What’s your background?
I have a particular focus on asset management work, though I have had broad real estate experience throughout my career, covering acquisitions and disposals, secured lending and corporate support. I am dual qualified in Scottish and English Law. I have always worked in firms with a particular real estate focus. This gave me the breadth of experience and knowledge at an early stage in my career and a keen interest in real estate work followed.
Why did you choose to work here?
Gowling WLG has a pre-eminent reputation, across disciplines but particularly in real estate. In relocating to Birmingham, I was keen to join a firm with the quality of work and client base on which to build my experience at the very highest level, and on that to build my career.
What was the recruitment process like?
I dealt with the firm initially through a recruitment consultant and while a suitable position was not available at that time, the firm kept in touch with me and contacted me when a suitable position did arise. I was impressed by this approach as it was a refreshingly personal way to deal with the recruitment process.
The interview process itself was a two-stage process, principally running through my experience and motivations.
In addition to the technical and commercial abilities our clients expect, the firm was looking for someone who would be able to develop client relations and supervise and train, as well as undertake fee-earning work. I was introduced to a number of senior members of the team at the interviews and came away with a good feeling about the firm and who I'd be working with.
What makes Gowling WLG different to other firms?
The firm has an ambitious and driven culture – which is important in the ever-more competitive legal market. The client base in the Specialist Real Estate Services team is of the highest order and unmatched by all but a select few of our competitors. The firm is keen to encourage personal growth, side by side with growth of the business. Fee earners are encouraged to take greater interest in the details of the clients' business, which makes the difference between good and excellent service; to be more commercial and to take those skills to the marketplace to help grow the business. These efforts are rewarded and the firm operates personal development programmes at all levels, encompassing everything from technical seminars and workshops to personal development plans and objectives to help employees progress in their careers.
What's the most surprising thing you've learned about working here?
For me, the firm's friendly and collegiate environment sets it apart from many of its competitors. Notwithstanding the size of the business, post the combination with Gowlings and the drive to evolve the client and service internationally, the firm has a friendly and inclusive environment. In addition, the firm rewards hard work and commitment.
What do you do outside work?
I have a young family so much of my limited spare time is spent with them. Otherwise I attend the gym several times a week, play football and read. I'm also partial to the odd boxset!