On the second day of Christmas….today we talk to Penny Wright, a solicitor from Gardner Leader.
Tell us about yourself and your business
The firm’s values, and my own, focus on giving peace of mind to our clients. It is important to me that my clients trust my legal knowledge and experience; and can rely on me to get the job done efficiently and sensitively. As a firm we provide legal services to individuals and businesses, and we have recently won and been shortlisted for national awards. I have two specialisms: one is helping individuals (many of whom run their own business) plan for the future, including preparing Wills and powers of attorney, giving tax advice and dealing with trusts and probate. My other specialism is charity law – setting up new charities, and advising existing charities on legal issues.
What brought you to Newbury?
I was brought up in Berkshire; after going away for a few years to university etc, I returned to Newbury in 1997 to start my training as a solicitor. Since then I have worked mostly in Newbury, apart from a few years commuting elsewhere. I joined Gardner Leader in March 2015.
How did you get into this business?
I read law at university and did several work experience placements at law firms. It is very competitive to get a training contract. Once I started my solicitor training, I realised that I enjoyed helping individuals and families with their estate planning and charitable aspirations – every client is different and has its own priorities and concerns; and the law is constantly changing so there is always a new challenge.
What’s your main challenge?
My main challenge is managing my time – there always seems to be so much to do and I strive to give my best to everyone. Of course I have to keep on top of legal developments, but I also like to be involved in Gardner Leader’s ongoing continuous improvement programme, exploring ways of delivering even better service to our clients.
How do you manage your time?
Balancing home life with work life is always tricky but Gardner Leader is very supportive of working parents and flexible working hours. It was harder when I commuted to other towns, but living and working locally makes it much easier to juggle everything (though if you were to ask my daughter she would complain that I am always late to pick her up from school!)
What do you do when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work I am mostly rushing round with my children to their various activities, also trying to squeeze in a bit of time to exercise, and catch up with friends and family.
Tell us something surprising about yourself
I practice yoga and can regularly be found in my kitchen doing a headstand. I love exploring – I have been to 43 countries so far.
What are you most proud of?
How would you describe a typical customer and how do you help them?
Everyone needs to have a will so I draft a lot of those, but no two families are the same – each will is tailored to their particular circumstances. Often there will be wider issues to deal with such as mental capacity issues, tax, financial planning, business structures and philanthropic ambitions. I liaise with my colleagues in other teams (e.g. company/commercial, property, dispute resolution, matrimonial) and external advisers such as financial advisers, accountants, doctors, to ensure that everything is joined up.
What are your career plans?
I feel very settled with Gardner Leader so I don’t have any grand career plans. The firm is a very friendly and happy place to work, with a fantastic reputation. My intention is to continue to deliver a great client service and enjoy what I do.
What is your favourite song?
What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong because it is important to appreciate the good things in life.