Our spotlight on our solicitors series highlights the talent and expertise of our legal professionals. In these interviews, we discover more about the people behind the expert advice. This time, we caught up with corporate solicitor Wajiha Haris. Wajiha recently qualified as a solicitor in October 2022. She originally began her journey with Harper James in 2016, when she joined as an admin assistant while studying the LPC. Since then, she has worked in a multitude of practice areas across the business.
How did you begin your career?
‘After I completed my LLB degree, I interned at a Karachi-based international corporate firm, Liaquat Merchant Associates. When I moved to England, I knew I had to complete my LPC before I could get a training contract, so I applied to work at Harper James in the admin department while completing my LPC at the University of Sheffield.’ said Wajiha. ‘Studying my LPC and having the opportunity to work at Harper James simultaneously gave me a great insight into what working as a solicitor in the UK looks like.’
What are the main areas of your corporate expertise?
‘Since qualifying, I’ve already been involved in a broad range of corporate work such as mergers/acquisitions, share reorganisations, corporate governance, and private equity investments. Although I’m at the beginning of my career in law, I plan to specialise in investment work, but I will be involved in other areas of corporate work going forward.’
Why did you choose corporate law?
‘The writing’s always been on the wall when it comes to why I chose to pursue corporate law. Harper James has always had corporate law as its core practice area, so it has always been at the centre of my work. Mergers in particular sparked an interest in me. I chose it as an elective on the LPC and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I knew from the beginning that corporate law would become my natural focus.’
Can you recall any key highlights from your career so far?
‘My proudest achievement so far is completing my training contract and qualifying as a solicitor.’ said Wajiha. ‘Over the years as a trainee solicitor and legal assistant, I’ve assisted many senior lawyers at the firm on countless transactions, seeing them through from start to finish. A key highlight for me during my time as a trainee solicitor was seeing some of those transactions through to completion with minimal supervision.’
What do you think your clients value the most about you?
‘I always strive to be clear in communication with clients to ensure they understand every step of the legal process. I also aim to make sure work is completed with swift turnaround times while also making sure the services I provide are of a high quality.’
Have you noticed any recent stories or trends within the corporate landscape?
‘In light of the recent changes within the budget by the Chancellor, I’ve found that some of our clients have been keeping their eyes peeled for the SEIS and EIS tax rules that come into effect in April 2023.’
What were your first impressions of Harper James?
‘I’ve been at Harper James since 2016 and I’ve always been impressed with its innovative and ambitious approach in providing accessible legal services. There’s no bureaucracy in the firm and the senior solicitors are extremely approachable. In terms of what brought me here – work life balance is one of the main things I value about the firm. I’m a mum, so being able to fit my career around my family is important to me. I became a mum while I was working here, and the team were extremely supportive. That’s been one of the determining factors as to why I’m still here today.’
Any hobbies? What do you do to unwind?
‘I love to spend time with my family – whether that be cooking for them or catching up on our favorite TV shows or movies!’
What are three things on your bucket list?
‘I’d love to see the Northern Lights or go on a Safari in Africa!’