Meet the adviser: Philip Harmer, Stormcatcher Law

Meet the adviser: Philip Harmer, Stormcatcher Law

Posted: Fri 20th Nov 2015

Enterprise Nation is home to over 13,500 advisers and this week we are spotlighting Philip Harmer.

Phillip started out as a start-up small business owner but found himself unable to access legal advice at the right price (and of relevance!). Back to school for seven years, he is now a member of the Bar at the Middle Temple and founder of Stormcatcher Law.

What's your favourite business book?

Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises by Charles P. Kindleberger. It's a fascinating insight into investing, speculating and ultimately psychology with perhaps surprising parallels with today.

Who is your business hero?

Probably my Dad, who epitomised the independent trader, relying on an insatiable capacity for hard work, learning and versatility coupled with unbridled tenacity in the face of adversity.

Tell us about your business in the length of a tweet.

Stormcatcher Law offers direct access to low-cost, high-quality legal advice and legal services to individuals and small businesses in the UK.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Having first been a start-up small business owner, I came to the law through necessity as a result of lawyers and legal advice being unaffordable and impractical. Not only did I have to wait a fortnight for an appointment but the advice came from lawyers who had no idea of the life in the real world of running a one-man band.

As a result business became a tale of two competing challenges, a Catch 22; faced with contracts, late payments, regulations and expanding the workforce, on the one hand, inaccessible professional help on the other.

The only sure way to get the reliable advice that I needed, when I needed it was to do it myself, thanks in no small part to the University of Kent at Medway who allowed me into their library every afternoon and evening.

What has been your greatest success?

Personally, there was no greater pleasure and feeling of immense pride than being called to the Bar at the Middle Temple as a culmination of seven years' academic and practical training and of course the hard slog of working full time to pay for it!

What piece of advice do you wish you had known when starting out?

"Fail to prepare is to prepare to fail". Obvious and was continually mentioned to me in me early years, invariably one focuses on the here and now of getting business and earning money, however one quickly learns that that you "pay for your education" and mistakes are costly.

Why do you consider long-term strategic advice important to business success?

Being in business is a lifestyle choice rather than a route to wealth and all too often sole-traders and small businesses gauge their success by the number of hours they work, which invariably covers six or seven days a week.

This "better to travel than arrive mindset" or "slave to the business" is indicative of a lack of structure and focuses on the big deals while missing the attainable opportunities.



Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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