Nearly a decade on from joining Pannone Corporate, Danielle Amor talks about her career, her passion for seeing clients get the outcome they deserve, her love of coffee, and the growing influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the legal sector.

Tell us a little about your career before joining Pannone

I studied law at Durham, then took the LPC at Oxford before starting a two year training contract at an international law firm in London, which included six months working at ITV in the Rights and Business Affairs team. I worked there for about seven years before making the move back up north.

My first role in Manchester was in-house at Manchester United working on the then-record sponsorship deal with adidas, before moving back into private practice at Pannone. When I joined, the firm had only been formed a few months before, so it was a really exciting time to be starting.

In her current role as a director in the commercial team, Danielle advises on commercial contracts, intellectual property and data protection compliance, with a broad range of specialism across the experienced team covering retail, fashion, manufacturing, hospitality, media, IT and industrial services. It was that talent and expertise that attracted her to Pannone. I was drawn to the mix of excellent lawyers and high quality work.

Despite a few wobbles along the way when she considered packing it all in ‘for a life of wanderlust’,  Danielle remains committed to the profession and what can be achieved. I am really irked by injustice! I enjoy seeing clients achieve the outcome they deserve, particularly when they have been in a dispute and I am instructed to draft the settlement terms.

Danielle is also passionate about the important role lawyers have to play in a world that is already changing with the increasing use of technology, particularly AI. I can see why businesses might turn to AI for drafting contracts and legal letters when they don’t always receive the practical, commercial advice they need from legal advisors. However, the nuances and subtleties that the majority of our drafting requires, cannot be replicated by AI as it stands. This reinforces why we need to continue to keep our advice concise, relevant and responsive to our clients’ needs.

So what does a typical day look like? I prefer being in the office, so I usually get in around 9am after dropping the kids off at school and nursery. A lot of my work involves drafting long agreements, so there is a lot of time spent in front of a screen. We have regular team catch-ups and training sessions in the diary and most client meetings tend to be via Teams. I also try and go for a walk at lunchtime and get a coffee from Mancoco to power me through the afternoon.

Coffee is a clear favourite of Danielle’s. When asked what she would be doing if she didn’t have a career in law, she responded: I have always quite fancied running my own café selling coffee and cake.

What’s more, if Danielle was managing partner for the day, the first thing she would do is install a coffee machine!

Outside of work, Danielle is kept busy by her three young children and a springer spaniel! We enjoy getting out into the nearby countryside and back to my home town of Blackpool whenever the weather allows. I also enjoy baking birthday cakes (for the kids, not the dog!) and yoga to de-stress.

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Natasha Mafunga joined Pannone Corporate at the start of the year as a solicitor in the dispute resolution team. In the latest in our blog series, My Life in Law, Natasha reflects on the first nine months of her at career at the firm, her love of people and problem solving, what she would do if she was managing partner for the day and the Broadway career that never was!

Tell us a little bit about your role at Pannone?

I work in the dispute resolution team and, since I joined in January, I’ve developed a mixed caseload consisting of commercial litigation work on the one hand and contentious probate and trusts work on the other.

That’s what really appealed to me about the job – I liked the idea of doing commercial litigation work alongside contentious probate and trusts. What’s more, the firm has a clear progression route and invests in the development of its people – people who, I might add, are absolutely lovely to work with, which applies across all teams!

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

After completing my A-levels in Law, Psychology and Sociology, I went down the ‘traditional’ route of getting my LLB undergraduate law degree at the University of Chester, before getting a training contract and qualifying. I was able to do my training contract alongside my LPC MSC in Law, Business and Management, which I did part time. It was tough at times juggling work and doing my LPC, but I managed to get through it fairly unscathed!

Why did you choose this route?

I didn’t really consider any other route at the time. I was lucky enough to be able to get a postgraduate loan for my LPC, as I was doing it alongside my masters. This meant that I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to fund my course.

Tell us what does a typical day look like?

No day is ever really the same. It usually starts of with me updating my to-do list from the previous day, checking my calendar for upcoming meetings and deadlines and trying to get my head down with the hopes of crossing a task off the list. My tasks can range from having phone calls with clients, opponents and third parties, responding to emails and drafting letters and court documents, all the way through to attending conferences with counsel or even court hearings. It’s always important to keep an eye on upcoming deadlines and have the Civil Procedure Rules to hand at all times.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

I enjoy working with people and problem solving. The work I do as part of the contentious probate and trusts team especially allows me to see how much of a real difference my colleagues and I can make to people’s lives, often in very sensitive and stressful circumstances.

Looking ahead, what are your career ambitions?

Simply put, I want to be the best solicitor I can be in my areas of specialism and provide a great service to my clients. In doing that, I trust that I will always be rewarded with progression. Who knows, it might lead me to joining the partnership one day.

Talking of being a partner, if you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

I like the idea of a 30-minute wellness session where employees can do some simple yoga, meditation or breathing techniques to clear the 1,000 tabs that are always open in our minds at any one time.

Keeping your managing partner hat on, what can lawyers / the legal profession do to better support clients?

Its important to always be clear on costs from the outset and not be afraid to continue raising the subject with clients throughout. De-mystifying the process and the costs likely to be involved will ensure that clients keep coming to you for advice.

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?

From about 2020, I got into walking and hiking, as you couldn’t really do much else at the time due to Covid. Now it’s one of my favourite things to do.

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

Apparently I can be quite dramatic, so I imagine I would’ve been a world famous Broadway actress by now. If only the law hadn’t got to me first!

On that note, it shouldn’t surprise colleagues about your previous skills and talent!

No! I played a lead role in an adaptation of We Will Rock You the musical in high school. The talent being I can memorise a script fairly quickly. Hopefully that footage never sees the light of day!

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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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Michael McNally lives in Heswall on the Wirral and is an associate partner in Pannone’s employment team. In this instalment of My Life in Law, he tells us about his 17-year career in law and what’s changed in the industry during that time.

What was your experience prior to joining Pannone?

I qualified in 2006 and have always specialised in employment law, even spending some time before qualification working as an employment law advisor. Before joining Pannone in September 2020, I worked at Hill Dickinson and Freeths.

I’ve always worked in commercial employment law advising employers and have particular experience working with clients in care, retail, transport and logistics, leisure and retail, and manufacturing. I’m also an experienced employment tribunal advocate.

What’s your current role and why did you join Pannone?

I joined as a Director and became an Associate Partner last year. The firm has a great reputation, both for the quality of its work and culture. Having worked here for a couple of years, I’ve not been disappointed in either regard.

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

The standard route for my generation of law at university, LPC in the Chester College of Law, followed by a training contract. I did approach things a little differently though and did my training contract in local government at Chester City Council, as it was then.

Why did you choose this route?

I wouldn’t say I chose it, as such – it just seemed the most obvious way of becoming a solicitor at the time. With hindsight, I appreciate you don’t need to do a law degree at university to become a lawyer. If I had my time over again, I would have done a non-law degree and then the conversion course before the LPC.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Understanding what the client wants to achieve and then helping them to achieve it. I enjoy the technical side of the law, but working with the client is the most satisfying part of the job.

What does a typical day look like?

There isn’t one! The best thing about being an employment lawyer is the variety.

A day could include drafting an article first thing, then working with the corporate team on a transaction. After lunch, there could be a preliminary hearing in the employment tribunal by video and, later in the day, I could be on a call with a client’s HR Director and CEO discussing a re-organisation.

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

Give myself a long-term contract in the role, as I’m not going to get much done in a day!

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

My original reason for going into law was because I thought it would be a good way of becoming a football agent, so maybe I’d have ended up doing something like that! Although, to be honest, it’s not a job I would want now, but when I was 15 it seemed like a great career!

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

I have been lucky enough to work at firms and with lawyers who I think do a very good job of supporting clients. The focus should always be on providing the client with responsive commercial advice.

Going forward, I think law firms will need to offer a wider range of business services than they do now – similar to how many accountancy firms will offer other services (including legal support in some cases). The profession is also going to need to adjust to the changes that technology will bring, particularly in respect of AI.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Being a Liverpool season ticket holder; I enjoy going to regular Champions League finals!

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

This is more of a talent that I wish I had, but I went through a phase a few years ago of tinkering with watches. I still aspire to assemble my own watch one day – making one may be beyond me!

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Essex-born 26-year-old Joel Costi-Mouyia lives in West Didsbury and is a paralegal in our Dispute Resolution team. 

When he’s not resolving disputes, he’s playing football or making music – keep reading to learn more about his route to working in law and professional aspirations for the future. 

What was your role/experience prior to joining Pannone?

I graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2018 and began working for DWF as part of RSA Manchester’s in-house civil litigation team where I specialised in RTA related cases. 

Although this was my first post-graduation job in law, I also previously completed work in a Citizens Advice Bureau on issues relating to welfare rights, as well as completing a three month placement in Liverpool University’s Legal Aid Clinic, where I worked on matters concerning immigration and asylum seeking. 

While these two experiences are certainly different to my current line of work, they gave me invaluable exposure to the practical application of the law.

What is your role at Pannone?

I’m a paralegal in the Dispute Resolution team, dealing with a wide range of disputes in the fields of debt recovery, commercial contracts, wills and probate, property and intellectual property.

Why did you join Pannone?

Pannone is a young law firm that has grown since it started in 2014 – this success was something that I wanted to be a part of. 

We’re also a firm that really emphasises the importance of a collaborative working environment, which is something that really appeals to me. As a junior member of our team, it’s often I’ll need to pick the brains of some our more senior members of staff and they’re always more than happy to help out. This has been great – not just for my own development, but also in making me feel like a welcomed and well-integrated member of the firm. 

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

I’ve had a relatively standard introduction to the legal and professional world. Not long after graduation, I began working for DWF in November of the same year and then began my LPC full-time in January 2020. 

I completed this in December 2020 and was fortunate enough for DWF to offer me some part-time work whilst I completed my LPC studies, which allowed me to maintain some level of income. 

I then went on to join Pannone in December 2021 and I’m delighted to have recently been offered a training contract which I am due to start in September 2023. 

Why did you choose this route?

Having worked primarily in litigation for the past four years, I felt it was important to follow the training contract route as a means of expanding my knowledge alongside my contentious professional legal experience. 

Pannone has a number of interesting departments dealing with non-litigious client issues such as corporate law that I’m excited to work in as part of my training contract seats and wider legal education.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Definitely hitting drafting deadlines and securing positive results for our clients. Throughout my time at Pannone, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed building and developing relationships with our clients and to be able to meet their goals and expectations is something I take a lot of pride in.  

What does a typical day look like?

I normally start my day by checking through my emails to make sure that nothing urgent has come in the previous evening requiring my immediate attention. Once I’ve done this, I’ll get into the work that I’ve planned out for the day. 

Organisation is an essential skill for excelling in our work, so at the end of each working day I tend to draft a small to-do list of tasks that I’ll need to tackle the following day.

What are your career ambitions?

Having been offered a training contract, my initial ambition is to qualify as a solicitor at Pannone Corporate. There’s a wealth of experience across the firm, so I’m hoping to soak up as much of this as possible and continue to develop and improve in the right way. 

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

I think I would try and promote some sort of fitness initiative to all employees. I’m a big believer in the ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ approach to life and find that if I’m regularly exercising, it helps me to manage my own workload and deal with any stresses, work-related or not, that get thrown my way. 

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

Maths was probably my long-standing favourite subject at school and was almost the subject I chose to study at university. I did toy with the idea of something more maths related, such as economics or actuarial science, but neither of these were something I ended up going for.

Career wise, it’s difficult to say, but I’ve always tried to blend my love of music and sport with my professional ambitions, so I’d like to think I may have done some sort of work dealing directly with sportspeople and musicians. My master’s dissertation was based on whether current copyright legislation provides scope for streaming platforms to exploit musicians and therefore not adequately remunerate them for their work – so law and music is something I’ve always attempted to fuse. If not this, a professional career as a musician or producer wouldn’t have gone amiss!

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

One step I always think is vital is to help our clients understand the litigation process. I’m conscious that from the client’s side, the legal world can be intimidating and often convoluted, so it’s important for us to untangle and simplify this as best as we can. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I currently play football for Village Manchester Football Club in the Lancashire and Cheshire Saturday league. If I’m not playing football, I also enjoy running or going to the gym. 

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

I take a lot of pride in my love for music and have been playing piano since around the age of eight. I have also performed as part of an indie-rock band as a singer and guitarist, having received track of the week accolades on BBC Introducing and also supported an NME award-winning artist as part of their UK tour. 

In the past couple of years, I’ve also started DJing and performing in different places around Manchester – not to mention the Pannone Corporate party last Autumn.


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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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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 new recruit, Emma Hafez, who joined Pannone in April 2021 as part of our Real Estate team. 28-year-old Emma talks about her career so far and why she decided to join the firm earlier this year after taking a career break to have children.

Tell us a little bit about your career, before joining Pannone.

My route into law was the traditional route. In all honesty, this was the only one I really knew about. At college we had to lay out our career paths and this was the route I chose and stuck to.

I did a three-year degree in law, followed by the Legal Practice Course and then entered into a training contract with brief stints of working as a paralegal in between.

Prior to joining Pannone, I qualified and worked as an immigration and human rights solicitor, before taking a career break to have to have my two children, Ella and Oliver. It was during this time that I decided to pursue a career in commercial law.

Why did you decide to join the firm?

My partner is the managing director of a property development company in Liverpool. He’s genuinely passionate about his work and we often discuss it together in the evenings. As a result of this interest, I felt it was the logical step for me to pursue a career in Real Estate law.

What does a typical day look like?

Every day is completely different, as the work that we do is so varied. However, a typical day usually starts with a call with my supervisor to go through the day’s tasks, followed by liaising with clients and the other side’s solicitors in relation to large developments, leases, residential investment transactions and a whole variety of work.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

I really enjoy getting positive feedback from satisfied clients which I get a great sense of achievement from.

What can lawyers / the legal profession do to better support clients?

I believe solicitors could always be more empathetic to clients, as I have the benefit and perspective of seeing the client’s point of view first hand and can appreciate the challenges faced from both sides.

Looking forward, what are your career ambitions?
I hope to be able to stay at Pannone and grow an impressive client portfolio.

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

I would take all of the teams on a city centre canal party cruise!

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

I’ve always said I would have enjoyed being a dentist.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy taking my children on days out to the zoo or farms, anything which is outdoors.

 

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