What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
As the Head of Family Law at Stirling Ackroyd Legal
, no two days are the same. If a court hearing is upcoming, you will generally find me drafting statements and court protocol documents, taking instructions from clients and the other party’s solicitor, as well as working alongside the barrister instructed to represent the client at court.
On some days, I will just be checking emails/post and dealing with anything urgent as a matter of priority.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I’ve been in this role for 11 years post qualification. During my training contract, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a large amount of family law work. This is when I decided that family law was the area that I wished to specialise in.
Any memorable stories from your career so far?
There are too many to mention! My first non-molestation order will always be etched in my memory; I was involved in a case whereby a client has been badly bruised by her violent ex-partner.
There was also the case of the ex-pat who moved to Dubai and was divorcing his wife. There were a lot of assets to divide, given the long years of marriage, and it was interesting to deal with the wife’s solicitors who were based in Dubai.
Lastly and probably the most memorable, there was a 3-week Children Act final hearing at the central family court when I was a trainee solicitor. I was trusted to attend court on my own assisting the barrister. It was a baptism of fire and I loved every second of it.
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
Best = first coffee of the day. Worst = admin - it’s part of the job so I save it for when I have the most energy.
What keeps you motivated?
A job well done, always wanting to improve and striving to gain further experience.
Tea or coffee?
What would you say to anyone thinking of a career in your field?
Try to get hands on work experience in family law to see if it’s an area that you want to work in; improve and hone your listening skills and learn how to multi-task!
What song do you listen to the most?
Who inspires you within the world of family law?
My first training principal was a huge inspiration to me. He was the sole practitioner at the time, and has since closed down his practice and retired. I will be forever grateful to him for giving me my break.
How do you enjoy your time outside of work?
Watching good box sets, going to the gym and catching up with friends and family.
What book would you recommend to others?
What would be your alternate career?
Something in the investigative field, such as a private investigator or working with the police. I love researching and finding things out.
If you could change one thing about the family justice system what would it be and why
I would make sure that children have more of a voice within children act proceedings.