Christine Newton, Hill Dickinson - Asscociate of the Year Winner
Firstly, where do you work and what is your role?
I work in the commercial litigaion team at Hill Dickinson in Manchester where I have been for 5 years. We are a young, ambitious team with a varied and interesting case load and it feels like an exciting time to be here at the moment.
Why did you choose a career in law?
I took a degree in history but I always thought at the back of my mind that law was something I would like to do. Perhaps because I am argumentative and always have an opinion on everything.
What attracted you to your particular specialism?
Litigation is fast-paced and involves something new every day. Every case is different and its exciting not knowing what you will be dealing with one day to the next. It probably does not suit everyone and maybe I just have a low attention span!
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Knowing you have given your all intellectually (not to mention emotionally), to put forward the best possible case for your client and realising you have succeeded in getting the other party to back down as a result.
What particular challenges are you facing in these tougher times?
When things first started to get tough economically people started to litigate more and we were very busy. Now people don't want to spend money on lawyers and we are having to be more innovative about fees.
Where do you think the opportunities for growth will be in the legal profession in the next few years?
We have recently started to embrace third party funding as a means of enabling clients to make a claim without bearing all the financial risk. I think in the coming years, half of cases will be funded in this way especially when the Jackson reforms kick in and litigators must adapt.
What’s been your most enjoyable recent piece of work?
We are supporting our regulatory team at the moment working on a high profle public inquiry which involves interviewing witnesses from all over the country and taking numerous statements. Its fascinating seeing the whole picture slowly come together one statement at a time. I would tell you more, but then I would have to kill you.
What inspires you when it comes to your work?
Being pushed to my limits every day. Also, being surrounded by great colleagues. If you don't like the people you work with you are never going to feel inspired.
Do you work by a particular mantra or motto in your business life?
Not really, I am a great believer in rolling up my sleeves and getting on with the job in hand.
Can you give one piece of professional advice to your peers?
Treat everyone equally and with respect no matter who they are.