Rebecca Calland, Senior Associate, Banking Litigation
Having completed my training at a leading East Yorkshire firm, I left the region to work in Manchester upon qualification in 2009. I enjoyed working on the other side of the Pennines (minus the rain) however, I was soon keen to develop my career closer to home and signed up with a legal recruiter. I was fortunate to be offered positions as an assistant solicitor at three firms in Leeds (one being global) but the decision as to which firm to go for was easy.
During my initial interview, I was put completely at ease by the fact that my skills, personality and experience were clearly a perfect match for Walker Morris. I joined the Real Estate & Banking Litigation team in May 2011 and I have not looked back since, having been made an associate solicitor in May 2013. Despite my daily commute from a different part of Yorkshire, I really enjoy working in Leeds and taking in everything it has to offer – including Harvey Nichols!
I think the key to Walker Morris’ success is its people. The calibre of lawyers at the firm is second to none and there is a real focus on talent engagement and development. The support offered to me by Walker Morris is exceptional, both in terms of my career path and my day-to day work. I was asked to put myself forward to speak at a Council of Mortgage Lenders conference taking place at the Supreme Court. It was a daunting prospect to present to senior industry figures at such a grand location however, it was a fantastic experience and perhaps one which I would not have taken without the guidance and encouragement of my supervising partner.
Being client-focused together with providing a high-quality service is central to Walker Morris’ core values. A career highlight therefore was being named as an “Associate to Watch” in the Chambers and Partners Guide 2015. The accolade, which was based on client and external feedback, recognised my achievements in serving client needs in a “down-to-earth, knowledgeable and well organised” manner – terms which I was delighted to be described in.
I have built up solid working relationships with my clients and take the opportunity to meet with them face to face as often as possible, either in a social or professional environment. In the past two months I have visited clients in Chester, Cheltenham and Plymouth – our location does not prevent us travelling around the country. I think it is important that my relationships with clients are not restricted or controlled by my seniors and I appreciate the freedom which Walker Morris offers in this regard – something which is perhaps missing in City firms.
And it is not just work work work. Walker Morris has CSR and charity committees who do a sterling job. There are lots of social events to get involved with – but there is no pressure placed on those with other commitments and a work-life balance can definitely be had.