In the latest in our My Life in Law series, we speak to Paralegal, Humera Patel. Humera joined the firm in September 2021 having cut her teeth in the legal industry at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Forbes Solicitors, where she assisted on a variety of corporate matters.
We hear all about her typical day, career goals and balancing a love of keeping fit with a love of eating out!
Tell us a little about your role at Pannone?
I work as part of the Corporate Services team and assist by drafting, negotiating and reviewing legal documents during corporate transactions.
I have been lucky enough to get involved with a wide range of work – from mergers and acquisitions to company re-organisations, investments and company secretarial work. The list just keeps getting longer, but it’s brilliant to get an insight into the full spectrum of services we offer.
Why did you join Pannone?
Pannone is one the best known innovative and collaborative law firms in the North. I was initially attracted to the firm due to its high calibre of clients, but from my first interview I knew Pannone was the right place for me.
The people and the culture of the firm really enhanced my belief that it would be a positive and inspirational place to work and, having now worked here for over a year, I can confirm my assumptions were correct!
The approachability of the senior members of the firm fosters a collaborative and supportive environment which makes a huge difference.
What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?
I went down the traditional route: I studied law at the University of Central Lancashire, before undertaking the Legal Practice Course at University of Law.
My aspiration of pursuing a career in commercial law stems from my interest in both business and law – the synergies between these two fields are constantly growing and encompasses various aspects. I was always intrigued with the complexities of the legal system and how legislation constantly evolves, knowing that my job would never be a boring one!
What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
Completing a transaction and meeting the clients expectations – definitely. After all the hard work, it’s exciting to get a deal over the line.
What does a typical day look like?
Very busy! I start my day with checking my emails and going through the day’s tasks. I then attend the corporate team catchup meeting where we discuss our workload and capacity.
I always try to deal with the smaller tasks first thing so that I can focus on the larger tasks throughout the day. The smaller jobs usually involve drafting ancillary documentation, data room management, and responding to internal and external emails.
The larger tasks comprise drafting key legal documents such as SPAs, Disclosure letters and Shareholders Agreements. In between drafting and responding to emails, I normally attend calls with clients and/or other side solicitors to negotiate and discuss legal documents.
Although the processes remain generally the same, the breadth of clients means that each day is very different and things can often crop up unexpectedly, so it pays to be prepared!
What are your career ambitions?
My immediate goals are to work hard and continue to grow my skillset and knowledge of corporate law. In the future, I aspire to train as a solicitor, build an impressive client portfolio and follow in the footsteps of the partners in the corporate team.
If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do?
Give everyone a day off! On a serious note, I would organise a firm-wide social to get to know everyone in the firm better – the power of strong colleague relationships can’t be underestimated.
What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law?
I would have become a primary school teacher; I really enjoy spending time with kids and seeing them develop. Not to mention the holiday perks!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
In my spare time, I enjoy going on long walks and to the gym to keep fit and healthy, this helps me to maintain a healthy work life balance.
I also enjoy socialising with my friends and eating together. I’m a total a foodie; I love trying a variety of different foods from different cuisines. I’d say my favourite is Italian – I could eat pizza and pasta all day, every day!