At Harper James, we’re proud to play our part in bringing on the next generation of solicitors. This month, we’re celebrating Gemma Pickavant who qualifies as a solicitor and Wajiha Haris who begins her training contract with us.
Gemma joined Harper James in 2016 as a legal assistant after gaining her law degree and LPC from Staffordshire University. She began her training contract in 2019 and gained varied experience across corporate, commercial, intellectual property and litigation law. Gemma will specialise in IP and commercial work, and will be mentored by our intellectual property partner, Lindsay Gledhill. Originally from Devon, Gemma is looking forward to getting her teeth into the business of intellectual property law and helping our ambitious, high-growth clients.
Gemma said: ‘IP is my chosen specialism because it keeps you thinking. One day I’ll be supporting a client whose business is bricks, the next day it will be handbags and then on to protecting software rights. At Harper James you get a lot of exposure to a lot more areas of law than you would in a typical law firm – that’s been really good experience for me.‘
Wajiha Haris, who joined the firm in April 2016 while studying for her LPC at the University of Sheffield, echoes Gemma’s sentiments about the experience Harper James affords its trainees. After gaining her LLB in Karachi, Wajiha progressed from legal assistant to a senior legal assistant at Harper James before securing her training contract with us. Wajiha is looking forward to expanding her legal knowledge, working on more complex deals and drafting material documents for corporate transactions.
Wajiha commented: ‘I am hoping to focus mainly on corporate law. With Harper James, you’re in a very supportive environment. The solicitors are so approachable, they treat you as an equal, which is beneficial for learning.’
Harper James is committed to investing in the development of our team and we make sure our legal assistants, trainees and associate solicitors receive the mentoring and support they need to get on. Our associate solicitor Ed Kilner joined the IT and commercial technology team in 2019 and has been mentored by Rob Cobley, our commercial technology partner. Ed says: ‘The nature of Harper James makes working with colleagues from different departments very easy and collaborative – there’s never any vested interest or internal politics – it’s just not that type of firm. This made the experience of progressing to a point where I can easily stand on my own two feet with minimal supervision as stress-free as possible, and meant that the vast majority of my time can be focused on building my knowledge and experience.’
Corporate associate Callum Giliker joined us in 2020 and has been supported by our team of highly experienced corporate lawyers. He reflected: ‘Harper James has significant expertise in corporate law, and every single member of the team is approachable. In particular Adam Kudryl, Stephen Evans, Shubhu Patil and Jas Bhogal have a great deal of experience in all different types of corporate transactions and have always been available to help me navigate a way forward for clients. This collaborative approach has provided me with useful perspectives and untangle complex issues. It has buoyed my own development and been a massive boon for our clients.’