CLB members February 2021 Voice Box

Each month Reena Dayal, acting Chair Central London will feature members in her monthly email to circa 3000 members. A random selection will be invited to showcase their business/ role and share views on a topical theme. It is our initiative to spotlight the diverse talent and experience of Central London. If you would like us to spotlight you and your business please apply here, and we will invite you to contribute.

Nick Dutton

Independent Electrical Engineering consultant

Impact of Brexit?

Not involved in trading of goods but services could potentially be affected if professional qualifications are not recognised (although this is more likely to affect lawyers and accountants). I have one expected project to assist an Italian company upgrading a project in China – not expecting this to be a problem.

Customer Relations:

Main aim providing technical support to Sales has been to give the end-customer confidence in the ability of my client company to successfully deliver a project. This is particularly important when the client is a small company and competing with major international brands. This also allows the client company to win bids without necessarily having to be the cheapest.

On Management of Cashflow:

Many projects run to tight timescales which sometimes are unrealistic and put staff under stress. If the project becomes delayed by the customer, there is a tendency for everyone to breathe a sigh of relief and slow down and then take all the time available (Parkinson’s Law). However, if the project is subject to stage payments, this causes a delay to the inflow of revenues which may cause cashflow difficulties. My tip is, as long as it is reasonable to staff, to keep the pressure on and do your best to stick to the original delivery timescale. Contract conditions should have clauses that limit delays to delivery when the customer causes the delay.

Jahan Khan

I started my advertising media career in 1988 – Fleet Street days before computers and the internet! titles including The Express, The Mirror. 20 years in Travel at The Mail on Sunday/Daily Mail/Mailonline. Working through IRA threats, 9/11, 7/7, 2008 crash, and more. I won awards/amazing client relationships and I felt I was irreplaceable and invisible. Redundancy, I had to rethink, deal with emotions, rejection, bitterness, loss of what I had and known.

Years of proving myself for a promotion was tough – to be paid more and recognised however, as a consultant, I have been an, AD, SMD, BDM, HOS, Partnerships, Events/Project manager running awards/roadshows, a web designer, and mentor.

I have had hardly any paid work 2020 but I have kept busy speaking at various events and was delighted to win the Mayor of Merton Award for charity work during Covid.

Confidence in the vaccine, job security, working in a safe environment will be concerns. Brexit won’t be felt fully until we get back to work/ new normal and experience how it affects us directly. We are more resilient than we think we are. Travel will return, recharged and ready.

Denise Quinlan

The pandemic has inevitably provoked individuals and businesses to review their plans. Unlike no other recent time, critical & creative thinking has been unleashed to adapt & stay afloat. The need to ‘think differently’ has never been more necessary.

At an individual level, catching up with contacts and clients, and reaching out to others is essential for that important connection and support. WRT the latter, I set up SME Force for Good, a group that comes to life in person, every other Friday for a short and punchy, friendly call. Hearing an engaging 10-min breakfast bite talk, followed by a round of informal networking is a fun and energising way to start the end of the week.

Keep client conversations going, is another tip. Working with your clients and flexibly adapting to their changing situation is key. Working through tough times provokes strong bonds.

Denise Quinlan, founder of Insightful Images, is a USP hunter with a visual twist. She specialises in working with leaders & businesses who are superb at what they do but realise the need to review the impact they bring to their target audience, to grow and expand their presence and client base.

Adrian Wickham

I joined Oracle Solicitors as the Director of Business & Development back in 2019 from my previous role as the Southern Region Managing Director at one of the UKs largest Leisure and Environmental Services providers. After 20 successful years, I found myself wanting a new challenge. What drew me to Oracle was their fresh, energetic approach to work and their strong reputation which fueled their hunger for success. Our areas span Commercial, Employment and Aviation Law, along with defendant Claims Management and white-collar crime. Before making this huge step change in my career I accessed the IoD’s free advisory service, for me the conversations had at those meetings where invaluable.


Two of our Directors registered as European Lawyers in Germany, Ireland, and Italy in 2019 and 2020, this allowed us to continue to operate our business within Europe and become members of each countries Bar Association.


We have been fortunate and grown our business throughout the pandemic, in-fact we have recruited. Treat people how you want to be treated and your contact book is your best friend, businesses should be willing to help one another as so far as possible. Safety in numbers, at a social distance of course!

Arina Lisikova

Director and COO of an Ultra High Net Worth Single-Family Office, London, UK

I am currently responsible for the management of a multi-asset class portfolio for a SFO, with a strong focus on impact. We are interested in emerging technologies and are on a continuous hunt for future trends and exciting innovation.

We see the current unstable market environment in the UK and worldwide as an excellent opportunity and an entry point into new emerging trends, as we navigate the changes throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Today, comprehensive cashflow management and careful analysis of investment choices with a long-term horizon and a focus on high quality diversified assets is paramount. Current market conditions call for a careful review of the outflows and defence mechanisms of the unnecessary expenditure.

Businesses will benefit from healthy cash reserves in the aftermath of pandemic and subsequent reduction in government support. The UK is seeing a more significant impact due to the added complexity of Brexit, such as in the Prime Real Estate sector, and beyond, however, we are looking forward to participating in the exciting opportunities as the UK finds its footing and stability in the new trading regime.

Samantha Hubbard

Conjoined Business and Law provide a new category of business talent, dual qualified in commercial business and commercial law.  As CEO, I am proud to be leading such an exciting and fast growing organisation, with such talented people, delivering what I believe is an essential offering to maximise the success of organisations in today’s evolving world.

Brexit has created a flurry of activity, and we have seen a wave of requests for support, particularly from industries that deal with manufacturing and goods.  For many businesses, COVID-19 has added a further layer of challenge and complexity.

Over the last 6-12 months, our specialist commercial disputes practice has seen the most activity.  Businesses need support, to fix their issues pragmatically and efficiently. We are uniquely positioned to help businesses reach workable resolutions with customers and suppliers that save time, pressure, and avoid complex and costly legal battles.

I see this year as a real opportunity for businesses to deliver their socio-economic goals through their commercial approach and management.  Businesses should develop an ecosystem of sustainable practice that thrives throughout the commercial lifecycle; not simply driven by outcome, but driven by accountability.  If done right, sustainability will make a business much more efficient.

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
Internet Explorer
Your web browser is out of date and is not supported by the IoD website. It is important to update your browser for increased security and a better web experience.