Our spotlight on our solicitors series showcases the talent and expertise of our legal professionals. In these interviews, we find out more about the people behind the expert advice. Recently, we caught up with Genevieve Stevenson, a member of our commercial team. Genevieve joined the Harper James team in September 2022 as a commercial property solicitor, following her time working in-house for Staffordshire County Council.
What inspired you to practice law?
‘Law has always piqued my interest from a young age. My uncle is a medical negligence solicitor, so I grew up hearing about the interesting cases he was working on. My dad also pursued law by taking the GDL conversion course. As I progressed through my studies, I realised I preferred helping people – practising commercial law allows me to help businesses grow.’
What brought you to Harper James and how are you finding it so far?
‘The team at Harper James have been really welcoming and I’m enjoying the work I’m doing and getting to know the clients I’m working with. I came to Harper James because I was really intrigued when I read about the firm and how differently it did things.’ Genevieve said. ‘I thought it would be exciting to be part of a pioneering and fast-growing firm. I find it rewarding that I get to know business owners and their goals and to help them achieve them. Working from home gives me the work life balance I need; I feel like I’m able to prioritise my career without having to give up doing the things I love.’
How does working with Harper James compare with the other firms/places you have worked at?
‘Harper James is a progressive firm and it’s interesting how differently it’s structured in comparison to traditional law firms. The client experience is a lot more streamlined, and the lawyers get to focus all their attention on delivering quality client services.’
Define commercial property in a sentence?
‘Helping people manage their property assets so they can run and grow their businesses.’
Are there any key stories/trends you’ve seen emerging in your commercial property?
‘Recently, I’ve seen a lot of clients who have found themselves in situations that could have been avoided if they had taken legal advice from the outset. I think this may become more common considering the current economic crisis. We’re always happy to fix these problems where possible, but I encourage business owners to instruct us from the beginning because it could save a lot of money in the long run.’
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
‘When I was working for a local authority, I got to run a large tender project that involved around 70 different sites. There were many different elements to the project, including drafting bespoke documents and reviewing large quantities of information within tight deadlines.’ explained Genevieve. ‘As it was an in-house project, it felt like I was more than just a lawyer. I was responsible for coordinating lots of different departments within the authority. It really challenged me to put into practice the skills I had learned at the beginning of my career and made me realise how far I’ve come since qualifying.’
What do you think clients value most about the way you work with them?
‘I always strive to give clients the highest level of service that I can. I genuinely love to see businesses succeed and achieve their goals. I aim to be pragmatic, efficient, and always on the end of the phone if a client wants to talk things through.’
Any hobbies? What do you do to unwind?
Outside of work, Genevieve enjoys keeping fit with fitness classes and getting outdoors.
‘I enjoy CrossFit classes, running - anything that gets me out into the fresh air. Keeping fit and staying active is like pressing a ‘reset’ button on my brain!’