Carly Thorpe, Associate, Construction
Explain your background and education?
After growing up in Huddersfield and studying Law with Spanish at the University of Sheffield, I moved to Birmingham to do my LPC and complete my training contract, at what is now Gowling WLG. I qualified into the Gowling construction team in September 2013 and in 2015 I returned to Yorkshire, joining Walker Morris.
Why did you decide to qualify into Construction?
There is a common misconception that Construction law is a narrow niche field. This couldn’t be further from the case. Construction law suits me because of its variety, you can be working on anything from a defective sports pitch to a faulty anaerobic digestion plant, to a development of hundreds of houses. The work has tangible results – from new developments being completed, to something that wasn’t functioning properly being resolved and fixed. There is nothing better than walking past a development which you worked on, and knowing that you contributed to its success (albeit in a very small way). The work encompasses both non contentious and contentious elements, so it allows you to develop a diverse skill set and give the client a seamless service. Construction law is fast paced, especially when dealing with the construction specific dispute resolution procedure known as adjudication, where a full defence must be prepared within 7 days (!), which is exciting. Working on such tight timescales means you quickly develop close bonds with clients. Plus there are frequent opportunities for site visits – including the chance to don a hard hat!
Why did you decide to join Walker Morris?
Walker Morris is distinctive to other firms because its single site structure means that the whole firm operates together in a ‘single team’ approach. This was particularly important to me because it meant that I had instant exposure to, and the opportunity to learn from, the entire firm, rather than simply being in a regional outpost. Walker Morris’ construction team has an enviable reputation as a leading team on both the national and local front. The team is one of the largest outside of London and is still growing. I wanted to join the team and learn from the best. Also the team is unique in that all of its lawyers are encouraged to carry out contentious and non contentious work which, as well as allowing me to broaden my skill set, gives me the opportunity to stick with a project from cradle to grave, from drafting the initial construction documents, to dealing with any disputes, practical completion and any subsequent sales. Joining Walker Morris was a bit like joining a family because most of the staff have worked here for such a long time.
What are your interests outside of work?
I’m a big fan of Crazy Golf, live music, eating, baking and swimming (to minimise the effects of all the eating and baking!).