"I love this part of my job - building relationships with like-minded people doing exciting things"
A working day in the life of Kim Wedral-Rooke who is a Senior Associate in the employment team at Taylor Vinters.
I am awoken by the angelic tones of my 21 month old. It would appear that in his mind patience is very much not a virtue.
We've finally left the house, I drop my son at nursery and on the bus into work scrolling through the news I am excited to read that Women Returners has been awarded funding from the UK Government Returners Fund to develop a Law Returners initiative in Manchester & Leeds, in partnership with the Law Society. In my view initiatives like this will help companies to organically bridge the gender pay gap and realise the potential in their most valuable asset - people and their skills - whatever their gender.
Sat at my desk I take stock of my calendar for the day and note I have an introductory meeting at 10am with a global gaming technology business to talk to them about our international counsel HR offering. Some further research tells me that the business is growing rapidly around the world and the company's strategic ambitions are impressive. I go through LinkedIn and add the contact I am meeting; I do some research on her and her interests.
After the obligatory coffee run I get a call from an important client. One of their staff is going through a disciplinary for alleged misappropriation of funds - it's quite sensitive and time consuming for my contact. We chat through broader strategy and agree an approach to try and alleviate some of the pressure on her and with a view of robustly managing the rest of the process. A novel consideration came up during the call and so I discuss this with our team trainee solicitor who agrees to look into the point for me and come up with some ideas.
The introductory meeting was great. I love this part of my job - building relationships with like-minded people doing exciting things. The global head of HR was a really interesting lady and I learned a lot about her and the rapidly growing business. People are at the heart of it. And the cultural values (including doing business in the right way) clearly permeate throughout the company’s global locations. They're particularly keen to consolidate and better understand the employment law frameworks in certain countries where they have less visibility and knowledge and we chatted over our experience in advising on territory expansion strategy, including preparing territory reports covering the key legal risk areas around this. They were also interested in having a one go-to contact (us) for such HR legal issues globally who they know they can reach out to whenever and wherever they need a solution. Given the synergy between us we conclude there is opportunity for us to collaborate and add value to their business. I note down what I have learned when I get back to my desk and diarise to put together a snapshot proposal over the next day or so of how our service could support them.
In need of some fresh air I go for a walk with a colleague and we chat about our team and the good things we are doing between us at the moment. My colleague is helping clients work through their GDPR issues - now that the GDPR has formally kicked in, we're seeing more data breach issues crop up under the new regime. On the way back we've bought some ice lollies for our colleagues - we do this sort of thing a lot as a team, and firm, which is great.
A quick catch up with our Business Development Manager to de-brief on my meeting this morning and the good progress we are making overall with our multinational HR campaign; our ambition of wanting to collaborate with innovative fast growth companies - on the doorstep - to help them manage their global people issues. Several businesses have so far shown interest in chatting to us about this and I have a few more meetings lined up in the diary over the coming weeks.
Headphones in and head down - I am looking at a spreadsheet of key people for a global technology and manufacturing company which is wanting to strengthen the protection it has as a business when such key people leave. The project is an important one as the business has a real need to protect illicit exploitation of its trade secrets and confidential information for the advantage of competitors.
I leave the office to pick up my son from nursery and on the waiting at the bus stop I have a quick call with a US client contact. We're discussing tactics to address a tricky ongoing discrimination allegation raised by one of their staff.
My son has not eaten at nursery... again. So we try to cram something green in but invariably end up with a healthy dose of Petits Filous, cheese crackers and guilt.
I must go for a run - I enjoy keeping fit and so try to do something relatively high intensity 4 times a week. But that glass of wine seems so much more appealing right now... Somehow my husband spurs me on and out of the door. Though I question whether his motivation is my fitness or a rare window of opportunity when he can play FIFA on the Xbox. I always take the same route when I run to visit my daughter, Lily. Lily was stillborn (or born asleep, as we prefer to say) in 2015 but is still very much a part of all of our lives every day.
1 hr 20mins and 15kms later, I am very tired but buzzing; though my legs are just tired. I eat dinner (a little later than I should really) and shower. I quickly check my work emails to get a feel for what needs prioritising in the morning and field one or two email responses.
Before hitting bed I have an actual conversation with my husband who casually informs me that he has taken on an (additional) role as a member of Lexis Nexis Life Sciences Consulting Editorial Board ... (on top of his day job as a General Counsel for a pharmaceutical company). Between us we thrash out the rest of the week's plans for childcare runs (turns out our negotiation skills come in handy outside of work too).