As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Robert Taylor – CEO and General Counsel of 360 Law Group about his working day.
What time do you usually wake up?
The alarm goes-off at 7am but I don’t really function until I’ve had a cup of tea.
What do you typically have for breakfast?
My favourite breakfast is a boiled or poached egg on toast or perhaps a toasted tea cake. But if it’s cold outside, it has to be a bowl of steaming porridge.
What is the rest of your morning routine?
Once the dogs are out in the back garden, I check that my two kids have surfaced. Then I’m off to work. I usually start at about 9am.
Working from home has been fine, but I prefer being in the office. There are fewer distractions and most importantly, no Amazon deliveries interrupting calls.
What is the first thing you do at the start of your working day?
For the first hour I go through any emails that have arrived overnight. We now have lawyers across all jurisdictions, so the work doesn’t stop when I’m asleep.
I then book my meetings. This can vary from a few each day through to back-to-back calls. Most are still over Zoom but a few are now in person, which is nice.
How do you prioritise your day’s work?
One of my current priorities is recruitment. Several clients are extending into new countries and require legal support in each location. We are always recruiting in the United States and currently adding lawyers in Palestine and Poland. I like to speak to all new joiners, but this can be time consuming with up to six lawyers in the pipeline at any time.
Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?
I always plan important client and management meetings, particularly if it relates to our business expansion in Australia and Cyprus. I have weekly calls with key members of the team to keep everything moving and minimise any knee jerk reactions.
Some initiatives require lots of meetings and planning. For example, last year we launched a video signing services that has proven to be highly effective during the pandemic. Coming soon is a new global trademarks search, registration, and trademark watch service. Both take lots of time to deliver.
Do you have a working lunch or is it good to take a break?
In the past, I would sit at my desk all day and work though to 5pm. Since working from home, I’ve started having a lunch break. Now back in the office every day, I have kept the habit and rather enjoy stopping for a jacket spud and tuna.
When does your working day finish?
I’ve no fixed time to stop working. It really depends on whether Chelsea are playing. They are in European Cup, so I’m always back to watch it with my 15-year-old son.
I try to minimise calls during the evening, but if calls come in from our US offices, I’m happy to provide the support if needed.
How do you prepare for the next day’s work?
I always have a rough daily plan, but I also need to adapt when changes come my way. My focus is always on growing the business, looking for new income streams and innovative ways to deliver legal services at affordable prices.
As the company has expanded to over 65 countries, I have a great team to help manage everything. We are currently putting the processes in place to achieve ISO certifications, so this does take lots of planning.
What’s your favourite piece of technology?
Microsoft 365 is invaluable, but my favourite is our own Citras Time and Case Management software. We developed it six years ago because off-the-shelf legal technology couldn’t do the job.
As a virtual law firm, this state-of-the-art platform enables our 350 legal consultants around the world to work securely on their cases, and clients can see the status of activities. It also means we don’t need large offices and support staff, so can pass on those cost-savings to clients.
The latest development is an automated timesheet capability. It speeds up accuracy and invoicing but, most importantly, saves me half a day each month.
How do you switch off?
I enjoy what I do, so never really switch off. However, I recently started learning to fly a helicopter, weather permitting. It’s an intense experience. It takes your complete attention and provides total freedom.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
There are so many, but I was once advised to keep shareholders to a minimum. I see lots of people with 50/50 shareholdings that leads to big problems. It’s not about retaining as much as you can but making sure the right people are involved and that you can keep control of what you are doing.