My story is one of tenacity and perseverance, and I am here to say that no matter how hopeless things may seem, there is always a way through.
“Oh my, a fruck!”
From my very first full sentence, I have always had a gift for expressing myself through speech.
I was born in the US, and grew up in the Yorkshire Dales. As a child, team sports were my outlet, violin my self-expression, food my escapism. I was smart. Too smart for some. Although I couldn’t see that in myself. When we moved to the US it was unsettling, uncomfortable and – from the perspective of a disgruntled 12 year old – unnecessary.
The aforementioned tenacity and perseverance that have been so critical to my evolution as a person, helped me to navigate high school and university at just 13. I graduated high school early and was sent back to boarding school in the UK where I experienced reverse culture shock and was told I was not smart enough to do the things I had wanted.
Unlearning that took decades, and faith larger than a mustard seed. I completed an undergraduate Philosophy and Politics degree and after a year out working for a church, I started on the path to becoming a lawyer. By 2011, I had been called to the Bar. My journey has never been straightforward, and immigration restrictions meant I was unable to pursue a career at the Bar.
Another day, another curveball to hit out of the park.
With confidence at an all-time low, I switched gears and trained at a magic circle law firm. I left to work at the London office of a US law firm. From 2017 until now, life has felt like one big crisis. After a series of personal and professional challenges, I discovered an aptitude for helping people turn situations around.
Ever the overachiever, in the pandemic, I changed jobs, wrote a memoir and delivered the sale of my FinTech employer to a US-listed unicorn. Completely burnt out, I was drawn out of the Big Smoke to the seaside. The Isle of Thanet (specifically Broadstairs, Kent) won my heart. So embracing my entrepreneurial risk appetite, I moved myself, my eccentric little pooch, Saphy, my legal advice and my pen down to the beach.
I haven’t looked back.
And so here in this quintessential seaside town has begun my next chapter of Leah Talks. It has also birthed Broadstairs Consulting, a crisis management and mediation boutique I founded on the belief that with the right support and guidance, all organisations can thrive and flourish.
When not chained to a desk, I enjoy quartet rehearsals, playing netball, theatre and (if Love Island’s not on), a juicy crime drama. My tipple of choice is a glass of champagne, never prosecco. I’m as likely to be donning sports kit as in glad rags, although I’m very partial to black tie.
You can book me as a speaker, a writer, an adviser, or chat about other opportunities to work together.
Can’t wait to hear from you!
I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Delegate of the British-American Project, and a 2023 Delegate CSW UN Women UK.
I recently joined Unseen UK’s Board and am a founding trustee of Big Green Heart. I advise ARC’s Race Equality Commission, GlobalMindED, and Culture Capital Group. I previously sat on the Board of UN NGO Youth Charter.
I am a member of the Society of Authors, UK Black Comms Network, Royal Television Society, The Conduit Club, The Trouble Club, Disruptive General Counsel Network, Black Women in Asset Management, Society of Caribbean Studies, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Society of Mediators, Lawyers Christian Fellowship, and We Are Black Journos.
On behalf of Broadstairs Consulting Ltd, I run and host The Longest Day, a crisis podcast about the black of dawn and the promise of a new day.
I am a freelance writer for Brightside Publishing’s Broadstairs Beacon, Isle of Thanet News, Media Diversity Institute, Rebel Hearts Rebel Girls (truth magazine), Law.com International.
My narrative non-fiction/memoir genre crossover, entitled My Nearest Relative is Grief, is on submission.