Pannone Corporate has announced the promotion of five people, as it continues to invest in future talent across the law firm.

Effective from 21 July, Arshnoor Amershi has been promoted to Associate Partner in the Corporate team, having joined the North West firm as a trainee solicitor in 2011. Ranked as an ‘Associate to watch’ in leading legal directory, Chambers and Partners UK, Arshnoor specialises in all aspects of corporate legal work, including mergers and acquisitions, disposals, and debt and equity investment.

She recently advised on the sale of Up & Away Aviation – a provider of aircraft cleaning and detailing services – to US-based group, Unifi Aviation. Unifi is the ground aviation services company that forms part of the Argenbright Group, which Pannone has previously acted for on its cross-border strategic investment in risk-led intelligent security solutions provider, Amberstone Security.

Arshnoor is joined by Andrew Walsh who, having qualified as a solicitor in 2017, is also promoted in the Corporate team, becoming a Director. Andrew was instrumental in assisting Dutch client Boels Rental and French-listed company Visiativ SA continue their buy and build strategy in the UK.

In the last 12 months, the Corporate team has seen unprecedented activity levels and headcount has risen from 10 to 14 as a result, putting the team in a perfect position to capitalise on significant growth opportunities in the market.

Commenting on the promotion, Arshnoor said: “I’m delighted to have been promoted to Associate Partner in the Corporate team, as we continue to make our mark in the North West M&A market.

“Having joined the firm as a trainee solicitor, it’s hugely satisfying to have moved up through the ranks, while playing a part in the growth of the firm. It really is an exciting time to be at Pannone, as the firm’s growth story continues to unfold.”

In total, Pannone has promoted five people. These include the promotion of three lawyers to Senior Associate in the well regarded Dispute Resolution team – Callum Halley, who specialises in commercial disputes and who joined the firm in 2019;  Gemma O’Brien, who also specialises in commercial disputes and joined Pannone in the same year; and Elizabeth Walsh, who joined the firm in 2018 and advises on contentious trust and probate disputes, as well as commercial disputes.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone, commented: “Pannone has an unwavering commitment to invest in people. Our staff represent the future of the firm and have an integral role to play in helping us to reach our long-term goals.

“The promotions are all thoroughly well-deserved and testament to the passion and dedication of our team.”

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With a year under his belt at Pannone Corporate, we speak to real estate solicitor, Dominic Beddow, on his legal career so far, the importance of being able to ‘switch off’ from the day job, his passion for the Toon Army, and his mission to ‘indoctrinate’ his wife and daughter into Geordie life!

Tell us a little bit about your experience before joining Pannone in April 2022.

“I started my legal career in 2016. At the time I was a paralegal specialising in landed estates. My role primarily involved dealing with first registrations of land, Farm Business Tenancies, generational tax planning (Inheritance Tax), and registration and sales of woodland.

“During my training contract, I did seats in commercial real estate (mainly landlord and tenant issues), corporate (predominantly buying and selling of pharmaceutical companies and dentistry practices), as well as employment, where I acted for employers dealing with wrongful termination claims, and also large-scale redundancy exercises.

“After qualifying in October 2020, I went into the ground rents team, where my work primarily involved asset management for a large freeholder, dealing with anything from simple Deeds of Variation and Licences for Alterations, to managing the legal side of large works projects, such as merging multiple flats/properties into one.”

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?

“I studied Law with Business at the University of Liverpool, before completing the Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP Liverpool. I then moved to Chester, where I started legal life as a paralegal, whilst simultaneously studying the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law at the weekends. I completed my LLM Masters around the time I started my training contract.”

Why did you choose this route?

“During my A-Levels, I was still torn between a career in law and one in business, and so I decided to undertake a combined honours degree. I enjoyed both disciplines, but it was clear from an early stage in my undergraduate degree that law was the route I wanted to go down.”

Tell us about your role at Pannone?

“I am a solicitor in the real estate team. I primarily cover landlord and tenant based issues, with a specific focus on leases of units in major shopping centres. I also deal with purchases of development land, advice regarding overage, assents of land, and general transactional work.”

What was it that attracted you Pannone?

“I had trained and qualified at the same firm in Chester, which is a fantastic city and one which I am proud to call home, but it’s a relatively small legal community compared to Manchester. I was ready to make a move to a new firm and a new city.  I’d heard great things about Pannone, and got in contact with managing partner, Nicola Marchant, who invited me in for an informal chat. After a further conversation with the senior team, I knew straightaway that Pannone was the perfect firm for me.”

When it comes to the day job, what is the most satisfying aspect?

“It has to be learning something new on a daily basis, and never being allowed to remain within your comfort zone!”

What does a typical day look like?

“Every lawyer will say this but, quite simply, there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’.  I will sign off for the day with a good idea as to what the next will involve, but it’s very rare for that not to change. Business never sleeps, so I often start my day dealing with new matters which have come in overnight. Every day is different, which is a challenge, but one I enjoy.”

What are your career ambitions?

“I aspire to become a partner one day but, more importantly, I want to reach a stage where I am confident in as many aspects of my role as possible, with a following of clients who can always rely on me to be able to deal with anything they throw at me.”

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

“I would introduce a family fun day! Lawyers generally have an inability to ‘switch off’ – even when we’re not working, we are thinking about what needs to be done, which can sometimes impact on those around us. As such, I would introduce a day, every so often, when families are invited to the office, where they can meet the team, take part in fun activities, and see what we do. Looking after your own mental health is so important, particularly in a fast-paced working environment. Something like this could really make a positive difference.”

What can the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change?

“For me, it’s about delivery of information. We spend a large part of our lives learning the theory of law, the technical aspects, and how to think and speak like a lawyer. This is great for passing exams, but often doesn’t translate well to clients, who typically want a straight answer, delivered in a user-friendly manner.

“Law can also be portrayed in a certain way – think Harvey Specter in the television series, Suits! However, the reality is somewhat different. You meet such a wide variety of people in this job, from all walks of life, and I would like to see this side portrayed more.”

What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law? 

“If I didn’t have a career in law, I would love to be involved in the business side of football.”

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

“I’m a relatively new father, and I enjoy nothing more than taking my daughter to Chester Zoo. She adores animals, and her excitement during those long walks around the zoo are positively infectious!

“Outside of family life, I am a passionate (sometimes overly passionate) Newcastle United fan. I don’t get to as many games as I used to since my daughter was born, but I have worked hard to indoctrinate my partner and daughter into Geordie life, much to the dismay of my partner’s Liverpool-supporting family!”

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In our latest instalment of My Life in Law, we catch up with employment solicitor, Lorna Shuttleworth.

She tells us all about her career journey with Pannone over the last five years and why she’d love to see more animals in the office!

When did you join Pannone Corporate?

I first joined Pannone Corporate in April 2019 as a paralegal in the real estate team. I left in September 2019 to complete my LPC and returned in September 2020 to start my training contract.

I’m now a solicitor in the employment team after qualifying in September 2022.

What was your role/experience prior to joining?

I graduated from university in 2018 and went to work for an investment platform in Salford Quays. My role was two-fold: Quality and Audit Supervisor; and CASS SME. I split my time between monitoring compliance with the FCAs CASS rules, training members of the client services team, and carrying out quality checks and audits.

Prior to and during my studies, I also worked in various roles including as a sales assistant at Next and in hospitality at Manchester United.

Why did you join Pannone?

Whilst at university, I undertook various vacation schemes and had a number of interviews at large national firms, but I didn’t feel that they were quite right for me. I decided to try a different industry but, after a few months, I realised that wasn’t for me either.

I came in to discuss the paralegal position at Pannone and was surprised at how welcome I was made to feel from the first day. I could tell that I would be supported and valued as part of a team.

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?

I studied law at the University of Leeds and graduated in 2018, moving away from law for a short while before starting as a paralegal at Pannone in April 2019. I then went on to complete the LPC alongside an LLM (Masters in Legal Practice) at BPP in Manchester and returned to Pannone to start my two-year training contract in September 2020.

Why did you choose this route?

I decided whilst doing my GCSEs that I wanted to pursue a career in law and knew early on in my degree that I wanted to be a solicitor. At the time, this was really the only route which was openly discussed for qualifying into private practice.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Finding a solution to a particularly challenging issue is always satisfying – one of my favourite parts of this role is that there is always a new challenge cropping up; it never gets boring!

What does a typical day look like?

Every day is different. In the employment team, we deal with both contentious and non-contentious matters, so I might be reviewing contracts and handbooks, or preparing for a tribunal. Most days, there are urgent queries to deal with, which could relate to any day-to-day employment issue from disciplinaries, grievances or managing sickness absence.

What are your career ambitions?

Personally, I’d like to keep learning and continue to improve. Over time, I’d also like to offer the same level of support that I have received to more junior members of the firm and help them to develop.

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

Bring in a ‘Cats in the Office’ policy – having my cat roaming around and popping up on video calls is the main thing I miss about working from home!

What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law? 

When I was at school, I always said I wanted to be a graphic designer – unfortunately, I wasn’t too talented at art or IT! I’d also love to do interior design, so maybe something creative.

What can lawyers/the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change?

At an individual level, I think we can all be better at open and honest communication, keeping clients updated – and avoiding ‘lawyer talk’!

In terms of the legal profession more broadly, more diversity and inclusion across the board would be beneficial – it would help us to better understand the needs of our clients and, as a result, support them in more appropriate way. I think the legal profession is becoming more inclusive gradually, but there is still more to be done.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Since we spend a lot of our time at a desk, I love getting out for a walk somewhere quiet at the weekend when the weather allows! On a rainy day, it’s relaxing at home with my cat, Merlin. I also have a season ticket for Manchester City, so I go to matches with my Dad and Grandad.

Do you have any particular skills/talents that your work colleagues may not know about?

I used to do Latin and ballroom dancing when I was younger, although I’m not sure I’m very skilled in that anymore!

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For our first profile of 2023, we meet Rebecca Mason, PA in the Litigation and Disputes Resolution team.

Hear all about how 23-year-old Rebecca from Worsley came to work in law, her involvement in the firm’s wider community groups and her athletic talents.

When did you join Pannone Corporate?

I joined Pannone as a PA back in July 2022 and, prior to this, I worked in the financial services industry within the SIPP department for investment platform, AJ Bell.

Why did you join Pannone?

The legal sector has always interested me and, as a recent graduate still somewhat figuring out my career path, I believed that working as a PA offered a brilliant opportunity to gain some on-the-ground insight into the industry. 

The chance to work in the role at one of the North West’s leading law firms has been invaluable for my career development. On a daily basis, I’m able to work alongside a vast number of inspirational people, ranging from junior to senior level.

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?

I studied history, psychology and English language and literature at A Level and then went on to study history at the University of Sheffield, where I specialised in the history of the British Empire and humanitarianism throughout the course of the twentieth century.

Why did you take this route?

History has always been a subject close to my heart and I was allured by the prospect of covering untouched, or in some circumstances, neglected areas of history. 

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Leaving the office knowing that I’ve made someone else’s day that bit easier!

What does a typical day look like?

The best thing about being a PA is that no two days are the same. I work alongside a range of team members with different specialist areas, meaning that my work can be very varied. Predominantly, this involves conducting research, pulling evidence together through bundles, diary management and overseeing administrative duties.

What are your career ambitions?

I want to continue developing my skillset as a PA, whilst deepening my knowledge of the legal sector. There is a plethora of progression opportunities within the legal industry which are not exclusively for those with solicitor qualifications, so I’m hoping to explore these options further in the future.

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

I’d encourage my colleagues to get involved in both the charity and environmental groups within our firm to increase the positive influence that we have in both the local and wider community.

What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law? 

I love participating in and watching sport, so perhaps a role in sports journalism.

Do you have any particular skills/talents that your work colleagues may not know about?

I previously competed at national level in both athletics and cross country, with my proudest achievements including a bronze team medal in the Northern cross-country championships, as well as holding an unbeaten age-group record at San Francisco parkrun! 

Although I’m no longer a competitive athlete, I am still very much involved in my local athletics club, Salford Harriers, and I am the senior women’s team manager.



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In this instalment of My Life in Law, we get to know one of our brilliant PAs who works alongside our fee earners to ensure the firm runs smoothly and that we consistently deliver excellent client services.

Claire Walton tells us what it’s like to support Pannone Corporate’s lawyers on a day-to-day basis, her desire to feed the nation, and her love of Vespas!

What was your role prior to joining Pannone?

I joined in September 2021 and, prior to this, I trained as air cabin crew for six years – a total career change! I’ve also worked within the healthcare sector, business travel and events, and parcel and transport. 

What is your role at Pannone? 

I work within a small team of PAs to support Pannone’s litigation and dispute resolution team.

Why did you join Pannone? 

I was searching for something completely different – wanting to learn something new and to step out of my comfort zone. Corporate law was completely off my radar, but I’d heard great things about Pannone and the people who worked there… it was a leap into the unknown, but a great leap!

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?

I didn’t have any experience working as a PA in law, so this sector was totally new to me. The majority of my experience has come from creative agencies, property development and sales – all skills that I’ve transferred over and are serving me well in the legal industry.

Why did you choose this route?

It chose me! 

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job? 

To be able to utilise what comes naturally to me – organisation, a bit of technical know-how and a good sense of people and customer service. It’s appreciated by my peers and that’s job satisfaction to me.

What does a typical day look like? 

Every day is different. I’m an avid list writer, so it always starts with a to-do list but it inevitably all changes once I log on. A good mix of work comes my way, it can be researching, creating e-shots for our monthly social posts, creating e-bundles and finalising letters. I also regularly support with events, meetings, workshops and seminars, which I really enjoy, as it means I get to meet new people. 

What are your career ambitions? 

To grow my skill set and progress to a learning and development role, where I can support others within the team. 

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do?  

Pinch myself…!

What would you be doing if you didn’t work in law? 

I’d have a food van and my partner and I would travel the country feeding the nation!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

Tinkering with my 70’s Vespa style scooter and tootling around town. As you can probably guess from my food van dream, I also love cooking and eating.

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James Harris joined Pannone in April 2022, having worked as a real estate partner at Knights plc and, prior to that, managing partner at Jolliffe and Co LLP.

As someone who knew from an early age that he wanted to go into law, James chose the traditional route into the profession to reach his goal, before eventually finding a home in real estate, where he specialises in residential and commercial property development, as well as licensing for restaurants and public houses. We caught up with James three months on from joining the firm, to find out more about the real estate partner and Ironman competitor!

What attracted you to Pannone?

Pannone is highly regarded as a forward-thinking firm, which is developing in a sustainable manner and sets out to put clients at the centre of everything it does. That really appealed to me and aligned very much with my own management and leadership style.

Tell us what a typical day looks like?

I’m sure everyone says the same that no day ever looks the same, but typically the day kicks off with staff supervision each morning. I enjoy aspects of what I do, but I especially enjoy the supervision of junior members of staff. The rest of the day is a mixture of departmental management, which can include performance and staff-related issues; working on client matters; and also the all-important job of business development.

As someone who always wanted to go into law, what are your career ambitions?

I want to build the most respected Real Estate Group in the North West and be part of the development of Pannone Corporate over the coming years.

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

I’d probably have to say, apply what I learned last time I was managing partner at Jolliffe and Co LLP and do it better this time! However, on a serious note, having that level of management and leadership experience hopefully adds another level to what I can bring to the firm and it’s something I’m very passionate about imparting on the team.

What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law? 

Given the area of law I’ve ended up specialising in, I would have to say property development. It’s a fantastic sector and one that’s always been central to the success of the North West.

Thinking more widely, what can the legal profession do to better support clients?

For me, client feedback drives development and clients need to know they can approach you on any matter. Everything then follows from there.

 

 

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In the latest in our series, My Life in Law, we speak to Associate Partner, Jonny Scholes, who has been with the firm since its inception on Valentine’s Day 2014, having worked at the previous incarnation of Pannone, joining as a paralegal in 2005. Having risen through the ranks to become a key member of the dispute resolution team, Jonny talks about his love affair with Pannone Corporate, the ‘speed date’ with partners which made him realise the firm was the one, his long-held ambition to be a professional rugby player, and his side-line in writing children’s picture books!

Tell us a little bit about when you joined Pannone Corporate?

I moved across as part of the management buy-out of the old Pannone LLP (with the remaining team joining Slater & Gordon). I started at the old Pannone as a paralegal for eight months or so in 2005. I’d been offered a training contract and arranged to do some work whilst I was waiting for it to begin. I started life in the travel team in personal injury, dealing with bulk claims involving sickness bugs abroad! I then had a few months off when I travelled across the West and East coasts of America with my brother, before starting my training contract in September 2006.

What did you do before joining?

My only other jobs before working at Pannone were working in my local pub – The Crown in Heaton Mersey – and working as a theatre porter at the Alexander Hospital in Cheadle. I enjoyed both jobs and they gave me some useful transferable skills, particularly in dealing with people, including some who could be a little nervous or wary and others who were a little more difficult! I also did a vacation scheme placement at the old Pannone too.

What’s your role at Pannone?

I’m currently an Associate Partner, having worked my way up through the ranks from my trainee days. I’m in the dispute resolution team and deal with general commercial litigation disputes, with a particular specialism in contentious trust and probate matters.

What drew you to Pannone?

I applied for a training contract with six Manchester firms. Pannone was one of them and stood out as being a full-service law firm, which was good for me as I didn’t know which area of law I wanted to specialise in at that time. In the end, it was the feel of the firm and the people that really attracted me. Pannone was the first of my second interviews for a training contract (a kind of ‘speed date the partners’ over lunch event, which sounds horrendous, but wasn’t too bad!) and I was offered a training contract.  I said I wanted to do a few more interviews before deciding, but after an assessment centre at a large Manchester firm, where it was clear to me the people weren’t as in tune with me as those at Pannone, I came outside, rang Pannone to accept their offer and cancelled my other interviews. I’m pleased to say it’s still the people that make the firm to this day.

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?

After my A-levels in English Literature, History and Politics, I didn’t want to do any of those as a degree on their own, so I opted for law, which encompassed elements of them all. However, I wasn’t actually planning on going into law as a profession at that time! I did my law degree at Oxford and then had a year out, where I was supposed to be playing rugby in France. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out due to a knee injury. In the end, I went back to Oxford and did a Masters in Criminology – in part to bide me some time to decide what I wanted to do for a career and also to try and get a rugby union blue (but an early season arm break put paid to that!). I applied for training contracts whilst doing my Masters and was offered one at Pannone just before I started my LPC back up in Manchester at Manchester Met. After that I did a stint as a paralegal at Pannone and then began my training contract.

Why did you choose this route?

I guess it was a case of finding my way as I went along. It just took me a bit of time to decide that being a solicitor was a decent fit for me. All in all, the slightly longer approach into the profession has probably made me more well-rounded. 

What’s the most satisfying aspect of your job?

I enjoy working with people and particularly the people at Pannone. It’s nice to see more junior fee earners progress and grow in confidence. In a more, pure work capacity, I’m lucky that my contentious probate cases often give me an opportunity to make a real tangible difference to people’s lives, often in very sad or distressing circumstances for them. That can be very rewarding.

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day can often be hectic and is often changeable! My ‘to do’ list alters three or four times a day, most days. I’ll try and get some smaller jobs out of the way first thing and may need to set some time aside for a chunkier piece of work such as drafting a long letter of claim, or preparing instructions to counsel. There’ll normally be an element of supervision in there too: reviewing work done by junior lawyers in the team. Some of my time will be spent on business development issues and no doubt I’ll have a few phone calls and multiple emails in the day as well. Perhaps less frequently I may have a client meeting, conference with counsel, a mediation or even a court hearing and, if I’m lucky, the odd client lunch as well!

What are your career ambitions?

I’ve always had the philosophy of just getting my head down, working hard, and trying to be a good employee to have in the firm! By doing that I’ve always trusted that I would be rewarded at the right time with progression. Thankfully that’s tended to be the case and I’ve progressed each time I’ve felt ready to. Where I’m at now is a good place to be and if I keep on progressing as I am, then one day I’d hope to join the partnership.

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

I’d look to set up some kind of fun team building event. Being from a sporting background (rugby), I think building team spirit is essential to a positive and productive environment and building relationships within the workplace only leads to a better culture and then better service delivery. I’d also allow everyone a Friday afternoon in the sun at Dukes (the pub) – also important for team building!

What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law? 

If you’d asked me this when I was younger I’d have said a professional rugby player, but now with three children of my own, it would probably be some form of teaching, or writing children’s books! As it is, I’m limited to coaching the ‘Tiny Tacklers’ at my local rugby club, Burnage, on Sunday mornings in the rugby season.

What can lawyers / the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change?

The one thing I’ve learned to improve on over time, which I know clients appreciate, is the provision of information. Clients just want to know where things are up to and to be kept informed and updated. Clearly there will be times when you’re busy and you take longer to return pieces of work to clients. I’ll regularly try to send a few short emails at the end of a day if my timescales have slipped to let the client know. They’re generally okay with that and are grateful to be kept informed rather than having to chase. I think this is an area of client service a lot of solicitors can improve on.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

I lead a busy life with my wife Karen and our three children: Tessa (10), Tilly (7) and Toby (4). I love spending time with them and they’re a lot of fun, but it’s non-stop running around after them! Aside from that, spending time with our friends is also important to me, as is exercise. I’ve just finished playing rugby regularly with my club’s third team and am getting into CrossFit, cycling, and dabbling at golf! If you know anyone who could clone me to free up some more time to do all the above that’d be good!

Do you have any particular skills/talents that your work colleagues may not know about?

I read a good bedtime story… and have also written a few children’s picture book texts over the years as a bit of a hobby, some examples being: ‘Nacho Newt and his Parachute’, ‘Flamingo Joe’, ‘The Gnome that Left Home’ and ‘When a Fisherman Caught an Astronaut’! I’ve not written any for a while though, so maybe I need to get back into it! Then I just need to find a good illustrator to bring them to life!

Where do you live?

I live in Heaton Chapel in South Manchester near Stockport. There are quite a few from the office who live in the Heatons and it’s a great place to live – only 10 minutes on the train to Manchester, close to the airport, lots of bars and restaurants, the Savoy cinema, my rugby club and a great community spirit!

 

 

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In our latest My Life in Law, we speak to paralegal Holly O’Farrell about her move from retail into law and her career so far as a legal apprentice. 

I joined the firm in January 2020, so I only had a few months in the office before the first national lockdown was imposed in late March. So far, the majority of my Pannone Corporate career has been undertaken from home!  

Before starting at Pannone I had been in private practice for approaching six years – at Clyde & Co for two years and then at Weightmans LLP. Prior to entering the legal profession, I worked in retail as a trainee assistant manager and ‘Style Advisor’ (read: personal shopper!). 

I am a paralegal in the construction team. I assist the head of construction with her day-to-day work and conduct some matters of my own under her supervision. 

What drew me to Pannone Corporate was the fact that it was a boutique firm that focused on commercial law and, as such, was a specialist in this area of work. The staff are so experienced because of that focus, and it has a hugely impressive roster of clients. As a result, the exposure and training available to a junior lawyer like me is fantastic. 

I am currently in the process of completing my CILEx qualification and will shortly qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive. 

I began my legal career as a legal apprentice. I don’t have a degree – I withdrew from the University of Manchester because, despite the advice from all my teachers, I felt that university wasn’t for me. I loved the idea of higher education but, in reality, I found I wanted to learn in a more practical environment. As I was living away from home, I needed to ensure I was still earning, so an apprenticeship was ideal for me. Doing it this way also means that, by the time I am formally qualified, I will have had the benefit of eight-plus years’ legal work experience, which puts me in a great position compared to graduates and other newly qualified solicitors. 

It might sound like an over-done answer, but genuinely each day is very different! In construction law, you do both contentious and non-contentious work. So, one day I may be working on a dispute for a client which might involve document review, possibly drafting submissions in adjudication or court proceedings and/or providing strategic advice to the client; the next I could be working on the contracts underlying a new building project, drafting a contract, or providing comments on a draft received from another firm to ensure that the client’s position is protected and there are no sneaky clauses in there that might cause them trouble down the line! 

The most satisfying aspect of the job for me is its variety – I purposefully sought a role in an area that provided variation to keep me hooked. My manager in my first construction role told me that even after 35 years in the sector he was still presented with work that he’d never encountered before. After four years specialising in construction, this is certainly ringing true and I can’t wait to keep being surprised for the rest of my career. 

Following completion of my CILEx qualifications, I am considering completing the SQE in order to cross-qualify as a solicitor. After I’ve achieved that I don’t intend to focus on any particular thing; I think there is some danger in having too fixed a plan. I just want to keep enjoying my work and be open to whatever opportunities arise. 

Get the corporate credit card out and get everyone to the pub, after so many months apart! 

I would probably have continued working in retail. I had ideas about moving into buying or visual merchandising. I definitely wouldn’t have continued in personal shopping. Pouring champagne and hoisting people into cruise-wear is not what five-year-old me dreamed of!

The usual – walking the dog, binging on Netflix and worrying that I don’t have enough hobbies! 

None that I wouldn’t be ashamed to admit to! However, I fancy myself as a bit of a dancer so, maybe when we’re all allowed to socialise again, I’ll get to embarrass myself! I do also have an excellent memory for song lyrics – in conjunction, these ‘talents’ result in quite the performance!

 

 

 

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Radhika Das is a Legal Executive in the employment team at Pannone Corporate. In the first in our series, My Life in Law, she tells us more about how she got into the profession and life at the firm.

When did you join Pannone Corporate? I joined Pannone in July 2018, so coming up to three years ago.

What was your role/experience prior to joining? I worked at a large respondent firm in Manchester which provided Employment Tribunal support.

Why did you join Pannone? The Pannone name is really respected in the industry, and I wanted more exposure to a different type of work. In my previous role, I dealt purely with litigation and defending Employment Tribunal claims; at Pannone, I do everything from HR advice, drafting contracts and handbooks and litigation. I have also provided on site HR support to clients.

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications? I graduated with a LLB law degree and went straight into full time employment. I started off doing claimant work for a Trade Union and then moved to respondent work in 2016. I qualified as a Legal Executive in April 2021, after doing three years qualifying employment and submitting a portfolio.

Why did you choose this route? I liked the idea of being able to work in employment law and do my qualification at the same. It’s meant that I have had lots of exposure in employment law.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job? It always feels great when we get a win at Tribunal. Giving evidence can be tough for the witness, especially when the case is a particularly emotive matter such as a discrimination claim. It is really satisfying when a witness gets through that and gets a judgment in their favour.

What does a typical day look like? It is really varied. One day I could be doing a telephone preliminary hearing, and on the same day I could be advising an employer about whether it is legally safe to dismiss an employee. The next day, I could be meeting with witnesses to take their statements or attending Tribunal – no two days are the same!

 What can lawyers / the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change? I think technology is the way forward. Everything in our lives is so much more accessible and I think the legal profession still has some work to do in that regard. COVID-19 has certainly raised some challenges for all sectors, but I think some changes may be around to stay – for example, electronic bundles and video hearings, which have worked really well in most circumstances.

 

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