Alex Nieora is an experienced paralegal and residential estate manager. He is an alumnus of the University of Warwick where he graduated with a degree in Law.
Alex Nieora has 12 years legal support experience across corporate private practice. He has also worked in high profile regulatory investigations for financial and competition regulators, and with central government, helping to make legislation. Alex has worked in diverse fields of law ranging from competition and anti-trust, land taxation, interbank lending, anti-corruption, financial regulatory disclosure, environmental regulation, corporate liability litigation and land transactions.
Alex, who has lived in France, speaks fluent French and has professionally reviewed documentary litigious evidence in French as well as checking regulatory documentary compliance in relation to land transactions in Francophone jurisdictions.
In 2011 Alex Nieora managed the UK Census operation for the northern half of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Alex took on this role in honour of his late mum who ten years previously worked for the previous census shortly before being diagnosed with fatal cancer.
Alex Nieora also has 10 years localised experience as a residential estate manager, managing a 230-unit site in West London. In this capacity, he instructs, tenders, supervises, and reviews contractors, negotiates and drafts maintenance contracts, undertakes Landlord and Tenant Act consultations, assists with property transactions, budgets service charge expenditure, and attends to lessee queries. Alex Nieora is also actively involved in local campaign, volunteer, and charity work.
In 2012-2013 Alex Nieora led a successful campaign culminating with HS2 plans for the London Borough of Ealing to be amended. As a result of the campaign the whole planned 9km section of originally above-ground high-speed track through the Borough was put bore tunnel. This prevented land take to homes, schools and open land, bridge replacements, as well as the partial closure of the Hanger Lane gyratory in North West London for 3.5 years.
Alex is currently the legal secretary for a local community managed library project, for which he helped to arrange charitable status.
In 2013 Alex Nieora co-founded a local festivals committee which arranges local annual community festival events including fireworks displays, summer and Christmas fairs, street parades, live music and dance performances and other activities for the community, with each event attracting thousands of people.
Alex has also volunteered as trustee of a local nature reserve and as secretary for a local social club. He is well known to his local community, particularly for picking up litter.
In his spare time Alex enjoys producing artwork, reading, and travelling.
In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit, or behavioral changes have had the biggest positive impact on your life?
In a nutshell, learning new skills. I am always trying to improve my skillset. I have expanded my skills in the area of project management although I have been, de facto, a project manager through my residential estate management work for years. That is one big ongoing project that I am constantly managing. More recently my legal work has given me exposure to new project management considerations, terminology, and concepts such as RAG ratings and change control. I am now undertaking a PRINCE2 PM course. I am also learning a lot more about financial investing to let my savings work for me and to give me greater financial independence.
I have also improved my time management, which truth be told, has always been a challenge for me. I have been specifically focused on improving time estimation for travel and task completion.
When you feel unfocused, what do you do?
Diagnostically, it’s stress and depression which can lead me to become unfocused, or rather to focus on the wrong things. I feel a moral duty to do right thing and to make a difference, but I have to be careful not to internalise and shoulder the news cycle and the world’s problems too much. For me, focusing actually means letting go to a certain extent and forgetting all of these externalities, which I know have little control over. And recognising that in order to help others we have to be first strong in ourselves.
I have spent some time decluttering my home recently (it’s a psychological hurdle to throw away books even when almost everything can be found online) and make my working environment more spacious and clearer. It’s a lot easier to focus and work in an environment that is not cluttered.
I am also somewhat of a perfectionist, so I am sometimes in danger of over-focusing and failing to see the wood from the trees. I have to take a step back sometimes just to refocus and ask: why am I spending so much time on administrative minutiae when there are far bigger fish to fry?
Spending more time in nature also helps me to focus. I am fortunate enough to have access to woodland and open fields near to where I live. And change in scenery, going to visit a friend and taking a time out, before returning to work can really help as well.
What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent university graduate? What advice should they ignore?
The first hurdle is figuring out what you want to do. Only you can decide that. Have the confidence to be honest with yourself. If you find yourself lacking in confidence, ask yourself: “if I was a confident person what would I want to do for work?”
Once you know where you are heading, that’s half the battle over. The next most important thing is to plan ahead so you know where you are going. Maybe you want to start your own business and that is great if you have that confidence and motivation! Most people prefer to be employees. You should research and understand what the entry and progression requirements are for that professional career that you are headed towards. You need to know if you need additional qualifications, what the application requirements are, and what your potential employers are looking. Because it can be fairly difficult getting your initial foot in the door in the employment market and you will have plenty of competition. Many employers want to employ someone with experience, but you cannot get experience unless someone employs you. I appreciate this is a catch-22 situation, but this is why you need to put in the initial effort and try to stand out from the crowd.
Once you’ve built up experience, then you become more employable but think of career progression as starting in first gear. When you ignite the engine more initial power time and investment is required. Then you shift up gears. It is also important to build up your reputation and contacts because many jobs are acquired through networking. Do your homework and try to be at the right place at the right time.
Regarding advice to ignore, I would say don’t judge yourself against other people. Everybody is an individual and moves forward at their own pace and direction. Set your own goals. It is incredibly important to set goals and then work hard to realise them incrementally, but make them your own goals not someone else’s.
What is one lifestyle trend that excites you?
Healthy eating. We are, essentially, what we eat. I have always tried to eat well, but I have made several improvements to my diet in recent years that have made me feel better. Notably I have reduced my gluten and sugar intake and cut out energy drinks. Instead, I now drink multivitamin drinks. That has made a huge difference. I also eat a diet high in testosterone producing foods and Omega 3, sourced from freshwater fish like salmon and mackerel, but also things like nuts, eggs, and cod liver oil. Omega 3 helps to improve brain processing and concentration, while reducing susceptibility to depression and lowering blood pressure. I don’t eat meat, aside from chicken (which has anti-inflammatory properties). I eat plenty of antioxidant rich vegetables and drink plenty of water. We all enjoy different foods, however, and you shouldn’t cut out everything that you enjoy. I enjoy wine, cheese, and chocolate.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
My mum was the biggest influence in my life. She died when I was 17 years old from a rare form of cancer of the adrenal glands. It’s hard to talk about but her death had a huge impact on my life. It has shaped my life in many ways that at the time I could not foresee. My mum brought me up as my primary caregiver until her death.
My father has also had a huge impact on my professional life. Certainly, both of my parents have influenced my values and how I look at things, but this is a difficult topic of discussion for me.
What’s one of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned?
It is very important to build and maintain a good rapport and good relationships with people in your personal and professional life. I grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome in childhood and through my teenage years so interpersonal relationships used to be a challenge for me. I still make mistakes.
What do you think it is that makes you/someone successful?
The most successful people who I know are people who have a lot of self-confidence, drive, and energy. They have known for a very long time, from childhood or from a young age, what they wanted to achieve in life and where they wanted to go, so they have spent a long time planning for that. The most important starting point is to be self-motivated with a positive, optimistic outlook. To know what you want to achieve in life. With that state of mind, you can overcome all kinds of obstacles.