Question 1: Where did you study law and why did you want to become a lawyer?
I completed my law degree at Newcastle University, then undertook the Legal Practice Course ('LPC') at BPP in Leeds.
Before I embarked on the LPC, I had some time out and was actually really uncertain as to whether to take the plunge and enter the legal profession. The LPC convinced me that I had the skills to be able to provide a valuable service to clients, and also piqued my interest in Private Client work. I'm pleased that I stuck with it!
Question 2: Why did you want to specialise in Private Client?
When exposed to Private Client work during my training contract, I realised quickly that this is an area of law which is very intellectually stimulating – with scope for further specialist training and development if you want it – but that it's not enough to rely on technical skill alone. There's a constant need to complement those skills with equally strong interpersonal ones and this was something which really interested me.
Every client's circumstances are slightly different, they're motivated by various drivers, and you must take the time to listen and understand these before you get to work on planning and drafting. Then comes the technical challenge of completing the legal work to meet their requirements, always ensuring they're kept fully abreast of the process by providing clear and comprehensive advice. I enjoy employing my analytical skills and working hard to provide a tailored, understanding service to clients, in the hope that I do deliver a service of real value for them.
Question 3: What has been your greatest achievement at Swinburne Maddison?
It's a bit of a catch-all, I appreciate, but I have to say that I'm most proud of the time and energy I spent developing my skills and qualifications during the early part of my career. This means I'm now fully-equipped to manage a complex and varied caseload and provide a high-quality, specialist service to all my clients.
I've been so lucky to have the firm support me through the STEP (Society for Trust and Estate Practitioners) qualification and to continue supporting and encouraging me as I begin my new role as Managing Associate.
However, the quietest sense of pride I nurture is probably felt when clients actually feed back that they're pleased with my work and that it has made a real difference to them. The comments I received this year in The Legal 500 gave me a real sense of achievement for that reason.