Partner – Employment Pensions & Benefits
I’m a lawyer and I specialise in advising on employment issues. I’m a partner at Freshfields Broadcast which is a large international law firm. My job involves working for clients, advising them on employment issues.
I enjoyed school; mostly I enjoyed sport so I was in the school teams. I had a favourite subject which was geography and I wanted to travel. When I left school I had a gap year and I worked abroad in France and in Sweden for various families doing au pairing, waitressing, jobs like that and then I went to university after a year. Then after university I travelled for two years in South America and Africa.
My father is a nuclear submarine commander and my mother died a long time ago and my father has been supportive of my career but has let me make my own choices.
My first permanent job was an assistant to the director at the Royal Geographical Society, dealing with screening for expeditions and organising events for photographic expeditions, things like that. I then went travelling, again, so when I was travelling I decided I wanted to get a proper job and that’s when I applied for law and I actually applied for law and then joined a law firm and trained and have been a lawyer ever since.
I think that one of the very influential things that I did when I was a junior lawyer was that I volunteered for the free representation unit which is a probono organisation which enables people to be represented in employment tribunals and I did that to train my advocacy skills but got interested in the subject matter. So although I trained as a general commercial litigator that experience at the free representation unit made me become an employment specialist.
I like to be successful at what I do and I think that the greatest feeling you have at work is where you’ve done a big big job and you’ve all worked really hard and you really come together as a team, it’s really satisfying. I think there are two barriers which probably held me back. Firstly, I’m quite shy so I had to overcome that and secondly I had a fear of public speaking which I have overcome by doing it, so my recommendation would be to do the things that your frightened of and then they don’t frighten you anymore.
I’m a mother I have five children and I have quite a big job and I have a pretty good life to be honest. The things that go wrong are when I work too hard and when I work too hard and too many hours I forget everything else that I should be doing to keep me fit and healthy. For example fitting in running or fitting in doing something for pure pleasure out side work, like going to the theatre is very difficult when you’re very very busy. On the whole I think I’ve done quite well. I think it’s easier now because my children are older. When they were younger it use to get quite difficult and I use to get quite tired but I think that, yeah I think I’ve got a pretty good balance. I think I’m very lucky, I’ve got a nice job, I enjoy it and I’ve got a great family, yeah I’m very lucky.