02 August 2016
Emma is an outstanding contributor to Shakespeare Martineau, her team and the community. She has climbed the ladder to partnership through hard work and a unique approach, bringing to bear her previous career experience working for a property investment company in Australia and then in the sales team of a leading Midlands Housing Association.
We asked her how it felt to win.
I was absolutely over the moon. It’s always lovely to be recognised isn’t it!
I’m not a solicitor, so my path to partnership has been different to that of most people, which makes it particularly sweet to have won this award. This award helps to show graduates and LPC students there are different routes to the top and all they need is hard word and determination and they can then opt for the path which suits them best.
How did people react to your win?
I’ve had some really great feedback; my inbox was full of congratulatory emails the morning after the Gala Dinner.
As well as being delighted with the award myself, it’s also a brilliant way to promote Coventry and Warwickshire and showcase the talent here.
You said your route to partnership was unusual. Can you tell us a little about your career path?
Eager to start work straight from school I completed a Business and Finance Apprenticeship before joining a leading Midlands Housing Association. Like lots of young people, I wanted to save the world and work within a not-for-profit sector. Many opportunities came my way and I was fortunate enough to work in Sales, Retirement Housing and later for the Executive Board and Chief Executive.
Many years later and after working in Australia I joined a local Coventry law firm, Newsome Vaughan who had just won their first Housing Association client. I joined at a junior level and the firm supported me within my studies. I worked my way up to Operations Manager, Associate then Partner, accredited by the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority and the Law Society, as required for a non-lawyer who manage lawyers.
I am now a Partner with Shakespeare Martineau, Head of Sales for the Social Housing Team and we are market leaders in our sector. I am incredibly grateful to Louise Drew and Paul Saunders, both of whom I have worked with now for 17 years. They recruited me at Newsome Vaughan in 1999, saw the potential and gave me the opportunities I needed to blossom.
Which are your proudest achievements?
My best achievements are my three children and juggling work, my love of charity work and not forgetting my dog Roobarb, the chickens and a very supportive husband.
Where do you want your career to go from here?
I love working for Shakespeare Martineau. We have lots of great initiatives, like our in-house Academy, which supports the development of our own talent.
I want to stay with this firm and grow our social housing team to be the best in the country.
What would you say to the next generation?
We need to promote Coventry and Warwickshire to them. It’s easy to be seduced by the bright lights of Birmingham and London but you don’t need to leave our patch to have a great career. This region is perfect for combining a successful and interesting career.
How do you unwind?
Getting mental down time is important. I run at lunchtimes, kick box and go to the gym a couple of times a week. And of course I have to walk the dog and clean out the chickens!