Meet the Dewsbury lawyer who decided to launch his own firm in the middle of a pandemic
A commercial lawyer is hoping to offer solicitors an opportunity to provide services more flexibly with the launch of his own firm.
Anis Dadu set up XYZ Law in Dewsbury earlier this year. Mr Dadu, who has been a lawyer for 15 years, hopes to open doors to people from a variety of backgrounds with XYZ.
Mr Dadu said he didn’t want to end up slogging through his career working for other people and wanted a better work-life balance for himself as well as providing others the same opportunity.
He added: “I was doing charity work and there was family stuff as well so something has to give. I couldn’t find anywhere that would give me that flexibility and in turn give others that flexibility.”
The lawyer went on the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj three years ago, which he says “really put things into perspective for him”.
Having worked for a variety of different law firms from Ward Hadaway to DWF and having done a stint at Kirklees Council as well as working as an in-house lawyer for a property company,
Mr Dadu decided to take the plunge himself this year.
“I’ve got a vision of doing things in a certain way,” he said. “I just think if I went somewhere else I would not be able to fulfil that vision.”
While the pandemic has created a huge amount of uncertainty for people, Mr Dadu didn’t think twice about setting up XYZ Law.
He said: “After 15 years in the legal profession, you have people that you get to know and people who are happy using you. I knew that I had people who were going to support me going forward and those individuals have kept to their word and supported me.
“I saw this pandemic as an opportunity, rather than seeing it as a negative. If I was at a larger law firm with more overheads, it would be much more difficult, people are retrenching at the moment. This way I am in charge of my own destiny.”
The firm has already employed two people and is working with six consultants. It aims to provide flexibility to legal professionals.
Launching his own firm also allows Mr Dadu to align his work with his own personal values.
He said: “As a BAME person you have to work twice, three times as hard as someone not from that background.
“It was difficult to get into the profession and once you are in the profession sometimes you feel like you don’t quite fit because you are slightly different.
“For me, when you go out networking, there’s a certain culture, which you don’t necessarily feel at home with but you’re expected to do it anyway. This allows me to keep my own identity,
I’m not going to stop others from doing that, but it certainly gives me more control in my life.”
Mr Dadu’s advice to anyone else from a similar background considering going it alone is to just do it.
He said: “The world is changing. People are changing. Values are changing. It’s becoming more and more acceptable to be different. Hold true to your values, don’t hide who you are.”
The new law firm is also establishing its own foundation to support local charitable causes.
“A percentage of our turnover, income and time will go towards charitable causes,” says Mr Dadu.
The lawyer hopes XYZ becomes a “big player in the commercial market”.
Mr Dadu added: “I’d like it to have lots of offices across the country, lots of people working under the XYZ Law banner and all these individuals not only having a great work-life balance but also taking back control of their own lives and finding that there is another way of doing things.”
Business is in the blood
Creating his own law firm seemed like the natural thing to do for Anis Dadu.
“My family are business people anyway,” the lawyer says.
His father is in the taxi business while his uncles are in the rag trade.
“I started off as a 14-year-old at Dewsbury Market,” Mr Dadu said. “We’d go and sell clothes at markets.”
Before settling on a career in law, Mr Dadu toyed with the idea of becoming a doctor and even did work experience at surgeries.