Bright Spark Q&A – Kathryn Taylor

The managing partner at Gordon Brown Law Firm LLP reflects on her chosen career and future plans for the firm

What led you into your chosen career?

From an early age I was determined to work within the legal industry, however I found it extremely difficult to break into the profession as I had no family or personal connections to help me get a foot in the door. After almost a year of unsuccessful training contract applications, I chose the paralegal route. In my eyes this allowed me to put my degree to use and gain knowledge, experience and confidence. Once those skills had been developed, I was able to successfully apply for a trainee solicitor position.

Who or what has made the greatest impression on your career?

Whenever I’m asked this question, personally or professionally, the answer is always the same and that person is my mother. Mum was a university graduate and medical professional who was struck down with the dreadful disease Multiple Sclerosis when I was 11-years-old. She had to retire from work early but always instilled in me and my two sisters the importance of a good education, hard work and having a career. Mum heavily steered me towards the law and was a steady rock for me right through my university education and legal training. She sadly passed away in 2011, the year I first became a partner at Gordon Brown Law Firm and I know was hugely proud of me. Whenever I come across a complicated issue in my personal life or career, I always remind myself of her motto which was ‘there is no point in worrying about issues you can’t control, take a deep breath and face them, its all you can do’. That advice has got me through many years of management and I’m sure will for many years to come.

What does your company do and how is it making an impact?

We are a law firm who understands the importance of customer service. We are all dedicated to giving our customers honest, straightforward advice at all times. We are real people, but also really great lawyers who aim to treat each individual client as we would want to be treated ourselves. We pride ourselves on not taking our clients for granted and like to build and retain professional relationships.

Briefly, what does a typical working day comprise for you?

No two days are ever the same. My working day is a real mix of activities and involves overseeing all aspects of the business. I can be doing almost anything throughout the day from meetings with our various line managers and heads of unit, meeting clients and key contacts, overseeing the firm’s compliance and regulatory requirements, sitting with the accounts team looking at financial performance or assisting with staff training. Believe it or not, I do still find time to look after clients, practicing as a lawyer is really important to me and I believe keeps me professionally grounded.

What are your company short and long-term aims?

Our ultimate goal is to set ourselves apart from our competitors by how we deliver legal services to individuals and businesses in the North East and around the country. In the short-term we are working very hard to build our reputation as an employer of choice, to adopt SMART office working and to use technology to drive our business forward. We want to be a real-life advisor to our clients and delight them in the way we deliver our services, customer service is a big initiative for us at the moment and is something we are very passionate about.