Question 1: Where did you study law and why did you want to become a lawyer?
I was lucky in that my school sixth form offered A’ level law, which I selected (along with English Literature and History) aged 16 as it was something a little bit different to the subjects I’d been used to. It turned out that as well as enjoying the class, I was actually pretty good at it too, so it seemed the natural progression to go off to university to study a law degree. As they say, the rest is history (and I was certainly better at the law than the history!).
Having been born and bred in Durham, I moved away from the North East and completed my undergraduate Law degree in Sheffield. I then migrated closer to home for the Legal Practice Course which I obtained from Northumbria University and set down my roots in the North East.
Question 2: Why did you want to specialise in Commercial Property Law?
When I landed my first legal job (dealing with industrial disease claims!), I really hadn’t made my mind up as to which area of law I wanted to specialise in. As I progressed through my training contract, it became clear that I enjoyed the more transactional-based matters and my skill set was not best suited to advocacy and contentious matters.
I bought my first home whilst undergoing my training and became more than a little obsessed with watching property programmes at that time. Having qualified in 2005 I then landed my first qualified role in Residential Conveyancing and the following year switched to Commercial Property and I have not looked back since.
Question 3: What has been your greatest achievement at Swinburne Maddison?
I consider there have been a number of great achievements whilst at Swinburne Maddison, the most recent of which was scoring 96% on a licensing Law exam!
I would say that being described in The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2016 edition as a lawyer who is “extremely thorough and has a total grasp of the details” is my greatest personal achievement. As someone who takes great pride in my work and the advice that I give to clients, it meant a lot to me that a client took the time to provide such lovely comments about me and my work.
In terms of team achievement, winning the Property Team of the Year at the Northern Law Awards 2016 has to be the highlight. It was a fantastic achievement for the team and very well deserved.