I qualified in 2002 with a History & Politics degree from Lancaster University and then went on to do a Law Conversion course at Leeds Metropolitan University.
I have 15 years’ of commercial property experience and during this time I have developed a network of loyal clients over the years and cultivated strong links with many businesses; both local and nationwide. I deal with a variety of commercial property matters including acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant issues and development work for both commercial and residential developers. I have built up a reputation for being approachable and plain talking and offering sensible, practical advice at affordable prices.
My career in law was more by luck than design. I originally got a paralegal job following university reconstituting 2,500 title deeds for Bradford and Bingley Building Society and from there went to Blacks Solicitors where I became partner.
I joined Legal Studio in 2016, following the death of my old boss. I realised I needed a change and Legal Studio has allowed this change to happen. I was always good at the client work and never really enjoyed all the practice management, training and marketing stuff that came with the responsibilities of partner. Working under the Legal Studio umbrella allows me to do the work that I enjoy and someone else takes care of the other parts of the practice.
I currently work part-time in house for a client and then with Legal Studio, developing my private work flexibly alongside. I have dealt with a broad range of cases and seem to attract the slightly left of field cases that nobody else wants; from beach huts in Bridlington to football stadiums in Hull, I have been fortunate to buy and sell most types of properties.
I have a young family with two daughters still at school so weekends are taken up with the family (including the dog). When I can I like to hack my way around a golf course and I try and watch as much sport as possible; cricket and rugby being the preferred choices but I'm not fussy and will watch most sporting events!
Mobile: 07764 436628
The thing about modern working is that no one is sure where the boundaries are anymore. There are generational differences within most workplaces meaning we grew up with different expectations of what ‘work’, and a workplace, actually looks like.
More and more businesses are offering agile working as an option. This means that employees can work from home, the coffee shop, or mum’s house, to complete their tasks. This shows a level of trust between the employer and employee along with the expectation that this will secure a more loyal and productive worker.
The question is, in whose interests does this work? From the employee’s perspective, there’s no longer a need to join the daily commute; technology allows for instant access to any files/information they may need; and, with clear work expectations laid out, they can achieve what they need to, when they need to. From the employer’s perspective, there is less need for day to day management and if deadlines are met, this creates an easy symbiotic way of life.
However, while agile working is becoming a more excepted alternative for some it asks more questions than it answers. Some people enjoy being in the office with clear expectations of coming to work, doing the job asked of them and then, hopefully, switching off from work once they leave. Granted, some may work long hours in the office, and may take work home, but, overall, work is at work and life is at home. With agile working, there is element of the unknown as people work differently and, by not being ‘supervised’, how do we know if one person is completing their task within hours while for others it takes days? As an employee, it can become unnerving having to justify, or thinking you need to justify, inputs and outputs.
There is another option. Consultancy. Again, this isn’t without risks. For many, the thought of leaving secure employment with the monthly salary, holiday and other benefits, and a business infrastructure, can cause shivers. For those contemplating this change there are other factors to consider such as, where you are in your lifecycle i.e. buying a house, starting a family, etc., but, more importantly, it depends where you are in your career. To succeed as a consultant, it’s useful to have a client following, though, not essential if you can go out and win new clients. If you’re not comfortable going out and making your name known, then choose the type of consultancy firm which provides business development support.
The clear difference between agile working and consultancy is that the line isn’t blurred. The work that you do as a consultant is for you. You are no longer accountable to a greater entity, only to yourself. This prospect can appear daunting but working for an organisation like Legal Studio, Setfords or Gunnercooke can give you access to market along with a business infrastructure to begin working with clients immediately but doing it on your terms. Every consultancy firm has different agreements with their consultants and it is all about what works best for you. The things to consider are: is there a joining fee? Are there targets? What is your percentage split? What support do you receive? The area of law you specialise in and what level you are at, will provide different answers to those questions but, again, it is about what works for you.
Ultimately, everyone needs to learn what type of worker they are? Are you someone who works best in an office with secure employment rights; or, do you work best out of the office with clear expectations; or, are you the type of person who wants to choose how and when you work without boundaries? Once you can answer that question it makes choosing the next step in your career that much easier.