Claire is an experienced family solicitor at Keystone Law who has specialised in family law since 2000.
What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a high net worth family law specialist at Keystone Law
. I am instructed by clients to help them reach resolutions to family problems, both financial and child centred. In tandem with being an experienced litigator, I am also a trained mediator and trained collaborative lawyer, so I can help my clients reach agreements away from the court process too. I work with married, unmarried, want to be married, used to be married, used to be together but never married, have children, don’t have children, same sex, heterosexual, husbands, fathers, wives and mothers. All human life crosses my desk; I love the variety and the people.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?I have worked in law for nearly 20 years and have been at Keystone Law since March 2013. I was attracted to Keystone Law by the unbelievable work model - it gives me the freedom to work with clients in a more open way than I have in previous firms. I can be more holistic and tailor my service to suit individual needs. I am one of those people who enjoys sorting out problems, so listening to clients who cannot see a way forward and steering them towards an outcome in their favour is very rewarding for me.
Any memorable stories from your career so far?
So many! During a high profile all party meeting, my boss asked me to peel her an orange. Millennials wouldn’t stand for such things now!
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
The best part of a day is when a client says thank you. The worst part is attendance notes - I have always loathed writing them.
What keeps you motivated?
Doing a job I love.
Tea or coffee?
What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?
Get some on-the-ground experience first. I worked as a legal secretary at City of York Council
while I studied for my Politics MA but it was during that time, the work I saw, the solicitors who generously suggested I shadow them at court, at conferences, at meetings that made me want to convert to law. I owe those guys a lot.
What song do you listen to the most?
Whatever my children download from Spotify
in the car. Currently “Last Christmas”
Who inspires you within the world of family law?
Positive thinking clients. Anyone who can focus on positives through a painful experience has to be an inspiration.
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
We have a young family and I love every minute being together.
What book would you recommend to others?A Boy Called Christmas
by Matt Haig.
What would be your alternate career?
An event planner.
If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?
Court listings. The family court is so tremendously under resourced. Whilst every effort is made to encourage clients to use alternative routes to resolve their disputes, for some, the court is the only option. Absurdly long periods between hearings just means higher costs which solicitors and clients then get admonished for by Judges. Clients turn to the court as a last resort and yet the court process draws it out.All Family Law A day in the life of ... profiles can be found here.