LLB (Hons), Sheffield Hallam University – First Class (2010)
BPTC, Nottingham Law School – Very Competent (2011)
Called to the Bar, Inner Temple (2011)
BIOGRAPHY (for LEGAL C.V Click Here)
I came to the legal profession late in life. I started a part-time degree in law in 2006 whilst serving as a full-time firefighter. I Initially found the fire service to be extremely supportive (and indeed my operational colleagues remained so throughout and beyond my career with the service), however the attitude of the Human Resources department changed midway through my second year of study and I found myself forced into a position where I had to choose between continuing to study law or continuing my career as a firefighter; I chose law.
I had developed a passion for the study of law; I had absorbed myself into the study of law – both the academic study and the practical application of my studies through mooting in particular. In law, I had found a new challenge. I had found something that was challenging me intellectually whereas my previous challenges had always been of a physical nature. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the fire service. I loved the job, I loved life on station and I still miss friends and colleagues almost as much as I miss the adrenaline surging blue-light runs and the high-risk operational incidents. I miss all of that; but I had 16 great years doing it and you might say that I had “been there, done it and got (more than a few) t-shirts”.
I threw myself into my studies and I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a first class LLB (hons) degree and, having rejected a training contract at a magic circle law firm in favour of trying for a career at the Bar, I commenced the BPTC at Nottingham Law School largely courtesy of a very sizeable award and scholarship from my Inn of Court, the Inner Temple.
I cannot say that I found the BPTC inspiring; I rarely felt intellectually challenged or stretched but at the same time, I felt as though I struggled with the course – probably because I found it more like my early experiences at school as opposed to the intellectual stimulation of undergraduate study. Despite my difficulties, I completed the BPTC with the grade of Very Competent and I was subsequently called to the Bar by my Inn, the Inner Temple, in 2011.
I was then fortunate enough to find myself with the opportunity to try academia as an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in the 2011/12 academic year, initially teaching Intellectual Property Law and later taking on the teaching of Equity and Trusts and some Land Law. This became a full time, permanent position in January 2012. I genuinely found teaching to be extremely challenging, rewarding and inspiring. I was (and remain) passionate about encouraging students to aim high: to stretch themselves and to aspire to be the very best that they can be. Teaching law also required me (and helped me) to continue to expand my own knowledge and develop myself as a lawyer.
I left teaching in September 2012 to take up a position at the Court of Appeal – a fixed term position as a Judicial Assistant. I was incredibly fortunate to get this opportunity and I was even more fortunate to find myself assigned to the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson.
I had an incredible experience at the Court of Appeal. The role thrust me into close contact with the most senior members of the judiciary. I had the opportunity to work on some fascinating cases, mainly in the public law and human rights arena, but also commercial contract, defamation and personal injury. I had the opportunity to discuss the cases with the constitution before, during and after the hearing. All of this has been of enormous value – not only have I increased my knowledge of substantive law, I have also had the opportunity to view and experience the appeals process behind the scenes. The experience has been of incalculable value in my development as a lawyer and it is something that only a very few can ever experience. I consider it a great honour and a genuine privilege to have had that experience.