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Sandy Edwards

Senior associate from the family team at Aaron & Partners LLP in Shrewsbury

  1. IN A NUTSHELL, WHAT DOES YOUR COMPANY DO?

We are a large corporate commercial practice offering a full range of corporate and commercial services to local and international businesses and private client services to the men and women who own and work within those businesses.  We can add value in particular where there is some novelty, complexity or high value in a case.

  1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT JOB?

 I joined the firm on 1st April 2014 – yes April Fools' Day…

  1. EXPLAIN A TYPICAL WEEK IN YOUR WORKING LIFE:

I predominantly deal with separating couples and assist them in reaching a good outcome in terms of their finances and also a child focused outcome for their children.  I am collaboratively trained which involves the couple and their lawyers signing an agreement that they will not go to Court, in which case I might be sitting in what are known as “four-way” meetings offering advice and assisting the parties to reach agreement. I also spend a good proportion of my time dictating (at record speed I am told!) and am on my feet in Court fairly regularly where I can adopt a more “Rottweiler” stance if required!

  1. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING YOUR INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW?

For family cases, now legal aid is no longer available, save in some very exceptional circumstances, the issue for many clients is how to meet their costs. That is one of the reasons why the collaborative process is attractive, as the costs are substantially lower that contested Court proceedings.  At the end of the day, however, we are the experts and the old adage of “you get what you pay for” applies in this and most areas of the law. I have had clients come to me who have “gone it alone”, only then to have to instruct me to put ii right. 

  1. AND WHAT ARE THE BIG OPPORTUNITIES?

There is no reason these days why anyone should need to go to London for good legal advice.  At Aaron & Partners, we have lawyers with huge experience in all areas, with our corporate teams regularly dealing with multi million pound transactions here and abroad.  The people of Shropshire and the West Midlands, and indeed Cheshire and the North West, can get fantastic expertise on their doorstep.

  1. HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF?

Treat them with respect, listen to them and offer them ongoing training.  Oh and pay them of course!

  1. WHAT WAS YOUR LAST MEETING ABOUT, HOW LONG DID IT LAST, AND WAS IT PRODUCTIVE?

My last meeting was a collaborative four-way meeting that lasted 3 hours.  There was a lot of emotion and it is often difficult to all be in the same room but we managed to achieve in those 3 hours what it can take months to achieve in correspondence.

  1. HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM?

20-30 that I need to deal with and others that are round robin or sales e-mails that I tend to delete. I have as long as it takes to read them, digest them and then advise the client.

  1. DO YOU ANSWER WORK CALLS OR EMAILS AT HOME? WHAT’S THE RIGHT WORK-LIFE BALANCE?

Within reason. I will answer e-mails if they are urgent or if I am going to be out of the office the following day. I try to do it on my phone rather than getting the laptop out which really feels like I am back in the office.  I tend not to answer calls as I have very little signal at home and, with two children, you can guarantee that one of them will shout something at the wrong moment or better still unplug the WiFi when I am on a WiFi call on my mobile!

  1. HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU?

Honest, straightforward, approachable (within reason) and hardworking. If a colleague says “If ever I go through a divorce I would want you on my side” that is very rewarding.  There is a joke in the office that if a husband/wife or partner finds one of my business cards in their other half’s pocket then they should be worried! 

  1. BREXIT – WHAT’S YOUR VIEW OF WHAT IT’S ALL GOING TO MEAN?

It is exciting. In my line of work, people make brave decisions to make changes in their lives often leaving abusive and unrewarding relationships.  The UK is to an extent doing the same thing and I am positive that despite some inevitable hiccups along the way in the longer term, like with almost all of my clients, it will have been the right decision.

  1. HIGHLIGHTS OR LOWLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

Lowlights are few but very occasionally the Judge gets it wrong!  Highlights are the Judge getting it right!  In all seriousness, being approached to join Aaron & Partners and having the support of the expertise we have in all areas which has proved invaluable particularly in dealing with business assets on a divorce or separation.

  1. PET HATES?

People who eat with their mouth open!

  1. IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Stay slim!

  1. HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?

Horse riding the lovely Arthur who carries me through the woods and lanes around Llanymynech. Also property renovation. My husband and I are on project number 5 and number 6 is just awaiting planning consent (hopefully).  Also the village I live in has an excellent local pub!

  1. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE SHROPSHIRE BUSINESS COMMUNITY?

Since joining the firm and beginning to network I have met so many fantastic people with huge expertise. I have made some good friends.  I am Chair of the Shropshire Chamber Oswestry Breakfast Club and made the point only this morning that within that group I can get most of the information and advice that I need not only in my professional life but also on personal matters.

  1. TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN’T KNOW.

I was born in Australia.

  1. YOU CAN TAKE ONE BOOK, ONE FILM AND ONE CD ONTO A DESERT ISLAND – WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

Fifty Shades (The Trilogy); Home Alone (Lost in New York); Bon Jovi Slippery when wet . . . How uncivilised am I!

  1. YOUR FIVE DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE?

Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, Jon Bon Jovi, The Queen, My Father

  1. WHAT WOULD YOU COOK FOR THEM…?

Erm, I don’t really cook so perhaps I would take them to the local pub for tea!

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