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I don’t come from a legal or farming background. I trained with a city firm in the 1990s. I qualified into the commercial property department and had my fair share of bright lights and travel to exotic places. When I was a trainee I was pulled in on a big job for a foreign client; they were buying a farm in Norfolk and I was instructed to get to grips with all the quirky ‘agricultural’ stuff. I found it far more interesting and demanding than the other work I was doing (there’s only so excited you can get about yet another office lease for a large city institution). So when I was offered a job in a firm up in Carlisle that specialised in agricultural law I jumped at the chance.
I joined Roythornes in 1999, after I’d met my future husband and moved down to the Midlands. It has proved a good move for me; if you’re ambitious, there is plenty of scope to develop your skills. As a member of the firm’s management board I see a lot of CVs. I honestly think I played a blinder in making the switch I did; lots of lawyers in city firms sold their souls and then found themselves on the scrap heap when the recession kicked in. The importance of agriculture to the economy can only increase as the population rises; it’s a great sector to work in. You actually want to speak to your clients when they call; they always have something interesting to say.