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BLOG: National Careers week: A career in the law

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As National Careers Week comes to an end, we have asked some of our people about their career journey in the law.

We spoke to Partner Andrew Perrigo, Employment Solicitor Kelly Faulkner and Litigation Solicitor, Michael Gossage.

 

 


Andrew Perrigo, Partner and Head of the Family Team

Career journey:

I wanted to be a solicitor from the age of 11. I thought I had lost my dream at 18 when I failed one of my A levels and lost my university place.

I changed direction at that point and began working in a local solicitor’s office as a trainee legal executive. I learned a lot, and also mastered the art of making a mean cup of coffee!!

Two years later – and with an Associate of the Institute of Legal Executives in my pocket – I started my law degree, graduating in 1990. I went on to the College of Law in Chester to undertake my Law Society Finals and qualified (with honours) the following year.

After completing my training contract in 1993 I was pleased to report to my 11 year old self that we had achieved our dream.

I had a number of varied and interesting roles as a qualified solicitor, learning from some amazing people along the way before joining Morecrofts in 2007 as a Child Protection Specialist. I became a Partner in 2011 and joined our management board in 2018 thus proving the adage you can teach an old dog new tricks. Good management is the holy grail to which I always aspire but do not always achieve.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I have always thought the area of child protection was important. There is nothing more rewarding than ensuring a child can be safely cared for by their family and that they are getting the support they need in order to do that.

Did you always want to be in the role you are in now?

I always wanted to be a solicitor. I became a child protection lawyer by accident but wouldn’t change it for any other area of law now. My management hat is something I have only recently started to wear. I am still working out whether it suits me. You might be better off asking those I manage!!

What’s great about working at Morecrofts?

Morecrofts is the nicest firm I have ever worked for. What makes us unique (and it sounds trite) is our Morecrofts people. I have the privilege to work with the best people every day. And that’s why I have stayed. They have made me a better lawyer.

What are your goals for the future?

I would like Morecrofts to continue to be successful and grow and to play my small part in achieving that.

I would also like to change our livery to red – to be more in keeping with my football allegiances


Kelly Faulkner

Kelly Faulkner, Employment Solicitor

Career journey

I’ve probably been gravitating towards a career in law since quite a young age; I have always had a strong sense of fairness and what’s right or wrong.  I also knew that I wanted to do something that involved using words and would keep me engaged.  After a brief spell of wanting to be a political journalist, I started studying Law with Politics at the University of Manchester.

University helped me to focus my interests and after graduating I started working as a paralegal within a regional firm’s social welfare department, helping people to challenge Government decisions about overpayments and state benefits.  After this, I started studying for the Legal Practice Course full-time until August 2016 when I joined Morecrofts as an employment paralegal.

Each year, Morecrofts opens internal applications to its paralegals for training contracts.  In January 2017, I applied and was successful.  I started as a trainee solicitor in October 2017 and completed seats in family law and private client, followed by a year-long employment law seat.  In October 2019, I qualified into the employment team.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Employer/employee relationships can last longer than some marriages and most people spend more time in work than anywhere else.  Because the law in this area is so focused on people and relationships, it can be fascinating and incredibly varied.

I’m really interested in discrimination law; such as cases where people believe they have been treated unfavourably because of a protected characteristic (i.e. something connected to their identity that they cannot change such as their race, sexual orientation or religion).  It’s so interesting to see how as society changes, there have been emerging cases where lawyers have expanded the scope of a protected characteristic, for example the recent case where ethical veganism was considered a protected belief.

Did you always want to be in the role you are in now?

It wasn’t until I studied employment law as an elective on the Legal Practice Course that I realised this was the area of law I wanted to practise.  Employment law can be complex and because it is so reactive to societal change, it means the law in this area is constantly evolving and challenging.

What’s great about working at Morecrofts?

The people that I interact with every day. I have met so many great colleagues and clients over the past few years.

What are your goals for the future?

To build and maintain successful client relationships and to never be complacent or lose compassion.


Mike Gossage

Michael Gossage, Litigation Solicitor

Career journey

I started in Morecrofts in 2013 as a Legal Clerk having spent six years in higher education. I began my training contract in 2014 before qualifying as a Solicitor in 2016. I specialise in Commercial Litigation and Commercial Drafting.

What do you enjoy about your job?

No two days are ever the same. I assist clients in bringing cases, defending cases and negotiating settlements. I also help prepare paperwork to help prevent disputes arising. We deal with all manner of clients from individuals right through to large companies.

I have a passion for helping clients overcome difficult situations regardless of whether a case is straightforward or highly complex.

Did you always want to be in the role you are in now?

I originally studied history at both sixth form and university but when graduating I had no idea what type of career to pursue. Given this, I completed unpaid work experience placements at a law firm in Chester and within an accounts department in Oldham whilst studying for my masters.

I enjoyed my time working at the law firm and so after finishing my masters in 2011 I enrolled on the law conversion and legal practice courses in Chester whilst undertaking four further work experience placements at law firms across the North West. It was only after having experienced what it was like to work in a law firm that I knew a career in law was for me.

What’s great about working at Morecrofts?

The people. I am fortunate enough to work with fantastic colleagues who all pull in the same direction.

What are your goals for the future?

I simply want to grow my reputation in my field and do my best to help the many talented aspiring young lawyers within our firm.

 

 

 

 

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