“Thrust into single parenthood…I didn’t think I’d be able to be a Partner. That wasn’t the case at Taylor Vinters.”
At Taylor Vinters, we give you the support you need to progress your career and maintain a work-life balance. Read Andrew Williamson’s story and find out how he became a Partner at Taylor Vinters while working part-time to look after his young daughter.
At 32, Andrew Williamson never expected to be a widower and single dad to his 18-month-old daughter. Having joined Taylor Vinters as a trainee, he had been with the firm for eight years and was appointed as Senior Associate the year before his wife, Heather, died in 2015.
"My daughter was 18 months at the time, so I was thrust into single parenthood and at a loss as to how I would be able to do my job and manage childcare," he recalls.
“I took time off and Taylor Vinters was very supportive throughout. They made it clear that there was no pressure for me to come back and when I did, I staggered my working days over several months, building up to a four-day week from January 2016. I’ve remained on those hours ever since so I can spend an extra day with my daughter.”
In 2017, Andrew sought to take his next career step, so applied for a Senior Counsel role. After his interview, he was asked if he would like to be a Partner instead.
“As I wanted to continue working a four-day week, I thought Senior Counsel would be a better fit,” he explains. “I didn’t think I’d be able to be a Partner as I assumed the firm would need more of my time and the expectations would be too high - but that wasn’t the case,” he says.
“I was given the assurance that I’d still be able to progress my career at the highest level without affecting my work-life balance.”
Chrissie Easom, HR Director at Taylor Vinters explains that offering flexibility is part of the firm’s aim to provide a supportive environment for ambitious people:
“We are a very driven, ambitious firm and encourage and support our people to be their best. Our people are talented and passionate about what they do and who they do it for.
“In our business, it is irrelevant whether you work full or part time, from home, from a client’s office or from one of ours. What is relevant is our individual and collective output and impact. We believe passionately about creating an environment which enables our talented people to achieve what they are truly capable of.
“We recognise that everyone is different, so the drivers for working flexibly will be different too. In Andrew’s case, this was because of a bereavement, but whatever the reason, we work with the individual to find a way of working that suits all parties,” she says.
Andrew became a Partner in May 2017, specialising in farms and estates, and is now helping to drive the development of Taylor Vinters’ Real Estate practice.
“I’m still in the early stages of being a Partner, so I’m learning all the time,’ he says. “I’m now at the centre of a team with big ambitions and plans for future change so have more responsibility in terms of managing people and driving new business. It’s exciting to have that opportunity and to be able to grow my expertise.”
Reflecting on his career, he adds: “I spent two years at the Irish civil service before doing a law conversion course in my spare time and changing career.
“I’d originally set my sights on a large City law firm, but I did some online research and liked the way Taylor Vinters positioned itself. After my interview, I asked if I could speak to a trainee to talk about their experience of working for the firm. That insight was really helpful and assured me that the firm practised what it preached.
“Since joining the team in 2007, I’ve never looked back. The support I’ve been given is testament to the can-do culture at Taylor Vinters. It’s a firm with great people who aren’t afraid to do things differently.”