Spotlight on our solicitors – meet Sean Walsh

Spotlight on our solicitors – meet Sean Walsh

Find out more about the people behind the advice in this new series of interviews with our solicitors. Sean Walsh, employment law solicitor, discusses his career from management at a print manufacturing company to employment law solicitor at Harper James. 

How long have you worked at Harper James?  

I joined Harper James in April 2016. 

Law is a second career for me. Before I became a solicitor,  I was a manager at a print manufacturing company. The print manufacturing industry was struggling, so I decided to study Law with the Open University (part-time). I was older than the trainees around me and others doing the LPC, because of my career change but when I got a training contract it was recognised that I could bring my commercial experience from manufacturing into the role.

After I qualified, I worked for Mace & Jones Solicitors which merged and became part of Weightmans. I was exploring the option of working as a consultant and this is how I was introduced to Harper James, I jumped at the chance. It was a very easy decision to make because I knew that I would be able to focus on the work that I am qualified to do with greater flexibility.  

How does working with Harper James compare with other firms you have worked at?  

It is far easier; you work far more effectively because there is less admin. Everything outside of fee-earning is covered by the support team and you have more time to concentrate on clients and their requirements. This is what I find great about working for Harper James, I don’t spend hours not doing the work I qualified for.  

Define employment law in a sentence 

The rules and regulations that govern the working relationship between an employee and employer.  

What’s the best piece of employment advice you could give a business?  

Document everything in writing (including minutes of meetings, agreements, contracts and addendums/changes to contracts, policies, and procedures). With a written record of documents, you always have a degree of certainty and an audit trail to refer to.  

What has been the proudest moment at Harper James/of your career so far? 

I represented a senior bank worker who had been treated very badly by her employer. I helped her issue a claim for bullying, harassment, sex discrimination and disability discrimination.  

The solicitors for the respondent were very aggressive, making obstructive applications and requirements on every part of the claim. It was a very lengthy process, we got through it and the client was successful at the employment tribunal. She was awarded a six-figure sum as compensation.  

What do you do to unwind? 

I enjoy keeping fit, I take long walks and whenever I can I read fiction novels.  

Tell us a prediction for your practice area in the future 

Following Covid-19 I believe there will be a big change surrounding flexible working and working from home. There will be more evidence now that such an arrangement can work for businesses whereas before there was uncertainty. I believed employers will need to give added consideration to certain flexible/home working requests that perhaps they would not have in the past.

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