It’s been quite a circuitous route so this could take a while! I was born and went to school in Bradford before leaving for Loughborough University where I studied Sport Science and Geography. Deciding I was more interested in the Geography side of things I went on to do a Masters in Environmental Management at the University of Nottingham. From there I got a job working at the Environment Agency investigating breaches of environmental law. My job involved everything from carrying out surveillance, undertaking dawn raids, taking statements from witnesses and interviewing suspects under caution. I grew fairly disheartened when my cases got to court and the results weren’t what they should have been so I decided that I would qualify as a solicitor so that I could be the one presenting the evidence in court and hopefully secure better outcomes!
I did my GDL and LPC part-time at Nottingham Law School whilst continuing to work at the Environment Agency and finally, four years later, became a trainee at DLA Piper in Manchester. After 5 years on the dark side of the Pennines, I decided to return to Yorkshire and Walker Morris seemed to be the perfect fit. I’ve now been here for 6 years and haven’t looked back.
With my background I was always keen to qualify into regulatory law and after completing a seat in the team as a trainee, I knew that was where I wanted to work. The exciting thing about regulatory law is that it is such a broad church that you never know what you are going to be working on next. In the space of a couple of weeks as a trainee we had new cases come in involving the illegal sale of Viagra, international arms dealing and a Director accused of corporate manslaughter. I am therefore always learning new areas of law and I don’t ever see that changing.
The regulatory team covers contentious and non-contentious work. I enjoy that mix and it is something that you don’t find in many practice areas. My first love has always been environmental law and I enjoy getting to know our clients and their business so that we can help prevent their environmental issues becoming major problems. On the contentious side, a call to us is usually one that nobody wants to make as it often means something has gone badly wrong. However, it is incredibly satisfying to know that you can come in at a low point for the business and help in making the ordeal far less difficult. I’ve recently become more involved in a number of health and safety cases and we’ve secured some excellent outcomes in what are very difficult circumstances.
Having worked at a global law firm for a number of years, the single site approach at Walker Morris really appealed to me. I wanted to be located with the rest of my team so that I could benefit from the wealth of their experience. The Regulatory team is large and very well respected with regional, national and international clients. The team here has a very wide ranging practice and so I knew that there would be lots of opportunities for me to develop my own knowledge and expertise. The Regulatory team are also a very friendly and supportive bunch with a down-to-earth approach which makes them very easy to work with. Walker Morris also embraces the work life balance which has been very important to me as my family has grown. I feel supported whilst working part-time and my career has continued to develop despite the challenges of being a working mum of three.
I spend most of my free time being a taxi service for my young boys but when I do get a minute or two to myself I enjoy running, netball, squash and mountain biking. I’m looking forward to being able to get a few more holidays abroad this year after the last couple of years of staying in the UK.