In The Spotlight - Kim Huggins

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We find out why our Medical Negligence Associate Kim Huggins joined the profession, her biggest challenges, and what really makes her tick.


Tell us about yourself and your role at Pinney Talfourd

Having spent 11 years previously working as a paralegal I qualified as a solicitor in 2011. I joined Pinney Talfourd just over 4 years ago, specialising in Medical Negligence.

What made you decide to make the leap from a paralegal to a solicitor? 

Being a solicitor is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s not an easy profession to get into, and is fiercely competitive, so gaining experience of the legal industry beforehand can really help.

So, when I finished my degree, I worked in central government, and then from there I secured a job as a full-time paralegal for a firm in Chelmsford to gain the experience I needed. I dealt predominately with personal injury claims, working my way up to senior paralegal and negotiator. Then I decided to study for my exams whilst working full time to qualify and get to where I am today.


Why did you decide to specialise in Medical Negligence? 

My specialism came from personal experience - a hospital GP misdiagnosed my own mum’s condition. She spent quite a lot of time being poorly but without knowing why, and it wasn’t until her final days that we actually found out what was wrong with her, by which time it was too late. Something could have been done to save her if it was caught early enough.

That feeling of utter helplessness and unnecessary loss is something that I don’t want other people to have to feel.

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Spotlight on Matthew Edwards

Matthew Edwards is a Partner at the Firm but dreamed of Captaining the England football team, or maybe a fighter pilot...
Matthew Edwards is a Partner at Pinney Talfourd Solicitors and Head of Private Client and Elderly Client Services.

1. What made you enter private client law?

When I was training to become a solicitor I had a strong interest in matrimonial law but my head was turned very late on by the appeal of private client work, its technical nature, and the variety of clients.

2. Did you always want to be a lawyer?

Not at all. To be honest I was a bit of dreamer when I was young and harboured aspirations for far too long of captaining England at Wembley or being a jet fighter pilot! Once reality set in I knuckled down, qualified as a solicitor, and never looked back.

3. What is your favourite part of the job?

We are very privileged as solicitors in that clients confide in us to seek guidance on a range of personal issues, often in times of great stress, and it is this solicitor/client relationship that I enjoy most - every client is unique with their own story to tell.

4. You ran the marathon for Saint Francis Hospice in 2014. Would you run another marathon?

I was privileged enough to get this opportunity. The cocktail of intense physical torture, mental trauma, and the sheer exhilaration of competing and finishing was an experience that will live with me forever. Given the chance I would run it again but I fear my knees wouldn’t allow it.

5. What’s your biggest achievement in life?

Hmmm, managing not to fall on to the Underground Line after my legs gave way on the platform after the London Marathon.

6. What has been the most awkward moment in your career?

As a young newly qualified solicitor I was required to make a home call to see an elderly client who was temporarily living with her daughter. Upon arrival I was thrown by there being no front door and the back gate was locked. I reluctantly peered through the front window and was met with the sight of the daughter spread on the sofa by an open fire in her underwear. I made a hasty retreat to the back gate and managed to open it before being met by the daughter in a baggy tracksuit. Judging by her reaction she hadn’t seen me peering through the window, or at least that’s the impression she gave me. I’ll never know for sure.....

7. Do you have any hobbies?

When I’m not spending time with my two young daughters I enjoy a bit of DIY, even if I’m not very good at it.


To find out more about Matthew and contact him please visit his staff profile page.

 

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Spotlight on Philip Cockram

We find out why our Managing Partner Philip Cockram joined the profession and why he got a glass of water thrown over him in court!




1. What made you enter law?

My mother was a lawyer and, as a child, watching her pore over old cases and statements in the evenings caught my imagination. As I studied and entered the profession, I liked the history and tradition of law and the unusual characters it seemed to attract. I was told by the daughter of one of the early partners in the Firm that her father had come home one evening and told her how he had to call the local police to the office to deal with one of his clients. Apparently, his client had questioned the bill for legal services and the partner had marched the client out of his office, pushed him down a flight of stairs to the front door and called the police to take him away. Things have changed quite a bit since then...

My father was an accountant and figures and money never seemed quite as interesting. Ironically, my job now is all about budgets and figures and involves very little law.



2. “When I grow up I want to be….” As a child, what did you want to be?

I grew up with lots of animals around the house and I always wanted to be a vet. I’m not great with blood though.



3. What is your day to day role?

I am responsible for setting the vision of the Firm and overall implementation of our strategy and business plan. This can range from reasonably high level discussion on mergers and acquisitions and joint venture opportunities to very much more routine tasks such as the shade of white of our notepaper and envelopes to really interesting parts like choosing the art work for our offices.



4. What do you like to do to relax?

I have two young children – Lily who is 5 and Oscar who is 2. They seem to take up all of our spare time at the moment so “relaxation time” tends to be dressing up dolls, having make up put on me or chasing around the local park. I run quite a bit to take time out but I seem to keep forgetting I am getting older and keep injuring myself by over doing things.



5. What is your most memorable moment in your law career?

Although a somewhat negative memory, probably having a glass of water thrown at me by a judge at Romford County Court when I was a trainee solicitor when I hadn’t bought the right legal text to the hearing I was conducting.


To find out more about Philip and contact him please visit his staff profile page.

 

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Spotlight on Catherine Polli

We find out why Head of Family Law and Client Services, Catherine Polli, joined the profession and why she still loves her job.


What made you decide to become a solicitor?

I spent 7 years at the London Bar as a family specialist but became disillusioned with cuts to funding and fancied doing something different. I had been instructed by a solicitor who then approached me to join his firm and head the family team. I’ve never looked back.


Why did you choose family law?

I love the mix it involves. I have a significant amount of contact with my clients which I really enjoy. When a case finishes it seems strange not to speak to that client each week but it’s good to keep in touch afterwards and see how their life has changed, hopefully for the better. 

I also really enjoy financial provision work. Many of my cases involve significant assets, tax issues, company valuations and assets abroad and I relish this type of forensic work where I think experience and expertise really can make a difference.


What do you like most about your job?

The variety.  I don’t just do client work. I also run marketing, client services and manage my team. No day is ever the same. I work really hard but I usually feel at the end of each day that I’ve achieved quite a lot which makes it all worthwhile.

What is the best thing that has happened to you in the last 12 months?

Undoubtedly recruiting my new P.A. Karen Wall. Karen came from a city firm and fundamentally understands what my clients need and how to support me. I don’t know how I ever managed without her.

To find out more about Catherine and contact her please visit her staff profile page.

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