Qualifying in 1985 and becoming a partner in 1987 with Borneo Martell and Partners in Northampton, I decided that I wished to specialise in company commercial law so moved to the well regarded commercial firm of Hewitson Becke & Shaw in 1989, where I provided exclusively company commercial legal advice to a wide range of national and international business clients from start-ups to PLCs.
Following the birth of my daughter I spent five years as lead solicitor working on public private sector partnership economic development projects in the public sector. After relocating to York in 1998, I joined a large local practice to assist in the building of their company commercial department where I became a partner.
Entrepreneurial by nature, I enjoy being involved with my clients’ businesses as their legal advisor. In 2004 I set up my own specialist company commercial practice with a highly distinctive ethos and method of working, born out of my client research about what they wanted in their commercial lawyer. Today, working with a diverse spread of businesses and wide range of other niche solicitors I have built a chambers of specialist but independent solicitors based at Westfield House, York.
Between 2001 and 2006 I also owned and ran The Business Network in North and West Yorkshire, growing the businesses to become these counties’ paramount business networks with regularly high monthly attendances. Wishing to concentrate exclusively on my legal practice in 2006 I sold both flourishing networks, which happily still play a popular role in supporting Yorkshire’s business community.
Strongly believing that businesses should give something back to the wider community I support a number of charities and work in particular with Caroline’s Rainbow Foundation, Contact the Elderly and the not for profit organisation Arts Barge for whom I provide pro-bono legal services and advice. I very much enjoy meeting people and am often asked to speak to a wide range of organisations, including universities and professional bodies. I present to students and sit on the University of York’s panel of assessors in respect of the highly regarded York Award that seeks to increase graduates’ commercial awareness. Once a year I present to Leeds University Entrepreneurs Boot Camp - always a complete delight!
I sit on the local committee of the Federation of Small Businesses as I strongly believe that it is very important to make sure that local business views are represented to both local and national governments.
I also firmly believe that to achieve success in your business you must be prepared to constantly and critically analyse its performance, I was part of an Action Learning Set for many years (originally set-up through the University of York Department of Management) with other business owners where we spent three hours a month supporting each other and helping to facilitate positive change in our respective businesses. Following the programme coming to an end I continue to apply the techniques, learned through Action Learning, to my practice.