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University: University of Lancaster
Year of qualification: 2004
Department: Real estate
What attracted you to a career in law?
Reading Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice at secondary school. I was completely in awe of the way Portia saved Antonio's life by interpreting the contract between Antonio and Shylock as cunningly as she did. The contract allowed Shylock to take precisely one pound of flesh and ensure that Antonio did not shed a drop of blood. Genius! After that, I did a wealth of legal work experience which confirmed my choice of career.
Why solicitor not barrister?
It was a tough call. Ultimately I decided that I enjoyed the continuity of client relationships that you build up as a solicitor.
How did you decide which firms to apply to?
I knew that I wanted to work in Manchester and having done a wide range of work experience placements of different types, I decided that a corporate law firm was for me.
How much work experience did you do? Why is it so important?
A lot, ranging from observing cases in my local magistrate’s court to working over my summer breaks at university in a local general practice to mini-pupillages and placements at larger regional firms. It is fundamentally important to get as much exposure as possible so that you can decide what type of law suits you best. It also gives you the confidence you need to deal with interviews and application forms successfully.
What do you think made your application successful?
Being in tune with the law firm that I applied to. Having researched the firm extensively, I felt that it would be the right fit for me.
Which departments did you train in?
I trained at AG (or Addleshaw Booth & Co as it was then) and did four seats in insurance litigation, business, support and restructuring, real estate and construction.
Please discuss a specific deal/case that you were involved with, outlining your role in the matter.
In my real estate seat, I was involved in selling a large section of Trafford Park. It was a massively complicated transaction and while I was principally helping out with organisation and administration, it made me realise that real estate was where I wanted to qualify.
What do you wish you’d known about being a trainee before you started that you now do?
Be prepared and open to do absolutely anything and everything – it is all invaluable experience.
Please outline your area of expertise. What might you do in a typical day?
I am a partner in the real estate division. My main client is a large pension fund. A typical day will involve a mix of fee earning, supervising and coordinating incoming work.
Please discuss a current/recent specific deal/case, outlining your role in the matter.
My team and I recently acted on the acquisition of one of Manchester's most iconic office buildings. It ranks as one of the standout local deals of the year. As a building on a developing estate, we had to act intelligently and commercially to ensure that the property could be transacted in the future as a stand-alone asset.
What do you most/least enjoy about your career and why?
I most enjoy working with my marvellous team and my clients, and pulling out all of the stops to get the job done. The least enjoyable aspect is the behind the scenes administration, but that is just part of the job.
How involved are you with business development (BD)?
As a partner, I am actively involved with BD and promoting the firm, attending networking events and cross-selling internally.
What makes your firm stand out from the rest?
Its people, its clients, its ingenuity, its culture. Need I say any more?!
What advice do you have for budding solicitors who are contemplating a career in law?
Get as much real-life legal experience as you can. You have to be totally committed to a career in law so make sure that it is definitely for you before you embark upon it.
What’re you reading at the moment?
Five Go On A Strategy Away Day – one from the series of the Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups books. It's scarily close to the truth. The publishers clearly have someone on the inside!
Go to Addleshaw Goddard's website