Our spotlight on our solicitors series gives us the chance to showcase the talent of our legal professionals. In these interviews, we get to uncover the people behind the expert legal advice. This time, we spoke to avid sports fan and senior corporate solicitor, Stephen Evans.
How did you begin your career?
‘I studied law at the University of Nottingham, where I graduated in 1990. From there, I went to the College of Law in Chester for the Law Society Finals, followed by a two-year training contract with Needham & James in Birmingham.’ said Stephen. ‘I qualified in 1993, by which time the firm had been taken over by Dibb Lupton Broomhead, now known as DLA Piper.’
What/who inspired you to get into law?
‘I’m not sure what inspired me to follow a career in law, though I remember being set on it from a fairly early age. My stepfather was a solicitor, so I got to do some work experience at his firm, though he did do his best to put me off joining the profession!’.
What are your main areas of corporate law expertise? Do you cover any niche areas?
‘I have covered a wide range of corporate law over the years, but the main areas have been investments, mergers and acquisitions.’ explained Stephen. ‘I’ve spent a lot of my time over the last 10 years advising both investors and investee companies in relation to equity investments in early stage and high growth businesses and I’ve often advised the same company through numerous funding rounds.’
Are you fond of a particular aspect of your work?
‘It’s always satisfying when a client comes to you with a problem and you can help them to find a solution to it.’
Can you recall any key moments from your career so far?
‘When I was newly qualified, I was part of the team that worked on the IPO of one of our major clients. I developed a long-lasting relationship with them and went onto advise them on several acquisitions, including the purchase of a German company, where I was the sole legal adviser to the client at negotiation meetings and the final completion meeting in Germany.’ said Stephen. ‘I think being given such a significant responsibility so early on in my career taught me to be self-sufficient and to think for myself. On the other hand, I have also learned to recognise when a matter is outside of my skillset.’
What do you think your clients value the most about the way you work with them?
‘I’m responsive to my client’s needs and I always strive to take a commercial approach to transactions. While it’s important that clients understand what they are agreeing to on paper, they should also know what that means in practice and how likely it is that a particular provision will ever come into play.’
How have you found working at Harper James?
Stephen joined Harper James in 2016, making him one of the longest serving members of the firm.
‘During the seven years I’ve been at Harper James, it’s been impressive to see the firm grow so rapidly but still maintain the friendly atmosphere that was here when I joined.’
Do you have any hobbies? How do you like to unwind?
Stephen is an avid sports fan and a supporter of Liverpool FC and Welsh rugby.
‘I’m an armchair sports fan – mainly football, but I’m also a big fan of cricket, rugby, and golf. I also enjoy reading about sports and politics.’