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A chat on a train leads to being Woman of the Year.

HELEN MOLYNEUX, managing partner and director of New Law Legal Ltd in Cardiff, has been named Woman of the Year at the Welsh Women Mean Business Awards 2011.

The 45-year-old married mother-of-two founded New Law in 2004 with two partners and five staff. In just six years, she has grown the company to a pounds 35m turnover with a team of 250.

New Law specialises in personal injury claims, business law and wealth management.

As well as the Cardiff headquarters, New Law also operates an office in Glasgow servicing the Scottish market.

Helen has also set up an HR consultancy business called Head Office providing HR and legal cover to SMEs and a costs recovery business, CIQ Ltd, which is also a law firm, which employs 20 people recovering costs for lawyers and those involved in litigation.

She left school after her A-levels and worked initially as a journalist. She went back to college to study law, in her words "ended up loving it", and went on to become a partner at one of the UK's leading law firms.

But her world changed after a chance meeting on a train.

She said: "I met a man on a train coming back from London one evening. We got talking about the insurance business as he owned an insurance broker and came up with the idea of setting up a law firm that would manage the personal injury claims that came out of insurance companies and brokers.

"The man on the train is now one of my three business partners. I resigned from my old job three months later and have never looked back. The hardest bit was going home and telling my husband that I'd been chatting on a train and was now thinking of giving up my partnership with the secondlargest law firm in the world to set up on my own."

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* Helen Molyneux
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 16, 2011
Words:316
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