What’s the biggest development you’ve seen in the legal world during your career?
The rise of e-mail and more recently the smartphone has revolutionised the way we connect with clients, agents and other solicitors. Communication becomes immediate and although there are great benefits to being accessible, the immediacy can sometimes be overwhelming – I don’t feel that we have yet found an agreed etiquette to this form of contact.
What law would you like to see changed?
There are plenty of areas of Property Law that I would like to see reformed! From Covenants and Easements to an agreed way of dealing with Leasehold Management information, the list is a long one!
What is the most exciting work you’ve ever done?
Perhaps not my finest moment, but during work experience I accompanied a female client to court for a Family Hearing. Her soon to be ex-husband became violent and before I thought about it, I jumped in between them, just as he was about to throw a punch! I escaped injury but was severely reprimanded by the Usher.
Who in the legal world do you most admire?
The late Gillian Mann – a former Partner at Rollits LLP in Hull (Rollit Farrell & Bladon in her day). She was a ground breaker – one of the first female partners in what was then the very traditional Hull Legal Community and gave me my chance in the law, supervising my training as an Articled Clerk.
Gill was fiercely intelligent and gave me valuable guidance on how to build a successful legal career and aim for partnership without letting gender get in the way. She became my mentor and is very much missed.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
Gain a broad foundation by going for a degree in a subject you love, with maybe a work placement built in. The more you know about the world and business before you start your legal studies, the better the placed you will be to understand the needs of those you will come to support with legal advice.
Jo Randall's Legal Matters Q&A featured in the Yorkshire Post on Tuesday 5th September 2017