me.

One of the journeys that I had for example was actually, which is a unique story. I know we’re rounding off, but I would love to share this, was when I was in college. I used to go to college in North London, near Holloway. So, Highbury and Holloway, that was our old stomping ground and one of the few things that we used to love was there’s this Holloway road where it is full of shops, et cetera, food shops, et cetera. And there was a massive Argos there and I remember sometimes we used to go into the Argos, for example to buy stuff, et cetera. And there was this one security guy who used to like jokingly try to kick us out or tell us off because we were too loud, et cetera.

We would always sort of joke about it. I remember being as a law student I’ll be like, I’m going to be a lawyer. You know, I’d love to help you out, et cetera and this and that. And he was like, if I ever need a lawyer, I’ll let you know. And short story in a summary, essentially, I found that a couple of years ago, actually he ended up – the same security guard that we used to joke about. You know, just wind us up really, used to share his experiences, how he was studying in the U.K turns out he became the president of Gambia.

So, this individual, well, this individual went from just being like as a security guard for Argos and next thing you know, like couple of years back, he ends up becoming the president of Gambia and it just sort of inspired me, I mean, shout out to him and we spoke, et cetera, but it’s just this amazing sort of inspiration. Then you realize that, you know what, there’s always one successful story around the corner. It’s just a question of where were you at that time when that individual became successful? So, that’s why reaching out to people, mentoring, you know, I have put a lot of onus on that because you don’t know whose journey, you’re going to be part of.

[0:29:57.0] Rob Hanna: Yeah I love that. And I think you’ve probably won the prize of the most inspirational end to a Legally Speaking Podcast story. With that, I think that’s just a fine example of, you know, treat everyone with the utmost respect within your network and you never know where things may land on or land up in the future. I mean, Shaheen it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the podcast, I think your stories and what you’ve done is just so inspirational. So, from all of us and all the team here, thanks so much, we wish you, your firm and all your pursuits, every success for the future.

[0:30:28.8] Shaheen Mamun: Thank you so much, Rob.

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