What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a partner and head of Family at Simpson Millar LLP in our Wimbledon office. On a day-to-day basis I manage a caseload of Divorce and Financial Remedies cases, I supervise two trainees who carry out Private Children, Care and Divorce work, and also supervise an Assistant Solicitor who has a caseload of Care and complex Private Children.
On top of this, I am involved in Business Development, Marketing and Compliance for Simpson Millar.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I started at Simpson Millar in March 2013. I joined because there was a great opportunity to set up a family team in the south of England, where Simpson Millar did not have a presence. I was on my own for just under a year, and now I have a team of five and we are about to recruit again. I was made a partner in July 2014.
What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?
Family clients are always going through very stressful times and require a lot of emotional support as well as legal advice. We recently acted for a lady in her seventies: she was so lovely that we always enjoyed speaking to her; we even sent her some flowers for her birthday, as we knew she'd be alone.
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
The best part of the day is the morning: I come in knowing what I need to achieve, what court directions I need to comply with and whose cases I need to work on. The worst part of the day is that nothing ever goes as planned - one call or email throws it all out the window. You then repeat the same plan the next day until you get it done!
The clients. It's their lives that you are trying to sort out.
Tea or coffee?
Always, always tea: strong, with a dash of milk.
What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?
Be sure that this is what you want to do. Make sure you do proper work experience shadowing a solicitor. It's so competitive that unless you're committed you simply won't succeed. Law firms are going through a massive period of change - who knows what the legal landscape will look like in five or ten years.
What song do you listen to the most?
Having seen Sam Smith in the summer, I have had his album 'In the Lonely Hour' on repeat.
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
Classes at the gym, theatre, musicals, karaoke, watching F1 - and the odd gin and tonic!
If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?
I would speed it up. Ultimately there are always going to be cases that need to go to court: ADR can't fix everyone, and it's particularly hard in family cases where there is an emotional investment. If the system was quicker, we'd all be happier. As part of this feature we are asking a wide range of people who have links to the court system and family law to respond to the above questions and give us some information about what their role entails. We hope to get a wide cross section of people - to this end, if you would like to contribute please firstname.lastname@example.org