Over 25 years, I have been lucky enough to have the chance to specialise in employment law and deal with some amazing clients and fascinating employment scenarios. One of the great things about being an employment lawyer is that no matter what the subject is, no two cases are ever the same. Even after appearing in numerous tribunal hearings during that time, my work feels fresh and challenging and every one of those cases has a unique twist and has taught me something new.
Having wanted to be a court lawyer since before I even went to University, being in tribunal is still the best part of the job and I still get a genuine buzz from being in a hearing and fighting my client’s corner. Going ahead with a hearing is a big commitment for any client so getting the best result for them is always the focus, regardless of whether that involves reaching an agreement beforehand or by winning the case after the claim has been heard.
Away from the office, I am still desperately trying to remember how to play golf properly and often resort to running instead on the basis that I can at least manage that. As part of a very small and elite group, I am also an East Stirling fan and continue the pain of watching them as often as I can, knowing that it has all been downhill since Sir Alex left all those years ago.
Being an employment lawyer for many years has allowed me the chance to deal with a very wide range of subjects in the employment sphere. While unfair dismissal, redundancy and discrimination claims are still the most common topics that I get asked about and try and sort out, I have also dealt with many TUPE cases, restrictive covenant issues for employers and senior executives, trade union disputes including industrial action and agency worker challenges. Acting in those cases has involved a lot of tribunal hearings and although they are hard work (for clients and lawyers), getting a successful decision from the Tribunal is still hugely satisfying.
Apart from traditional employee issues which are dealt with by the tribunals, I have had significant exposure to supporting colleagues in corporate and property transactions ranging from the smallest business all thy way up to massive multi-nationals. Working as part of a team to help clients has very different challenges from other types of work and the satisfaction of getting a deal done or a project finished is still one of the best bits of the job.
Spending time training clients and their teams is a real favourite for me and I always take pride in making sure that what I present is interesting, relevant and practical and can actually be used on a day to day basis. Time spent doing training is always a great way to build relationships and get to know how a business really operates and I am always delighted to get the chance to do that and try and avoid problems for a business later. Given how easy it is to break the enormous number of rules that now apply at work, that is something all employers can benefit from and is time well spent.
Employment Law Group