Rosie Walker, head of litigation and spouse at Gilson Grey, did not see legislation as a specially obtainable profession when she was youthful, and rather made the decision to examine politics and background at the University of Edinburgh. But although she was a university student, she states she realised the relevance of legislation in society and decided that was the occupation for her. Considering that then she has been included in some significant-profile instances, frequently in the political sphere, and is one particular of Scotland’s couple election legislation experts. A single of her most notable instances was performing for Liberal Democrat MP and former Scottish Secretary of Condition, Alistair Carmichael, in the initially election demo in Scotland for 50 many years and the initially situation to be televised all over the British isles.
Ms Walker claims: “Being a law firm was one thing I imagined about at college, but at that level it didn’t seem like a extremely available occupation. I did not know any legal professionals and I most likely felt legal professionals who I saw on tv looked and sounded pretty taken out from my life. I was female, Scottish and I had rather a large amount of surgical procedure as a youngster and have a unique limp. It just did not experience like a profession that I would be pretty snug in.
“But finding out politics, in distinct, gave me an insight into how crucial regulation is in culture. That persuaded me to do an accelerated LLB and that was my route into my job.”
Ms Walker was with Morisons Solicitors for just over 13 several years, transferring up from senior affiliate degree to becoming appointed a lover in 2013, just before relocating to Gilson Gray in 2015. Setting up out, she suggests she did a large traineeship and found she loved each litigation and transactional perform, but has centered much more on the former all through her job.
“I had some superior mentors who worked in the industry of litigation, like Alex Garioch who was my first manager when I was a trainee and who I’m now in partnership with,” she explains. “And litigation is really just problem solving a lot of the time. I started to realise a extensive selection of persons and smaller organizations could all have very attention-grabbing and complicated complications that I could play a part in serving to them correct. That is really what took me into commercial litigation.”
She identifies performing for Alistair Carmichael as one of the highlights of her profession. The MP for Orkney and Shetland had been caught up in a row about a memo leaked from his division even though he was Scottish Secretary prior to a general election. The courtroom finally rejected the endeavor, brought about by a petition, to unseat Mr Carmichael.
Ms Walker describes: “A great deal of my work requires professional litigation and I have been fortunate sufficient to have really a ton of huge industrial circumstances with an intercontinental component, which I like. But definitely, the political things has performed a massive section in my career. The Alistair Carmichael scenario was the 1st election petition in Scotland for about 50 a long time and I effectively defended a problem to Alistair’s election. It was really a substantial-profile circumstance with a good deal of unusual components. It was the initial civil scenario to be stay-televised which brought a full added strain. But it also gave an insight into how regulation and politics can be employed strategically to complement just about every other.
“Since then I have been blessed ample to have been included in a variety of other election or political conditions and can see the part that law can participate in in safeguarding and policing our democracies. That is extremely crucial.”
In other components of her operate in the realm of politics, Ms Walker has obtained interim interdicts in the course of election campaigns versus candidates from other events who have designed statements which were deemed to breach electoral law or be defamatory. She has also dealt with problems around election expenditures and concerns involving no cost speech and the policing of the behaviour of some elected reps.
“Current events all-around the entire world display how vital it is to have a culture that’s centered around the rule of legislation. You need to have attorneys to compose the rules, enforce the regulations, examination the legal guidelines, and police the legal guidelines. I believe it is truly vital you have a healthful lawful job for all of those people good reasons,” she provides.
One more factor of her legal perform that she specially enjoys is its worldwide aspect which she states presents the possibility to function with customers, attorneys and other pros from unique jurisdictions all over the globe. “It’s pretty quick in a small jurisdiction like Scotland to turn out to be accustomed to 1 way of working,” she notes. “I believe the opportunity to see how other nations do factors is seriously priceless. It will make you question the assumptions powering a good deal of how we function as Scottish lawyers.”
On the global entrance, Ms Walker believes a great deal of the results of Brexit may well have been delayed because of Covid-19 but that, heading ahead, it could possibly limit alternatives for some of her shoppers.
She sees a amount of other challenges experiencing the occupation at the instant, but details out that a ton of these will also deliver chances. Submit-pandemic, she clarifies that sections of the job are struggling with troubles close to recruitment and retention of employees, for instance as persons at all amounts reassess their get the job done-everyday living harmony.
“Firms who can meet those people issues are likely to be the kinds who can come out of this the ideal,” she indicates. “You require to source your business effectively and that consists of treating your staff perfectly and knowing how to get the most effective out of your staff members. That is a truly crucial obstacle we’re all heading to have to facial area. For my agency, we want to obtain and keep the best talent.”
And she sees recruiting a varied vary of folks into legal occupations as essential for modern society as properly as for individual regulation corporations. She describes: “We want to guarantee that Scotland’s lawyers mirror the culture they come from. You have to have a career which appears eye-catching to individuals from a assortment of backgrounds.”
In terms of variety and inclusion, she believes a ton of progress has been designed above the a long time, but warns that there is nonetheless a very long way to go. For example, she factors to the loss of expertise that takes place, specially with woman solicitors as they shift up via their firms. “There is not range across the career and it does not totally mirror the variety of society. Until finally it does replicate modern society there is constantly extra operate to do,” she adds.
In her possess vocation Ms Walker believes she has been “very lucky” in obtaining supportive colleagues, pointing out that she was created a associate with Morisons when she returned to do the job after maternity leave.
When she is nonetheless involved with situations, a good deal of her time at Gilson Gray is now used on management and a recent emphasis is acquiring the workforce into a “new normal” way of operating. She says a good deal of her energies will be targeted on ensuring the group is completely re-integrated.
“There are worries for more youthful users in my staff and across the job who have had to work remotely and have missed out on some of the normal on-the-position learning experiences,” she claims. “I assume the complete career needs to work quite challenging to assure more junior associates of the career are in a position to development with no any disadvantage from a lengthy period of performing from home.”
She is also eager on the profession enjoying its purpose in making certain the courts get the job done in the most helpful method as everybody emerges from the pandemic. She believes there have been some rewards introduced about by improvements to how matters are performed all through Covid-19, such as digital progress as a consequence of remote operating. And she expects that specific procedural hearings will carry on to be dealt with remotely. But she is keen to emphasise the advantages of performing particular matters deal with-to-deal with.
“Ultimately it is critical for justice to be done, and for justice to be viewed to be completed, and I assume which is most effective served in open up courtroom in particular person,” concludes Ms Walker.