Nicola Wilburn-Shaw

Nicola Wilburn-Shaw

Partner at McAlister Family Law

McAlister Family Law’s Nicola Wilburn-Shaw gives us an insight into her world, passions and life in the latest 20 Questions

What time did you wake up this morning?

6.20am. I have to get up early so that I can orchestrate getting myself ready as well as getting my four-year-old organised for school (no easy feat!).

What’s your favourite object in your office?

The photo I have on my desk of my daughter, my husband, and me, on our very first holiday together.

Who is your closest colleague?

Our managing partner, Amanda. We knew one another pretty well before I ended up working for her; I genuinely enjoy her company and she’s a true confidant.

Do you have a favourite family heirloom?

An old miners’ lamp that my late granddad used when he was working in the mines. He was my one true hero and it reminds me of both his life and that times were much harder then, certainly much harder than many of us know today.

What’s your favourite song of all time?

Madonna, “Vogue”.

What’s your favourite play?

Does opera count?! I adore Madame Butterfly.

Who’s your favourite movie star?

Hugh Grant. I fell in love with him in Four Weddings and a Funeral (my favourite movie) and still think he’s the best!

What’s your favourite book?

Hmm, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a book more than I did “The Secret History”, by Donna Tartt. It would have to be that. Her book “The Goldfinch” is also very, very good.

What book are you reading right now?

I don’t get much time for reading (for pleasure, that is!) in-between work and being a mum. But, I recently purchased “My Husband’s Lies” by ex-divorce lawyer, Karoline England, and have been dipping in and out of that. Otherwise, it’s “Cinderella” and “What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday” - my daughter’s current bedtime favourites!

What book do you wish you had written?

Any one of the Harry Potter series. I am not personally a fan but would switch bank accounts with J K Rowling any day of the week!

What’s the greatest invention of all time?

The jet engine. The world gets smaller and smaller as it becomes more accessible and this is a wonderful thing.

Is there a sport that you wish you could play?

Polo! I love horse riding so that seems a natural progression. It’s a summer sport too and I love the sunshine.

Who inspires you in business?

Obviously Amanda, or I wouldn’t have jumped at the chance to work with her and learn from such a successful businesswoman. But outside of my industry, I think Jacqueline Gold is a fantastic role model – she is a determined, hardworking, business pioneer and an inspiration to all women; she conquered a male-dominated industry and went on to become one of the richest, most successful women in the country.

Dress up, dress down or somewhere in between?

Dress up. Always. I don’t believe in dress down!

Where do you go to relax?

The last time I really relaxed was in February; I went horse riding across the Lucknam Park Estate in the Cotswolds, when I was on a mini break for my 40th. Galloping through such beautiful countryside was exhilarating. You have reminded me I am due some “me” time, soon!

What country have you always wanted to visit?

Indonesia. It looks like pure paradise. I will get round to it one day.

Besides your phone, what do you always have with you?

My oversized Gucci sunglasses. They add instant glamour and hide a multitude of sins!

What’s the best part about your job?

The transition from my first meeting with a client who is likely anxious, emotional, aggrieved and/or fearful of the future, to the conclusion of the case and witnessing that fear turn into strength and empowerment, and knowing that I have played a pivotal role in that.

What’s your favourite post-work tipple?

G&T or an Aperol Spritz.

Finally, what’s your guilty pleasure?

Gucci: Much to my husband’s despair!