60 second interviews

The diversity of the employed Bar.

A popular misconception when considering the employed Bar is assuming that roles are either in a solicitor’s firm or in the Government Legal Service or CPS. To dispel this myth, Melissa Coutinho begins a series of 60 second interviews which demonstrate the diversity of work that employed lawyers undertake.


AMINA GRAHAM

is employed by the Football Association

When were you called?

2008

How did your career progress?

Post-pupillage I was kept on and obtained a tenancy at Furnival Chambers. After three years, I joined the FA.

How did you come to your current post?

Talking sport at court one day someone mentioned an online advert for a FA lawyer; I applied and got the job.

What is the best part of your job?

Using my advocacy skills; I get to present disciplinary cases, cross examine witnesses, using my training. And I am able to combine my two passions: football and law.

What is its greatest challenge?

Everything I do is high profile. There is a real media spotlight on any outcomes…

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

In a role where I can still balance my personal and professional life, as working at the FA allows. Doing a Masters in Sports Law has opened my eyes to those lawyers who have careers in tennis, rugby etc.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I relax best by watching trashy television. Also I intend to set up a charity to help under-privileged children. Anyone willing to help?

 

 

WINSTON RODDICK QC

is Police and Crime Commissioner for Wales

When were you called?

1968

How did your career progress?

Very well. Pupillage, tenancy, Silk 2006; Counsel General 1998-2003; Leader of the Circuit 2007-2010; Recorder of Caernarfon 2000; my current post in 2012.

How did you come to your current post?

Election.

What is the best part of your job?

Living in north Wales and influencing the criminal justice system there.

What is its greatest challenge?

This is a new role constitutionally, so identifying all the possible components and how these work together...

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

Hopefully, relaxing with my wife and grandchildren.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I was a failure at school until the 4th form when a teacher persuaded me I could do better.

Will there be more employed posts in the future?

Yes. The numbers of self-employed barristers will decrease but not the need for barristers.

 

 

STEPHEN COLLIER

is CEO at General Healthcare Group UK

When were you called?

1980

How did your career progress?

Post-pupillage came squatting, but I took a part-time role at General Healthcare which became full-time. I took on more management roles, becoming profi cient at running business and at corporate functions, such as HR and strategy, both in the UK and overseas.

How did you come to your current post?

In the 1990s I had a general counsel role (when such posts were uncommon) but was seen to be performing well. I worked my way up. My current role is executive and does not involve law.

What is the best part of your job?

The autonomy I enjoy and the ability to influence others and be responsible for positive change.

What is its greatest challenge?

Insufficient hours in the week.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

I do not have rigid plans for that far ahead. This means I avoid disappointment. More importantly, I keep an open mind as regards possible opportunities.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am a big softie.

 

 

KAREN SQUIBB-WILLIAMS

was Head of Legal and Director of Communications at the Forensic Science Society

When were you called?

1999

How did your career progress?

Working at the CPS and Attorney General’s Office saw me develop an interest in forensic science and new technologies.

How did you come to your current post?

I had come across the Forensic Science Society whilst employed by the CPS and AGO. They head-hunted me. However, I am now heading my own set: Acorn Chambers, specialising in forensic matters.

What is the best part of your job?

Matching practitioner need with relevant information and encouraging better understanding of case management.

What is its greatest challenge?

The patience required, given the time it takes to bring about meaningful change.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

As a part-time Coroner and having created a chambers that supports entrants to the Bar, with a fi nancially successful and intellectually stimulating career.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I have six grandchildren and run an antiques business.

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Melissa Coutinho

Melissa Coutinho is a lawyer for the Government Legal Service An accredited arbitrator, qualified PPM practitioner and a magistrate, she also writes and lectures on medical products and their regulation.