Find out more about the people behind the legal advice at Harper James in this series of interviews with our solicitors. In this Spotlight on Our Solicitors, Abby Watson shares her career journey in the legal sector from an English and Philosophy graduate to corporate solicitor at Harper James.
How long have you worked at Harper James?
I have been at Harper James since April 2015! I joined just after finishing maternity leave while Toby was setting up the business.
What inspired you to practise law in the first place? Tell us about your legal career so far?
I studied English and Philosophy at University which didn’t naturally lead into a particular job, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I went travelling and worked in a law firm in Sydney as a temp and this is what sparked my interest in the law as well as working in the legal industry.
After travelling, I went to the College of Law to undertake a post-graduate diploma and then did the LPC (Legal Practice Course). I got a training contract with DLA Piper from 2005 to 2007 and in 2012 I had my first child. After maternity leave, I was looking to find a firm with more flexibility. Finally, I found Harper James Solicitors, where I have been ever since.
How does working with Harper James compare with other firms you have worked at?
It is completely different, I work from home with great flexibility. The model is totally different to any other firm, but you still get the exact same quality work. With two young children I couldn’t imagine doing a large commute and missing out on the school run.
What’s the best piece of corporate advice you could give a business?
What has been the proudest moment at Harper James/of your career so far?
I have been proud of what I have achieved throughout my whole career, a training contract at DLA Piper gave me good grounding and skills to build from. At Harper James I have been able to progress my expertise and help businesses with their needs.
What do you do to unwind?
Run, run and run! I regularly run 10k during the week and 10+ miles at weekends. I am currently training for a marathon. I also enjoy swimming and cycling.
Tell us a prediction for your practice area in the future.
I don’t think anyone could have predicted the last 18 months with Covid-19 and not many people in my practice area knew how to handle this. Thankfully, I believe we’re starting to see things return to normal, with businesses prospering now that restrictions are starting to lift in England and across the world. I would advise any business who have had to cut pay to offer share options to employees. When things pick up the share options should increase in value.