Ashima Singh is a lawyer and co-founder of Legal Associates, a successful law firm in South Auckland. She was recently honoured with Businesswoman of the year 2016 at Indian Newslink Business Awards 2016.

Indian Weekender spoke to Ashima to know more about her journey from starting as a student to working as a registrar at Auckland Court to winning the prestigious award.

IWK: Tell us about your journey as a lawyer.

Ashima: Since I started studying LLB from the University of Auckland, I had dreamt of becoming a successful lawyer. In my early days, I worked in Auckland Court as a registrar. I practised law in different firms in the city for some time before I started Legal Associates with my husband, Raj Pardeep Singh. The focus of my legal career has not just been to use the legal knowledge and skills I have to cater to clients’ legal concerns. I have been extremely passionate about educating the community about legal matters as well.

IWK: Tell us a little about your firm

Ashima: Legal Associates is a law firm based in Papatoetoe, South Auckland. Raj is the principal owner of the company and we have been in practice for almost two years. Our company specialises in Immigration Law, Property Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Criminal Law, and Wills & Trusts. We have a diverse ethnic team of lawyers and admin that come from different backgrounds such as India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Samoa, China, Tonga, and Japan. This diversity helps us to connect with our clients and gain a better understanding of their issues. Thus, we can provide the best legal advice.

IWK: How did you feel receiving the award?

Ashima: With a humble heart, I accepted the award for the Businesswoman of the Year 2016 at the Ninth Annual Indian Business Awards by Indian Newslink on November 28. As a co-founder of Legal Associates, I am proud to have been recognised for my efforts and the efforts of the Team in the past year.

I was also recently appointed as a partner at Legal Associates, which is an indication of a significant phase in my life. I would add that this would not have been possible without the great work that the team does and the clients that we have. I am confident that this achievement will allow me to continue to help and educate the community in a greater way.

IWK: What was the criterion for the nomination for the award?

Ashima: The nominated should have a successful business and a sound financial stability and work ethics. The business must also be running for at least full one fiscal year.

IWK: Legal Associates was the finalist in Excellence in Innovation and Best Medium-Sized Business. What do you think the company has best to offer?

Ashima: Regarding innovation, we provide training to our staffs that inspire new thoughts and approaches to the way we do things. The team gains additional experience that the business will benefit from possible and new ideas and approaches.

The basis for our innovative project selection and management process is to address the need in the community for a law firm that understands the needs of immigrants to New Zealand.

We also focus on client satisfaction. We ensure that our clients are given the best legal services. Our customers continue to refer potential clients to us because they are happy with the services we provide.

IWK: What do you think is the USP of Legal Associates?

Ashima: Employees of our firm come from different ethnic backgrounds. We believe that this is a strength for us because it allows us to cater to a broader range of clients. We understand migrant needs because we are all first-hand migrants, and we understand the struggle that our customers face while establishing a life in New Zealand.

We continue to train our staff so that they can better address the needs of migrants. We also encourage new ideas and ways to provide timely and quality legal services to our clients.

IWK: How valuable is the award for the company and its growth for the long run?

Ashima: We are pleased that our services have been recognised. The award will boost our firm’s business, extend the reach of our brand, and people will know that we are an award-winning team who they can trust.