piBlawg

the personal injury and clinical negligence blog

A collaboration between Rebmark Legal Solutions and 1 Chancery Lane

Spotlight on.... the archive

David Foster

Partner at Barlow Robbins LLP

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... being fully human.

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... playing No 9 for Chelsea.

3. My worst day at work was... as a young lawyer when acting for a criminal client and tried to get him bail unsuccessfully despite him having been badly treated at Winchester prison. He immediately slashed his wrists and we got bail from a Crown court judge that afternoon. The client absconded from a bail hostel that night!

4. My favourite case during my career was... successfully obtaining damages for a highly vulnerable client abused by her counsellor.

5. I am most proud of... being involved in some of the terribly important ethical cases which life throws up and having an enjoyable, impressive team of people to work alongside.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... the variety of law and life -some of the most tragic things have pushed me the most but given me the greatest satisfaction.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... my family and my faith-following a king whose example and call is to serve keeps my ego in check and my priorities healthy for a good deal of the time.

John Lovatt - 16/05/2012

Partner at Stevensdrake Solicitors

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... to be more alert in the mornings.

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... working outside in the fresh air doing something non taxing or selling classic cars.

3. My worst day at work was... how long have you got ?

4. My favourite case during my career was... my career is not over yet but obtaining Judgment against a fraudster for £1.2m after a 5 days trial in the high Court – quite stressful though. (Well done Zach B).

5. I am most proud of... what I have brought to my firm over the years.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... my wonderful colleagues and their odd sense of honours.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... my wife.

Helen Niebuhr - 25/04/2012

Partner at Darbys Solicitors LLP

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... Being like the liquid metal bad guy who morphs into other peoples image in Terminator 2 - big fan of those movies though I would obviously use the power for good not ill - could have a lot of fun with that.

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... hippy running an organic cafe by the sea somewhere hot - wearing shorts and flip flops every day and making cakes.

3. My worst day at work was... Cant think of any ( the people here are always a lot of fun ) but any day without cakes is pretty harsh! Those days when the opponent just won’t see that you are right (again) can be frustrating too! Most painful moment was driving home after spending time with a feisty 25 year old mother of 3 children under 5, Tracey, who due to a delayed diagnosis of cervical cancer knew she could not even stay alive to look after her children - she was putting on a brave face but as a mother I could not contemplate how awful that must have been for her and I cried all the way home. She died a year later but we did win the case for her family.

4. My favourite case during my career was... So so many. Doing brain injury work means I meet so many inspiring clients and families who are just getting on with it despite terrible adversity and daily struggles to even communicate simple things. Doing Deputyship work after settlements means I get to know families really well and see how they develop and progress. I have a couple of 'favourite' clients right now both with cerebral palsy - one a 10 year old boy who used his new eye gaze technology to good effect when asked by his mum at the end of an interview about his wishes ' Is there anything else you think Helen ought to know ?' He smiled and said via technology "What did the Romans do?" as he obviously thought his solicitor should at least know that! The other was using his new eye gaze to continuously switch channels on the tv while others were watching - a bit annoying perhaps but a freedom to create mischief that he had never had before.

5. I am most proud of... My children having grown into good , kind people who are doing the things in life they really want to do and happy with their lives. My motto for them was always not to worry about what they will earn as however much it is they will spend up to it so to find something that they really want to get up and do each day.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... The amazing and inspiring people I get to meet (I include the Darbys team in that!) and the buzz of knowing you have done a really good job and got a result that will change someone's life.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... my 2 year old grand daughter who cares nothing for what I "do" and only that I bounce around on the trampoline with her doing 'pit-poles' - amazing in the moment fun - and my lurcher of course who is always excessively pleased to see me and never gets bored!

Ruth Powell - 16/03/2012

Partner at Powell + Co Solicitors

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... mind reading

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... Ice skating gold medallist.

3. My worst day at work was... the third day of my training contract. The adrenalin and intense excitement of days 1 and 2 had worn off and I spent most of day 3 hyperventilating in the loo waiting for someone to realise I was a fraud and knew nothing at all about law.

4. My favourite case during my career was... the human bite/exploding finger case sticks in my mind.

5. I am most proud of... the fact that I still really enjoy my job and find it interesting after 18 years of doing it.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... You think you've seen it all, until you see the next new client.....

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... The fact that truly awful things happen to people all the time and I am VERY lucky.

Steven Conway - 09/03/2012

Partner at Browne Jacobson LLP

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... the ability to stop or slow down time.

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... either producing electronic music in a loft in East Berlin, or a wine producer in Italy.

3. My worst day at work was... many years ago, being told I was being made redundant just after I had moved home and before I was about to get married. It was an early lesson in the mismanagement of law firms. And it’s not that I hold grudges but...

4. My favourite case during my career was... I've been very fortunate to be involved in a wide variety of interesting cases but it’s a toss up between defending the Chief Executive of a London Borough against a claim for misfeasance brought by a wealthy rogue of a property developer who was suing him for £9m, which was discontinued with costs; the truanting law student who was sued for non-payment of tuition fees who counterclaimed for millions claiming his university had ruined his life, which ended discontinuing with costs after day four of a five day trial in the Royal Courts of Justice; or saving the professional and personal reputations of teachers wrongly accused of negligence and racism.

5. I am most proud of... to be a partner in Browne Jacobson and to be fortunate to work with so many good and talented people.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... the people I work with, the variety of work, the intellectual challenge and the gratitude of clients for a job well done.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... a combination of my IPod, Messrs Maggs, Tatham, Pieri & Chadwick and of course, the fluoexetine.

Ian Comer - 19/12/2011

Director at comercrawley

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... 1. The art of small talk – the ability to effortlessly “work “ a room of strangers.

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... An idler and a wastrel , an impecunious gambler, an unpublished author and a holiday loafer so much the same really

3. My worst day at work was... when as a naïve young articled clerk I was propositioned by my ( unknown to me until then) gay principal ( now dead but for reasons unconnected)

4. My favourite case during my career was... one of champagne given by a grateful barrister for the use of a holiday home

5. I am most proud of... somehow being able to produce three amazing children

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... people think I am clever and important

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... that I know that I am neither

Sarah Corser - 12/12/2011

Associate Solicitor - Challinors

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... Travelling in time. I have always loved history and I would love to be able to revisit some of the great moments in history. Of course if I could travel forwards I'd see just which of my cases might win or lose which could prove very handy.........!!

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... A teacher probably. I come from a family where teaching has played a very important part and investing time in developing skills in young people can be very rewarding. I am told I have a didactic streak but I am not sure whether that was a compliment or not!

3. My worst day at work was... The day a combination of ice, snow and freezing rain hit the streets of Birmingham just as I was attempting to get home. 7 hours later and having been told by police that the hill near my home was basically a bob sleigh run which I could attempt if I wanted to, this took commuting to another level. It was a very long and cold day indeed!

4. My favourite case during my career was... that of a very nice gentleman who always came into the office with his daughter and who was genuinely one of the nicest people you could meet. He'd given one of kidneys to his wife to save her life and that exemplified his generosity. Succeeding in this case was not only professionally gratifying but I knew that the money we won would be used well and benefit a lovely family.

5. I am most proud of... my family both past and present. On my father's side there is a long line of lawyers and vicars and my mother's family achieved through education and academic success. I am proud of where I have come from and what I have achieved

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... I know it sounds corny but I do find it rewarding to be able to help my clients at a difficult time for them and of course there is still always a great buzz when a case is won. I also work with a great team which makes going to work a pleasure, most of the time!

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... Being able to go back to my family's home in the beautiful countryside of Mid Wales. To be able to enjoy the peace and beauty of this area is always good for my sanity!

Martin White - 05/12/2011

Senior Litigation Lawyer - Pickworths Solicitors

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... To master the basic workings of a computer. To many that might not seem a superpower but to me it would be akin to resolving all the worlds conflicts in one instant.

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... Policeman. Well I already am actually as a “Special”. This is full on front line policing; often violent, regularly nasty and sometimes painful. Not the village fetes and Boy Scout events I had assumed before I joined. The rush of adrenaline responding at speed to a 999 on blues and twos with who knows what at the other end is beyond description.

3. My worst day at work was... When I went into court some years ago representing a father on a custody application relating to his 3 daughters and on opening my file before the judge realised I had the papers relating to a rather interesting building dispute (a colleague had shuffled the files). Much waffle and even more hot air – custody to father.

4. My favourite case during my career was... An injunction and ouster (as it was called then) claim against my lady client’s abusive partner. My client was in her late 20’s with advanced MS being able to move only 2 fingers and her eye lids. She wanted to return to the home she occupied from a child to die. Extremely difficult to prepare and not a dry eye in the court including the judge. She got her order and her wish. Hardly a “favourite” case but very satisfying.

5. I am most proud of... My record with the police speed gun would have been my immediate answer but my offspring saw this so…. My daughter who having got into and out of law (sensible girl) is now training to become an accountant. Also my son who is eating up my money studying to be a chiropractor.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... Having such a nice bunch to work with in my team (the fact that they might read this influences the content not one iota).

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... Fuller’s ESB.

Julie Wilson - 28/11/2011

Legal Executive - Derbyshire County Council Legal Services

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... Being able to multitask in reality! There never seems to be enough hours in a day to juggle family, home and a full time job – even though I have done it for 37 years! It must be sign of getting older I suppose but it really frustrates me if I can’t finish everything I have set out to do in a day (or more than half of it sometimes!)

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... Oh I don’t know – I’ve done this for so long ! A linguist I think. I went to college from school and did the Private Secretarial Certificate with Languages - having grand ideas of working for somewhere like the United Nations! A friend of my mum’s ran a temping agency in Nottingham and got me a holiday job in a Solicitors’ Office and that was it! I got bitten by this bug – I was absolutely fascinated with the stuff I was typing. I changed firms a couple of times and then my boss (a Legal Executive) suggested I considered doing the course; so that was that! The languages are confined to holidays now but the typing skills come in handy and I can still do shorthand (at a push)!

3. My worst day at work was... Thankfully there haven’t been too many but there are a few particular occasions that I remember. The first was being inadvertently locked in a cell with an illiterate criminal client charged with heinous offences involving his partner’s children. I had been sent to go through the depositions with him in detail as my (male) colleague was ill. It was taking a while and the guard went off for a comfort break – I heard this click as he locked the door at the end of the corridor behind him having obviously forgotten I was there! I don’t like confined spaces very much at the best of times but that took the biscuit! It was only a few minutes but it seemed an eternity. That put my off criminal law for ever and I told my colleague he could make other arrangements in the future!! Another day was attending the Coroner’s Court with a matrimonial client whose estranged husband took his own life and those of the two children during a weekend visit. It became clear she had not picked up on numerous signs/hints. The Coroner (and the press afterwards) gave her a really rough time notwithstanding what she was already going through. I felt so helpless but it was a lesson for future cases. Then there was the case where I was asked to accompany the police to break the news to a young and very, very pregnant divorce client that her worthless husband was one of five people killed in a car accident involving two cars racing each other through the local council estate – and the only survivor - the driver of the other car responsible - was her cousin. None of her family could deal with it all – I drew the short straw – and we stayed friends for several years after that. (The baby was born the following day!) The last one – on a personal note – was when we used to go to disposal hearings in what was called a block list. There would be up to 50 cases listed in a one hour slot and you could roughly gauge how long you had got before the case would be called by how far down the list you were. I went for a coffee and came back to find there was still something of a wait. I then had to go to the loo and came back to find the case had been called and struck out in my absence – it took some explaining to the supervising partner back at the office! It never happened again!

4. My favourite case during my career was... I’ve had lots of cases that have given me a good feeling over the years. Some stand out more than others; the soldier father who got custody of his young daughter in the early 1980’s – a rare thing in those days; and the wife who knew so little about her husband’s financial affairs that when he walked out on her she believed him when he told her she would get nothing because he had nothing – he’d been speculating on property ventures for years and salting money away in various accounts. He slipped up and we found a flaw in the bank statements which uncovered a fortune. She got a very respectable lump sum - He went to prison for contempt and was ordered to pay all her costs! And finally the successful fatal accident claim for the widow with three children whose husband died when he stopped to help a motorist who had broken down – and got hit by an uninsured driver who fled the scene. Her gratitude was almost more than I could handle.

5. I am most proud of... My soldier son - who will hate me for this! He was born so prematurely that we didn’t think he would survive; who was damned hard work while he was little, struggled at school with dysgraphia and got into more scrapes than a little. It seems he had to do everything twice to achieve his goals but he realised his dream to join the Army, has won medals for representing the Army and his Country in sports across the world, has been to more countries than I can list here, and survived his tour of Afghanistan last year with such bravery and dignity despite losing more than one close friend and seeing two others very seriously injured. That tiny scrap is now a 6’4” beanpole with muscles who rests his chin on my head and hugs my breath out of me! (he is still my little boy even though he was 21 this year!)

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... The variety of the work I deal with in my current job working for the Council and I get immense satisfaction saving public money - whether its successfully defending a case (especially if we get costs) or just keeping the payout to what’s essential rather than getting ripped off!. It seems society is always looking for financial gain out of every little life event! I get a kick from the knowledge the the cases I deal with could affect the way that the Council makes decisions or acts in the future. I spent many of my 20 years in private practice doing claimant personal injury work before becoming a public sector defendant lawyer! Many of my friends and peers couldn’t believe I was a poacher turned gamekeeper but I love it!

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... My husband! He is so calm and collected. He never gets ruffled or loses his temper and has the patience of a saint! He has been with me through thick and thin! Also knowing how fortunate I am compared with others. I’ve had my share of personal crises over the years but there is always someone worse off than you.

Chris Dyton - 24/10/2011

LA Team Manager at Essex Legal Service

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... Superhuman strength like the incredible Hulk (useful Saturday afternoons, for an ageing rugby player past his prime!)

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... Marine Biologist (My early ambition - sadly my science grades let me down!)

3. My worst day at work was... At a previous firm when it was announced the Personal Injury department was closing.

4. My favourite case during my career was... A very high profile multi-claimant High Court case (17 claimants in total) The case was an intense piece of litigation involving considerable legal and strategic thought. We were the defendants, and the claimants' cases were ultimately struck out following a 3 day hearing.

5. I am most proud of... My baby daughter Imogen (9 months).

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... Myself or another member of my team fighting a 50-50 case and winning - thereby saving public funds.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... 2 things - Spending time with my partner and 2 daughters and plodding around the rugby pitch every Saturday , with friends who are similarly over the hill!

Michael Gwilliam- 17/10/2011

Partner at Plexus Law

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... The ability to apply a telepathic mute button to all the mobile phone “over-talkers” on my long commute home. I don’t feel the need to listen to what you’re planning to cook for dinner.

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... A ski bum. I’m halfway there.

3. My worst day at work was... Suggesting to Master Turner, on my first seat in articles, that this was “not my file” during an application in the Bear Garden. That went down well.

4. My favourite case during my career was... Hone v Going Places. Amusing facts – and still a decent precedent.

5. I am most proud of... That rare occasion when the dogs sit on command. I fear that they know who’s really in charge.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... I very rarely have a dull day. One joy of travel law is the sheer lunacy of some of the situations that the average holidaymaker manages to get himself into during a fortnight in Magaluf.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... The ability to switch off from work from time to time. Rarely when actually in the office, though.

Daniel O'Keeffe - 10/10/2011

Solicitor at Russell-Cooke LLP

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... I would use my power to help others and give insurance companies the ability to both answer the phone and say something constructive when they finally do.

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... An archaeologist. I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I was little. Although, now I know it is not all international travel and fighting with Nazi’s I think I will stick with being a solicitor.

3. My worst day at work was... Realising a former client was a cannibal. Either that or the day I spent an hour and a half on the phone to one insurance company being redirected to every department in Western Europe only to eventually be passed back to the very first person I spoke to. Yes, this one wins. Aarrgghh!

4. My favourite case during my career was... Bazlinton and Thompson deceased and others v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd which I worked on with Terry Lee. Very tragic and very humbling, but we achieved a successful outcome in a difficult case for the families of the 2 young girls killed in the Elsenham Rail accident.

5. I am most proud of... my 10 month old son, He is just learning to walk. I will be even more proud when he learns to sleep.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... When you are genuinely able to make a difference to people’s lives with a successful case.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... My brilliant secretary Linda helps keep me sane at work. The fact I have to print everything at least twice probably does not do a lot for her sanity. Sorry.

Lauren Haas - 03/10/2011

Solicitor at Blake Lapthorn

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... foreseeing the future - what a killing I would have made playing the lottery, the thought makes me go all tingly!

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... oooh, an archaeologist or a naval officer, I suppose. I was discharged from the Navy some years ago following a nasty accident involving my ankle, so if the accident had not happened I would probably be participating in some anti-drug running patrols or plodding around in the Mediterranean rescuing British citizens from Libya. On the other hand, I am currently doing a part-time archaeology course at the University of Southampton and am really enjoying it. I hasten to add for all those romantics with visions of Indiana Jones-like digs that most of our efforts seem to be directed into identifying tiny potsherds whilst wallowing in muddy fields with aching knees. Such fun!

3. My worst day at work was... having to take an intimate sample from a client for a drugs test. And when I say intimate, I mean really intimate...I hasten to add that this did not happen at Blake Lapthorn.

4. My favourite case during my career was... every case I've won, I suppose. If you're asking about the oddest case in my career, this was as a trainee whilst assisting in a child law case involving a family of Jedi believers, tin foil cloak lining and all...

5. I am most proud of... my family and qualifying as a solicitor. Blake Lapthorn also encourages and supports my involvement in charity work projects organised by the Solent Education Business Partnership, a very worthy organisation. It involves encouraging school pupils to continue learning languages and shows them the importance of languages in the workplace which I think is so important in today's world, and if our work makes even one pupil see the value in having language skills it will have been worthwhile.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... the variety and breadth of cases I encounter in travel and tourism law. From PI to contractual disputes to timeshare disputes, from Arrecife to Zurich - our team has had claims in so many interesting places and no case is the same. As I am a fluent German speaker and grew up in Germany, the opportunity to use my language skills is also great.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... My colleagues! It may sound trite, but the people I work with encounter the same difficulties as I do, are very supportive and a good laugh!

Susan Mabbott - 19/09/2011

Partner at Browne Jacobson LLP

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... cloning myself so that I could deal with all my work in (hopefully) half the time

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... teacher. Whilst being very bossy, I love children, have two of my own, was a Brown Owl for some years, and take great pleasure from seeing children learn.

3. My worst day at work was... gosh, in 30 years, there have been quite a few of those, but one of the most unsettling was perhaps when I had not long joined the firm and used to undertake mental health law. A client came into our reception complaining that his own superpower, normally despatched through his hair, rather like Samson, was disappearing, and he thought it might have transferred to my hair. He became somewhat agitated and very threatening and had to be escorted off the premises.

4. My favourite case during my career was... in my early days this would have been a complex fraud trial resulting in our Client's acquittal, then a case involving the successful release of a detained patient before the Mental Health Review Tribunal, and in the latter half of my career so far, any personal injury trial which we have successfully defended

5. I am most proud of... is achieving partnership in the firm that I've worked with since I was 18, starting as a trainee legal executive and achieving all the qualifications necessary to become a solicitor.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... ... the fabulous people I work with, the great support and encouragement I have from my colleagues, and the huge variety of responsibilities I have

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... are my two children, Anna (14) and Tom (12) whose maturity, understanding and patience with my often very long working hours remind me what it's all for.

Sean Hazell - 12/09/2011

Head of Civil Litigation at Thames Valley Police

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... the abolition of “celebrity” culture

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... full time quality inspector with the Campaign for Real Ale

3. My worst day at work was... the day I assumed that a sealed Court order meant what it said. During a subsequent claim for negligence against me this offered no defence as I apparently should have known that it was an “administrative” rather than a “judicial “ act, even though I had asked the Court in the letter that led to the order being issued to put the said letter before the District Judge for his comments. Try explaining such intellectual gymnastics to a lay client!

4. My favourite case during my career was... a claim for possession of a Chinese restaurant from a client’s nephew. We won and I have had numerous free/subsidised meals since then from a grateful client whose food happens to be superior to most other Chinese restaurants that I have visited!

5. I am most proud of... my children aged 18 and 16. This might sound corny but they are nice people with the ability to discern and to know who they really are.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... the opportunity to make a positive difference to a public service that is often “damned if it does and damned if it does not” and which most people take for granted

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... intelligent company, whether at work or elsewhere

Simon Ball - 05/09/2011

Partner at Pierre Thomas & Partners

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... Hiro Nakamura’s space time manipulation power from Heroes

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... a Best-selling author

3. My worst day at work was... being asked to approach bench in a Magistrates Court in Wrexham and falling over full length before public gallery packed with baying teenagers.

4. My favourite case during my career was... Getting a French lorry driver acquitted on a technicality on charge of setting off the height warning alarms in the Blackwall Tunnel

5. I am most proud of... my kids

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... running a successful small firm which consistently punches above its weight in an increasingly crowded market.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... playing Cricket

Mark Whittaker - 30/08/2011

Partner in the Insurance Team at DWF

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... I'm very nosey so it would have to be invisibility

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... a sports journalist

3. My worst day at work was... )There have been plenty of bad ones- the time I realised that I had spent the whole of my first day in the Court of Appeal with half a yard of loo roll hanging out the back of my trousers would be right up there.

4. My favourite case during my career was... representing a vet who was falsely accused of involvement in an international meat fraud. His reaction when the case against him was dismissed and he realised that both his liberty and livelihood had been preserved was humbling.

5. I am most proud of... my family.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... Without doubt it's the people at the firm. Great bunch- its a privilege to work with them.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... the missus. She knows about all the skeletons in the cupboard.

Sarah Smy - 23/08/2011

Solicitor at Norfolk County Council

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... invisibility. Just think what you could do if no one knew you were there!

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... in the Police Force. This was my first choice of job when I was younger but at the time there was a height restriction on joining. Being vertically challenged I wasn't tall enough to join so had to think of an alternative. I decided to keep within the legal arena and hence became a solicitor.

3. My worst day at work was... when I was called into the senior partners office and told that I had to go to another office the next day and review a fee earners case load as they had just left. This doesn't sound so bad, but I was a civil litigator, about to qualify, and the case load was all criminal cases.

4. My favourite case during my career was... any case that is the last case that I have been successful on.

5. I am most proud of... becoming a solicitor!

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... feeling that I am involved in claims that could effect the way that Norfolk County Council deals or acts in certain circumstances. The people I work with make coming into work worthwhile.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... my friends and in particular my boyfriend who soon tells me to "calm down".

Tim Ransley - 15/08/2011

Associate at Thomas Eggar LLP

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... ensuring that Liverpool started off with a 20 point head start every year with no one else noticing...

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be a... Professional cricketer...oh the talent thing might be a problem there, so probably a research scientist given my background. How dull!

3. My worst day at work was... to see a 10 year old give evidence and for the first time in 3 years say 'no that wasn't the drainpipe I put my foot in...'

4. My favourite case during my career was... any case won at trial - you get to see the client's reaction..it's always the same if the claim is worth £1,000 or £100,000.

5. I am most proud of... probably my 25 metre breaststroke 1980, that was pretty awesome.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... Sounds corny but just dealing with members of the public and helping them out when they're in a bit of a pickle.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... my faith and my wife...both won't let me get too big for my boots...

Tom Walshaw - 08/08/2011

Legal Director at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... to eradicate malaria

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be a... surfer living in a camper van on the Alentejo coast of portugal

3. My worst day at work was... when rats were discovered in the office - they had come up from the Metropolitan Line

4. My favourite case during my career was... defending a parking warden in a Suffolk coastal village, who correctly ticketed an arrogant London visitor, and was then sued vigorously in the High Court for Human Rights violations, defamation, etc, etc by the London visitor. The said Warden was thrilled when the claim was thrown out of court, with costs.

5. I am most proud of... working with Public Authorities, and helping them defend themselves, when all they have been trying to do is help the public, yet they get sued.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... the travel. Slough, Reading, Wigan, Chelmsford, the list is endless - and above all anywhere involving a Parkway Railway Station.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... the prospect of Crossrail.

Andrew Prior - 01/08/2011

Solicitor at Surrey County Council

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... The Supreme Court of Justice

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be a... a conductor (baton, not bus)

3. My worst day at work was... early in my career in private practise, turning up to at a Magistrates' court to defend a shy, demure check out girl who had stolen £50 from the till. Her innocence soon evaporated when it was revealed that she had 50 other offences to be taken into consideration. We did a plea bargain, and my first ever advocacy followed.

4. My favourite case during my career was... Chateau Haut Batailley 1988...oh, and the case of a motorcyclist with horrendous injuries who for some inexplicable reason had been injured in the charming, sleepy village of Tattsfield. On investigation at the locus in quo, the village butcher saw me and revealed that the claimant had, in fact, not lost control on a sunken trench, but had been doing 'wheelies' in front of the village pub. My ensuing case management conference with HH Judge Kennedy QC was memorable.

5. I am most proud of... my team at Surrey County Council.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... the fact that from one day to the next, I never know what I'm going to be asked to advise on. With 360 Schools, Social Services, the Fire Service and a large Highways network, the variety is exciting, sometimes daunting, but never dull.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is my wife Dee. Thank heavens some of the things I sound off about to her are tempered, edited and shaped over our calming glass of wine each evening.

Rebecca Hewitt - 25/07/2011

Partner at Darbys Solicitors, Oxford

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... The ability to guess the winning lotto numbers! But if that is too much to ask then I’d settle for being able to snap my fingers and have a freshly baked tray of chocolate brownies appear – a necessity for any long conference with counsel or joint settlement meeting!

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be a... Pharmacologist – I did my degree in pharmacology and if I had stuck with that then I would hope to be working on some ground breaking medical research.

3. My worst day at work was... Ah there have been a few! Usually triggered by a fax from the other side at just before 5pm! However working with good people means a problem shared is a problem halved and we will get on and deal with whatever the day throws at us.

4. My favourite case during my career was... This is tricky as sometimes a smaller case gives rise to quirky issues that makes it more interesting and satisfying to get a good result. However, my favourite case so far was probably that of Emily, a little girl with cerebral palsy and a wicked sense of humour! She was very intelligent and joked at the age of 10 that she was going to pretend to be dyslexic next to see how her teachers got on with that! It was lovely to reach a settlement in that case which meant she would have the opportunity to reach her potential.

5. I am most proud of... This isn’t work related, but as he is still just over six months old then it has to be my son.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... Apart from winning cases for clients, then it’s the people I work with. We have a great team and genuinely have a good time at work no matter what happens. We discuss issues openly and when something tricky comes up it is great to have more than one head working on it!

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is My family and going horse riding. When I am laughing with my husband about how many nappies I have changed throughout the day it really does help keep things in perspective! Riding my horse is my escape – I always feel good afterwards and mentally refreshed after a long week.

Mark Fowles - 18/07/2011

Head of Insurance at Veitch Penny, Exeter

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... Being able to fly (chiefly over tourists and language schools who get in the way in the summer)

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be a... I would be a statistic in the unemployment figures in all probability, but I would like to have been a painter (but not decorator).

3. My worst day at work was... Not one I'm going to tell you about!!

4. My favourite case during my career was... Barber v Somerset County Council. It must have been every litigator's ambition to get to the House of Lords - even though I lost.
At the other extreme, my favourite case was a small claim involving a farmer claiming for his cow which a fire authority had inadvertently strangled when it had tried to remove it from the River Parrett.

5. I am most proud of... My children.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... The intellectual puzzles that the law sets!

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is Faith; books; tobacco and the odd glass of wine.

Richard Lodge - 11/07/2011

Associate Solicitor at Kingsley Napley

1. If I was a superhero my superpower would be... the ability to read minds (a good skill to have while negotiating with an opponent).

2. If I wasn’t a solicitor I would be... European Tour golfer (everyone should have a dream!)

3. My worst day at work was... when I was told that one of my clients had died as a result of her injuries. She died before her clinical negligence case concluded.

4. My favourite case during my career was... a clinical negligence case where the Claimant was a QC and part-time Recorder. The loss of earnings claim was interesting to calculate!

5. I am most proud of... recent cases where we achieved outstanding settlements for our clients.

6. The thing that I love most about my job is... the impact damages can make to Claimants who have suffered catastrophic injuries.

7. The thing that keeps me sane / grounded is... my secretary.