Joined nplaw in September 2018
Senior Lawyer, Planning and Environment Team
Tell us about your career journey
Long! I joined nplaw after holding a similar post at a legal shared service covering 3 local authorities in Cambridgeshire, but prior to that I worked for twelve years in the Government Legal Service. I was a civil service lawyer primarily at the (now) Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government where my longest post was in planning law, but I also worked on building regulations and local government finance matters. I also spent some time in the Home Office and HM Treasury, however I have enjoyed planning most of the various areas of law I have practised.
Please outline your area of expertise. What might you do in a typical day?
I work across all areas of planning law. This involves advising clients in stakeholder local authorities across a range of planning matters including highways, planning obligations and enforcement matters. This can involve advising by email or meeting clients in the different partner authorities. I draft section 106 agreements as do other lawyers in the team to secure planning obligations from developers. I have also been involved in dealing with a judicial review claim, including instructing counsel and meeting counsel in conference with our client.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety makes the job interesting as my role involves me in a wide range of planning matters and each client authority is different. Nplaw is also a friendly place to work and there is opportunity to work from home which for me is essential
What is the biggest opportunity you have been given since joining nplaw?
I have not been here very long but am involved in a complex judicial review case for one of our client authorities. This has been a useful learning experience as I have not previously followed a case through from the start to resolution. There is a wide range of work at nplaw and so if you have an interest in a particular area there are likely to be opportunities to pursue it.
What is your proudest achievement at work?
Too early to say!
Why did you choose to work at nplaw?
I worked previously in a local authority shared legal service but was attracted to nplaw because of its size and variety with a range of clients and thus a greater exposure to a wider range of work.
What is the work/life balance and the wider culture like?
I have found nplaw to be a very friendly place to work and the lawyers are well supported. It is a busy environment with plenty of work but there is a great deal of flexibility and opportunity to work regularly from home which makes that manageable.
What do you do out of work and what is your proudest achievement out of work?
I am very busy outside work which I why I appreciate the flexibility the job offers. I am a school governor in Hertfordshire which involves lots of meetings! I also volunteer for Riding for the Disabled one day a week.
Where do you live?
I am probably unusual in that I don’t live in Norfolk or anywhere nearby! I live on the Herts/Essex border and can manage this as I don’t come into the office every day but can work from home two days a week.