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What is your role at Sintons?
I am a partner in the company commercial department specialising in healthcare. I advise dentists, GPs and other healthcare organisations, in the region and nationally, on all aspects, including the sale and purchase of businesses. I also advise charities on corporate governance, incorporation and registration with the Charity Commission. I am a member of the Association of Specialist Providers to Dentists, the National Association of Dental Accountants and Lawyers and a founder member of the National Association of Specialist Solicitors Advising Doctors. As part of my role, I lead on corporate social responsibility, I am heavily involved in training and graduate recruitment and I supervise the trainee in our department.
Why did you choose a career in law?
I was interested in a career which would be both challenging and interesting and that would allow me to meet many different people. I was also interested in pursuing a path I could help in the development of others and develop business strategies. The role of a lawyer fulfils all of this.
What’s the best thing about your job?
My favourite part of the job is the variety and the people; whether it be those I work with, clients or intermediaries I meet along the way.
What keeps you working at Sintons?
I have now been at Sintons for over ten years. Sintons is a fabulous place to work, with many of the partners – including myself – having trained with the firm. Sintons has provided me with the environment to grow and develop my interest in healthcare; the quality of work is impressive and the culture supportive and sociable. I pride myself on being a personable lawyer and this is easy when you have the camaraderie of your colleagues to support you. There are many partners here that are the life and soul of Sintons and they know the importance of maintaining the firm’s culture. I take pride in the fact I am an ambassador for Sintons.
What’s the most interesting case you have dealt with?
I advise many dentists on the sale and purchase of their practices and the law was recently changed to allow dentists to incorporate into a limited company. Last year, I dealt with the purchase of a sizeable dental practice which was one of the first share sales.
Where do you see your firm in five to ten years?
It is very difficult to see where any law firm will be in the next five to ten years due to the changing climate of legal services and the introduction of alternative business structures. However, as Sintons has made significant growth organically I can see that continuing, taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
What would you have been if you weren’t a lawyer?
Originally I wanted to be a ballet dancer. Now, if I hadn’t been a lawyer I probably would have been a primary school teacher or a writer (if possible the next JK Rowling!)
What would you advise lawyers beginning their legal career today?
I am involved with graduate recruitment for the firm and it is encouraging to see the quality of applicants coming through. I would advise them to make the most of the opportunities that you get, even if the task seems daunting. Also, not to be disheartened – it’s a very competitive world in legal services and there may be knock backs but it will be worth it in the end.
What do you think are the biggest challenges/ opportunities for 2012?
With the proposed introduction of the Health & Social Care Bill, the world of healthcare is ever changing and we are constantly reviewing our services to ensure we provide the best possible advice to our clients. Whatever the outcome of the Bill, the changes will see GPs centre stage in handling budgets and they will become more commercial creating opportunity for the most entrepreneurial of our healthcare clients. As lawyers who specialise in this area, this is both a challenge and an opportunity.