Tea or coffee?
Neither — hot chocolate all the way!
What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?
It's probably the most challenging area of law — not only do you have to have an awareness of a huge array of technical matters, understand the basics of other areas of law (such as land law, tax, employment, corporate etc), keep up to date with the case law, but you also have to be able to deal with emotional and demanding clients — and their exes. I have been shouted at, screamed at, cried on, hugged, kissed and, even spat on - often in the same day. And I still love what I do.
What song do you listen to the most?
It depends on what mood I am in. Although I am a huge 80's fan, this year the song I have played most is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
Who inspires you within the world of family law?
I have thought a lot about this question and I believe one of the unsung heros of family law is James Pirrie
. He was THE
expert in the CSA and the huge changes introduced by the Child Support Act 1991, he was instrumental in bringing collaborative law from the USA to England and Wales and he was responsible for the Parenting after Parenting initiative. He has brought about so many changes in the world of family law. Thank you James.
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
I spend a lot of time at weekends in Devon or South Wales with my fiancé and my dog, walking and having pub lunches. When in London, I go out for dinner or drinks with friends and I also enjoy going to the theatre and the ballet. I dread to think how much of my disposable income I spend at Saddlers Wells
and on wine, champagne, foreign holidays etc. I would hate to do a schedule of income needs!
What book would you recommend to others?Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
. One quote sums it up “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it
What would be your alternate career?
A travel blogger or travel photographer. Being paid to stay in 5 star hotels all over the world? Heaven!
If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why?
“Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.
” I do get annoyed by some members of the judiciary forgetting that. If I could, I would insist that all members of the judiciary, regardless of their seniority, should have some training and realise that when clients attend court, whether on children matters or in financial remedy cases, they are scared, nervous and anxious. It’s their lives that we are dealing with and I think sometimes that is forgotten by the judiciary and also by the lawyers. It’s not a game; it’s not theatre. Everyone needs to remember that.All Family Law A day in the life of... profiles can be found here.