• Anya Smirnova

  • Life, Health & Career coach for women in law around childbirth

  • Former senior associate in a global law firm

  • Mum of two

  • One of 12 speakers at the Governmental round-table 2018 on improving UK's postnatal care (recommendations included in the NHS Long-Term Plan 2019)

  • FUN FACT: Author & voice of the Rum Production audio guide for the Isautier Rums on the Reunion Island (passion project while heavily pregnant, no degustation was involved)

Before coaching, I had practised for 13 years as a solicitor with a top-10 law firm. After my first son was born, I negotiated part-time working while maintaining career ambitions and was promoted within 12 months.


have first-hand experience of the challenges women in law face when returning to work after mat leave. Top three are (1) pressures on balancing work and family - self-inflicted, or coming from family, friends, colleagues, society; (2) career growth; (3) health & wellbeing (you, your interests, exercise). 

After my first son was born, I went to do coaching training as a self-help strategy to process what had happened in my life and hired one of the tutors as my coach. It was powerful beyond expectations. I started to coach in parallel to law.

A second turning point was after my second birth in France (Reunion Island, where the famous audio guide was produced). I was fortunate to encounter doctors and experts (both in the UK and in France) who opened my eyes on the gap between 'natural recovery' and actively helping your body and mind to recover after childbirth.

I was then thrilled to discover training on Executive Coaching & Health, which by that time had become my niche expertise.

Still in love with law, I became passionate about supporting other women thrive not just survive after birth. I devoted myself to coaching, focusing on women in law.

In addition to my private practice, I am extensively involved in improving postnatal care in the UK. In May 2018, I was one of 12 speakers at the Governmental round-table discussions in Westminster on the benefits of providing pelvic floor physiotherapy to all women after childbirth as standard; this recommendation was included in the NHS Long-Term Plan (January 2019). I am working on a pilot project for the NHS England, support the MASIC Foundation and PelvicRoar campaign, and am an ambassador for a perinatal mental health initiative Make Birth Better CIC.

I speak English, Russian and French.


  • Qualified as a lawyer in Russia, 2005

  • Qualified as a solicitor in England & Wales, 2011

  • Trained as a coach with the Co-Active Training Institute (formerly The Coaches Training Institute), 2015

  • Executive Coaching & Health training with the FRC and the Academy of Executive Coaching (AoEC), 2020

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