Launching our ‘Inspiriational’ Business Campaign, Mark II


We’re appealing for businesses in the Yorkshire & Humber region to ‘be inspired’ to enter our competition for £20,000 plus of support.

Our first business-focussed campaign, in 2017, saw two stand-out local companies sharing £45,000 of vital support to help them grow to the next level.

And now we’re aiming to build on that success, by launching our new ‘InspiringBusiness2018’ initiative, led by a series of inspiring seminars delivered by business people who have ‘been there, done that’ and made those mistakes, and culminating in a competition to find the inspiring business of 2018. The campaign is aimed at giving the region’s substrata of businesses who underpin the local economy acknowledgment and support.

In great company

We’re delighted to be working with a selection of great partners from the complementary fields of business support and development, banking, finance and marketing, to surround the chosen winner with focussed assistance in making their concept fly.

This year’s main campaign partners are Handelsbanken, the University of Hull’s Enterprise Centre, cbaSadofskys Chartered Accountants, the Stuff of Greatness marketing agency, Computanet IT specialists, Peacock Finance, The Marketplace business consulting and procurement firm and the The Business Culture Hull networking group.

Also supporting us are the Department for International Trade, the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership and the Women’s Enterprise in the Humber female entrepreneurs group.

The partners’ contributions to the prize fund include:

  • A year’s free legal support worth £5,000 from James Legal, including a review and re-write of policies and contracts, and access to our business legal advice service
  • Tender and bid-writing support from The Marketplace worth up to £6,000, starting with a detailed procurement and supply chain assessment, and, potentially, a 12-month supply of tender reports and help with identifying, completing and submitting one grant funding application
  • Accountancy support worth up to £2,000 from cbaSadofskys Chartered Accountants
  • Free annual membership of The Business Culture Hull business networking group, worth £300
  • An initial funding audit and guidance, followed by monthly reviews and application support, worth £3,000, provided by Peacock Finance
  • A network and system audit up to a value of £2,000 from Computanet
  • Social media strategy development and training up to a value of £1,000 from Stuff of Greatness
  • A hot desk and 12-month business support package from the University of Hull Enterprise Centre, worth £1,500.

(Prize contributions and values are intended as a guide and will be tailored according to the exact needs of the competition winner, who will have one year to make use of the support offered).

A fantastic opportunity

Together with our partners, we will surround the competition winners with every kind of advice and support they need to build on and achieve success, explains our James Legal MD Nick Miller.

“The kinds of businesses we’re looking to help are those that have gained some traction already, perhaps with a successful track record or on the cusp of great things, ideally a business which is able to demonstrate some drive, creativity and entrepreneurial flare,” said Nick.

“I would say to them ‘if you’re driven, creative and hungry for more, then yours is the type of business that should be entering’.”

He added: “As specialist business lawyers and moreover entrepreneurial business people, we’re absolutely passionate about the potential that exists within the region’s businesses.

“There are lots of big businesses in the city, but what is often overlooked is the substrata of very driven companies, which do really great things and in many ways underpin the city’s success. We want to bring these kinds of businesses together to share ideas and benefit from the kind of support that will help them take what they do to the next level.

“We love nothing more than working with entrepreneurs at any stage in their development journey, to help them build great companies by taking a ‘walking it with you’ approach to providing them with what they need, as well as legal assistance.

“Our first campaign, called James Legal – The Business 2017, was a great success. It brought together hundreds of companies to make connections and learn new ideas through our masterclasses, and it’s fantastic to see our two winners Pearson Electrical and Lessons4Life going from strength to strength having impressed our judges with their potential.

“Going forward, we’re aiming to help one promising entrepreneur per year to do the same, hence our new ‘InspiringBusiness2018’ initiative.”

As well as handing out the InspiringBusiness2018 Award to one lucky winner, the 2018 campaign will consist of an ‘Inspiration Series’ of quarterly seminars, where attendees will hear from people who’ve made it in business, about how they’ve done it, as well as some of the mistakes they’ve made along the way, to help them on their own paths.

“We want to be a catalyst for good things,” added Nick. “I believe one of the best ways of doing that is to bring people together and see what emerges. So, we’re excited to see what ideas come from these activities.”

James Legal was established in 2009 as a firm of only two people, specialising in business law. We have grown tenfold since then, thanks to our ‘fresh approach to law’, which centres on a commitment to being ‘people first and lawyers second’, plain talking, transparency over fees and a belief in always doing what is in our clients’ best interests, even if that involves deterring them from expensive legal action.

Our firm has always had a strong community ethos centred on giving back by supporting our local area. Initiatives like InspiringBusiness2018 are among our ways of doing that.

The closing date for InspiringBusiness2018 award applications is 30 October 2018. The winner will be chosen in early November from a panel of judges including Nick and Maureen Foers OBE, Owner of Durban Limited and Sponsor of Women’s Enterprise in the Humber.

Businesses wishing to enter can do so by describing what makes their company special and how they aspire to move forward. They can submit their entries (which might be written or even video submissions) via James Legal’s website at, or by post to InspiringBusiness2018, c/o Nick Miller, James Legal Solicitors, Planet House, 2 Woodhouse Street, Hedon Road, Hull, HU9 1RJ.

Invaluable first-hand insights

The first ‘Inspiration Series’ event will take place on Thursday 12 April at the Hallmark Hotel, North Ferriby, from 10am to 2pm, and will feature a presentation by successful local businessman and author Martin Johnson.

Martin has just published his first book, titled ‘30 Mistakes to Success’. He has experience of everything from handling weapons systems on type 42 destroyers in the Royal Navy senior service, to heading up sales for a global technology research business and, more recently, co-founding a successful professional development and training business, Trans2 Performance.

He will be sharing his fascinating back story about making it in business; as well as talking about what he calls ‘the art of the start’ – four fundamental principles for building a successful business by being ‘conscious, productive and influential’.

Martin said: “A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to discover my absolute passion for helping people achieve great things. I believe that the human elements of what makes people successful are often overlooked, but actually the main ingredients.

“In my view, too often, leaders focus on processes, systems and statistics in their drive for the right business outcomes, forgetting that – ultimately – people buy people and it’s the cultural, social and psychological elements of how their workforce operate individually and collectively which make the real difference.

“I left school at 16 without any decent qualifications and it was my five years in the Navy that made me, followed by the experience of working for a leading international brand.

“I have this saying when it comes to my own personal success: ‘I am always the most uneducated man in the room academically, however I am more often than not the most educated man in the room socially’.

“And, actually, my own experience of expanding these interpersonal skills reflects what I bring to my business training, because the reality is that the individuals who succeed most in life and business are those who are socially confident. That’s not to say that education isn’t important, but just that the all-important emotional skills are often overlooked.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to sharing some of my experiences with attendees at the first James Legal seminar, and am planning to give them some real food for thought and action points to take away, to hopefully inspire and help them achieve more.

“I commend what James Legal is doing to support business success locally, and particularly among that layer of businesses that contribute so much to the vibrancy of our region, but are often overlooked.”

To book a place at our first, April seminar, click here.

For more information about the campaign and competition, click here, email or call the James Legal team on (01482) 225566.

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