16 APAC / Legal Awards 2020 , Based in Melbourne, Australia, Legally Speaking provides practical, professional and friendly legal services for SMEs based on commercial and long-term strategic imperatives. Operating as an integral element of their clients’ businesses, Legally Speaking’s specialist resources provide legal advice covering basic commercial issues, mergers, acquisitions, corporate governance, employment and dispute resolution. Founder and Principal, Elise Margow, brought twenty years of legal and commercial experience in litigation, the telecommunications and financial services sectors when she set up Legally Speaking, and has since established her reputation as an authority in providing commercially based legal advice to SMEs in Australia. The extensive knowledge that she has shared with her firm enables the team of lawyers to provide valuable legal advice that considers client priorities and business imperatives, all with high regard for cost-effectiveness. Central to the Legally Speaking process has always been the company mantra; ‘we transform complex legal issues into simple business practice.’ Unlike many of their competitors, Legally Speaking takes a holistic approach to providing legal advice. Working with clients as trusted legal advisors and familiarising themselves with a client’s operations, goals, strategies and market, Legally Speaking is able to tailor their services to their clients’ needs. By using a general counsel model clients gain the combined benefit of the team’s chosen areas of expertise and managed referrals to specialists in other firms when required. Being a small business itself, Legally Speaking understands the needs of its clients and the importance of getting to know the personalities behind the enterprises. Small and agile, the firm is able to adapt its service offering to suit clients’ needs, whilst maintaining professionalism and legal protection. In addition, Legally Speaking guarantees the personable nature of its service offering with each case being appointed an invested and dedicated lawyer that clients are able to rely on. According to Elise, “While many firms provide a ‘one size fits all’ approach to SME legal services, my clients are crying out for more personal support and advice. Best SME-Focused Commercial Law Firm – Victoria & Award for Distinction in Business Mediation 2020 Established by prominent commercial lawyer andmediator EliseMargow, Legally Speaking is committed to providing the SMEmarket with practical yet friendly commercial legal advice. Built on the company philosophy ‘to transform complex legal issues into simple business practice’, Legally Speaking considers the bigger picture, presenting holistic solutions to legal matters to ensure continued success for the SMEs that rely on them. We went to find out a bit more about this award-winning legal firm. Jul20582 Contact: Elise Margow Company: Legally Speaking Web Address: www.legallyspeaking.net.au “I want our clients to feel comfortable and undaunted when they speak to us secure in the knowledge that regardless of the magnitude and intricacy of their business issue, Legally Speaking has their back from the outset and will be there, every step of the way. “My number one priority is to listen and work through clients’ issues, regardless of size or complexity. We will not send them on a goose chase into the courts, or around the twist in a transaction when something can be handled simply and often without legal interference,” she said. Although diverse in backgrounds, the Legally Speaking team are united in their passion for problem-solving and thinking ‘outside of the box’ when assisting clients with legal strategies. The team thrives on opportunities to work with and learn from colleagues and clients with different perspectives. This passion shines through the company and the positive effects can be felt by clients in every interaction they have with the firm. While the majority of the legal industry has experienced significant business challenges in the wake of the global pandemic, Legally Speaking has benefited from ten years of developing their service into online, distance-based legal advice. Using online platforms and embracing paperless offices has meant that business has largely been able to continue as usual, even with the team working from home. That said, the lack of face to face interactions with clients has meant that Legally Speaking has had to find innovative ways to maintain these well-established relationships. Elise and her team remain confident about the future, with exciting client-centric projects in the works, as well as opportunities for the company to grow further into the alternative dispute resolution sphere. Despite the minimal disruptions caused by lockdown, there is no doubt Legally Speaking has big things ahead, and we can’t wait to see them roll out.