Partner and head of personal injury, IBB Solicitors, Uxbridge

Having worked in the insurance industry for some years, I wanted a fresh and demanding challenge. I therefore moved to The Prudential Assurance’s in-house legal team where I began the path to qualification through the legal executive route.

Years of working in the insurance industry and then as a legal executive made for a good grounding in the work of a solicitor. I was exposed to a variety of work and people which made my transition to solicitor that much easier.

Meeting the expectations and emotional demands of those with brain injury provides some of the hardest challenges. It is not only the victims of brain injury who have their lives turned upside down, but also family members. It can be a very difficult time, with concern about the future being paramount. Acting for those who have been abused as a child is also very challenging. They require considerable support to enable them to deal with litigation.

A good lawyer is someone who gives the client time to express themselves. A lawyer who is prepared to listen and to comprehensively understand the client’s issues, beyond the law, will be rewarded with a client who remains loyal. Also, on the subject of time, it is important to respond to clients in a timely manner. Clients expect swift answers. To retain a client’s confidence, an ability to either meet or manage their expectations in this regard is essential.

As a personal injury and clinical negligence specialist, people say I am an ‘ambulance chaser’. However, they quickly come to appreciate the true value of what I do.

All clients with a traumatic brain injury or who have suffered abuse can be hard clients, in the sense of emotionally demanding. However, the reward comes from making their lives better.

A few barristers appear to be stuck in a time warp, failing to recognise they need to be more approachable and adaptable. Fortunately, the vast majority are alive to the ongoing changes and make a real effort to understand the solicitor’s needs, as well as their client’s. Indeed, those who are able to show empathy will be best placed to survive the changes in the market.

Like most lawyers, I have relied on a team and therefore my career success is in part due to the contributions made by many who work with me, directly or indirectly.