2021 Influential Businesswoman Awards

18 Acquisition International - Influential Businesswoman Awards 2021 Jul21327 Most Influential Legal Consulting Director 2021 (UK): Aklima Bibi Having come from humble beginnings, Aklima Bibi fought to pursue her education in order to empower herself and others. Today, as the head of a successful law consultancy, Aklima speaks candidly to us in the wake of being awarded a prestigious Influential Businesswoman Award. Aklima Bibi is a highly experienced and successful business and legal professional, with a clear, logical mind, a proactive approach to problem-solving, and a drive to see things through to completion. She is someone who has a demonstrable passion for promoting and supporting human rights and global justice. However, Aklima has faced a long and hard journey to get to where she is today. Born in a remote village in the Sylhet district of Bangladesh in 1972, Aklima belongs to one of the village’s main tribes which meant that, at a young age, she has already witnessed several tribal wars fought by her own tribesmen, with spears they’d fashioned themselves. Despite it being a basic life, without electricity or running water, and with the houses being made from traditional mud, Aklima tells us that there was life. “People loved, cared, and shared with each other.” But, along with her mother and siblings, Aklima had to leave Bangladesh in order to join her father,who had immigrated to the United Kingdom in the 1960s at the age of 19. Following a long visa process struggle, the family arrived in 1981, finally managing to obtain entry. Soon after, Aklima became a UK citizen and as a result had also become a target for visa prospects for her male relatives in Bangladesh. She was engaged at the age of nine, to her first cousin, then taken back to Bangladesh and forced into marriage, while still a teenager. She was drugged and raped on her wedding night and repeatedly raped until she became pregnant. Something that she said will haunt her for the rest of her life. Full details of her ordeal is revealed in her book called Londoni Bride - modern day slavery in Britain in the name of honour & izzat, waiting to be published. She was subject to abuse, sexual, domestic and mental for many years. Even survived attempted contract killing along with her two daughters, who were just five years and six years old at the time. “I fought and proved myself to be a warrior against a culture where a girl or a woman would be killed for being too independent or being too ambitious,” she states. “A culture where women or girls have no voice.” Whereas many a woman would have crumbled, Aklima took her negative experiences and turned them into a positive. Determined A to not only survive, but also to succeed, in rising above her obstacles and fighting, not only as a woman but also as a human being, Aklima knew the only way to achieve this was through education. “Despite being forbidden to educate myself, I did not give up. I knew just how important education is. I had come too far – from a remote village in Bangladesh – to give up my hopes for a better life.” Aklima was inspired to study law and launch her own business. Now, as a multifaceted career woman with more than 36 years of professional experience in law and international business, she regularly draws on her knowledge to benefit a wide range of clients. “Applying my passion for human rights law, I diligently bring many years of professional experience, along with rising above my own battles, which have brought me face to face with key women’s and current societal issues.” Aklima realised that many people were struggling to afford access to legal services, due to the legal aid cuts. Furthermore, the global pandemic has had a detrimental impact on many businesses. She set up Aklima Bibi – Law & Consultancy Services Ltd in order to provide quality affordable professional services. The firm is an entrepreneurial business and paralegal law firm, providing a range of professional services to a wide range of clients. Under Aklima’s expert management as a Legal Consulting Director, the company specialises in combined accessible and affordable business and legal services for individuals as well as for organisations under one roof. “We are dedicated to giving our clients the finest service for the most reasonable price that we can,” she explains, speaking of the firm’s USPs. “We are easily accessible, approachable, and affordable, and we believe our clients’ care to be paramount. We already have many loyal and diverse clients from across the UK and abroad. This success is a result of the great service which we give our clients, no matter how small or how big, whether they are an individual or an organisation.” As a humanitarian and philanthropist, Aklima helps to support women and girls in the UK as well as abroad, with personal charity work including empowering women and girls around the world, supporting