About Shireen Smith 

 

Shireen is an entrepreneurial lawyer and director of Azrights International Ltd, a training and events company where she provides online courses. She runs Azrights International Ltd as a separate business to the law firm she founded in 2005, Azrights Solicitors, a respected boutique Intellectual Property and Commercial law firm in London.

Shireen holds a Masters’ degree in Intellectual Property from London University’s Queen Mary and Westfield Commercial Law Unit and is also an experienced business owner having built up the Azrights legal services business from the ground up, starting with no existing client base. She is therefore well placed to help SMEs to start, build and grow their businesses. If they need legal advice or services, then Shireen provides all such legal services through Azrights solicitors. If on the other hand what is wanted is online courses, workshops or business coaching then Azrights International Ltd is the vehicle through which Shireen provides those services.

Shireen draws on her experience in business, and using a unique approach developed over the years advises entrepreneurs and branding agencies on branding and naming projects. Turning ideas into protectable IP assets is critically important to successfully build a valuable business on strong legal and IP foundations. IP is, in fact, best business practice. It isn’t an esoteric subject that only applies to certain businesses. It is relevant to every business.

The motivation to set up her own business came from a desire for more control over her own life. She wanted the freedom to work flexibly and bring up her two daughters. She didn’t realise how much she would love the entrepreneurial journey, its peaks and troughs, and even its challenges. Entrepreneurship has proved to be a constant journey of self-development and learning. Shireen can’t imagine ever wanting to stop working as she loves being in business. Her daughters have grown up, are in successful careers of their own, and have left home. 
While the initial impetus for wanting to set up in business was the flexibility and freedom to look after her family, Shireen realised that she is someone who craves the freedom to work flexibly simply because it’s important to her to be able to work anywhere, anytime.

Being chained to an office and set working hours was stifling. So, Shireen realised that the Azrights Solicitors business needed to change and evolve to fit with her need for flexibility. So, from 2016 she began making radical changes to that business. Physical offices were gradually dispensed with, and now the business is entirely virtual. The business has offices where meetings are regularly held. However, the business is now completely transformed. There is a much greater reliance on technology than before, even though the business has always been paperless. To allow complete remote working needed many changes, and Shireen turned to use experienced solicitor consultants rather than employed solicitors where additional expertise beyond her own are needed on projects. There are a number of virtual assistants who perform different functions within the business, and even the telephone system was changed to using BT Cloud. The transformation has been huge and enables resources to be deployed on projects as necessary so as to ensure a cost-effective, responsive service can always be delivered. 
Partly as a result of this, and also the lack of awareness of IP that still exists within society, Shireen decided to offer online courses to a worldwide audience through Azrights International Ltd. Raising awareness of IP is an important value of Shireen's, hence why in 2012, she authored Legally Branded which explained the crucial role of IP and the law when branding a business. In 2015 she wrote another book Intellectual Property Revolution, to emphasise the importance of intellectual property in a digital economy. She is committed to communicating the central role of IP to entrepreneurship ventures.

Shireen's objective in business has always been to offer the services that the market needs. She suspects that the market now needs access to online courses as this, combined with traditional one to one legal services has the greatest potential to help businesses reduce their legal costs while obtaining a more complete service. Her mission is to make IP affordable to SMEs, and she sees this combining of online education with traditional legal services as the most likely way to achieve that aim. 
Operating a virtual business means Shireen is particularly well placed to help online businesses who need lawyers with the necessary understanding of the internet, and technology, as well as IP, to support them.

Shireen also blogs at www.azrights.com – IP, IT, Commercial, Business and all things digital.

 

Shireen Smith

Business & IP Lawyer & Coach

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