Tell us a little about the company and your role?
Appleby is full service law firm providing expert advice across a broad range of corporate, dispute resolution, property and private client practice areas. We have a large global footprint covering 10 jurisdictions.
I am managing partner and head of the Corporate team in Jersey, and also have management responsibility for Appleby’s Guernsey office. My focus is on shaping the future of the business, including strengthening and growing both the Jersey and Guernsey teams, while ensuring that clients continue to receive the high level of service they expect.
What does an average day involve for you?
I’m not really a morning person so I often won’t be in the office until 9:00am. Once in, I usually spend a bit of time talking to the team to understand what they are focusing on, then the rest of my day is filled with a mix of client and internal meetings often with colleagues in our other offices. Often, I will also have a client lunch or event after work in my diary too.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
There are definitely two parts that I enjoy most. The first is training and mentoring our newly qualified or less experienced lawyers in the early stages of their careers. It’s really important that they get exposure to a variety of matters so that they can gain the experience they need to further their careers. It’s brilliant to see how quickly they develop into great lawyers.
I also really enjoy meeting with clients. I’m naturally quite chatty and sociable so being able to get out and spend time with clients fits really well with my personality.
What do you least enjoy about your role?
I’m not a fan of the admin and necessary bureaucratic parts that go with increased compliance and regulation. Regardless of industry it’s something we all face more and more of.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
In the early part of my career I worked mainly with sports clubs and sports governing bodies on a wide variety of sports related matters including sponsorship and broadcasting. This meant that I had to attend lots of sporting events and concerts. It’s fair to say that for a young lawyer this was really fun.
One of the most unusual things I’ve worked on involved preparing contracts for a national museum who were launching a dinosaur exhibition complete with a robotic woolly mammoth. It was definitely a memorable transaction.
More recently I have led on the majority of banking restructures as a result of ring-fencing across the Crown Dependencies. As a result we estimate that we have transferred more than GBP 42 billion of deposits in the past five years. It’s great working closely with clients on such strategic reorganisations.
What else do you hope to achieve in the future?
I’m at a different stage of my career now and am concentrating on shaping the future of the business, including strengthening and growing both the Jersey and Guernsey teams, succession planning and mentoring.
I’d also like to see an increasingly diverse and flexible workforce across the legal profession and I’d like to continue to contribute to effecting this change.
What do you attribute your career success to?
The people around me. Having the right training and mentoring particularly in the early stages of my career and acquiring good habits in terms of client care and good management was vital.
Right now it’s about having the right team of lawyers and business support that can support and challenge me at the same time.
How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
Hopefully fun and supportive, although at times I can imagine a bit scary might be in there too! I have a quirky sense of humour and I hope that even when things aren’t going brilliantly I can bring a little of that to each situation, which I think most appreciate.
What advice would you give someone hoping to follow your career path?
Quite often my advice is don’t do a law degree. I often recommend that people do their degree in something they really love and then convert to law. It allows you to bring different skills and perspective to a team.
How do you manage to get a good work/life balance?
I have recently changed my working pattern to four days a week. It’s so re-energizing and gives my team plenty of development opportunities. There is no getting away from the fact that law is a very demanding career but we are keen to support flexible working to fit with the different stages of people’s lives.
If you could have had an alternative career, what would it have been?
I loved economics at A level and so if I had an alternative career, I would have liked to be an economist – predicting the economic future would be fun.
Do you have an interesting fact about yourself people might not be aware of?
Not really, I’m pretty much an open book! But I do love Zumba and watching the Ospreys play rugby – not at the same time obviously!