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SCE Solicitors Appoints a New Trainee Solicitor

SCE Solicitors expansion shows no sign of slowing down following the opening of a brand new office in Horsforth last month and now the appointment of a new trainee solicitor, Emma Roberts

Emma joined SCE in December 2017 as a Paralegal providing Employment and HR support. Emma advises both employers and employees from a broad range of sections on various employment law issues, including advising on disciplinary and grievances, termination of employment, and responding to internal employment disputes and tribunal claims. 

She also assists Director and Head of Employment, Samira Cakali, in the running of the firm’s myHR service where she supports businesses in the day-to-day management of their staff.

Emma studied Bachelor of Laws at the Open University whilst working as a Litigation Assistant at a law firm in Leeds. She then went on to complete a Diploma in Legal Practice and Master of Laws at the University of Law in Leeds.

Speaking about her appointment, Emma said “I am very excited to be a part of the SCE team as the firm continues to grow and strengthen its legal offering to clients across Yorkshire. I feel very fortunate to be training at a firm that truly invests in its people.

Samira said “Emma, has been an exceptional paralegal, she has quickly become an invaluable member of our small team and I am extremely pleased we have been able to offer her a training contract. She is methodical, detailed and has excellent client care, all the skills which I believe will equip her to become an excellent solicitor.” 

Emma will now spend the first six months training in the Employment Law Department in Horsforth before moving on to another two departments over the next 18 months, leading to her qualification as a Solicitor in March 2020. 

SCE offers three specialist service areas consisting of employment, commercial litigation and data protection. If you would like to find out more information about SCE, you can contact them on 01133 50 40 30 or at info@scesolicitors.co.uk 

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SCE Solicitors Opens New Office in Horsforth

SCE Solicitors has opened a new office in the centre of Horsforth. 

The firm, which already has an office in Park Square in Leeds has chosen Jason House as the location for its new office. 

The new office will be led by Director and Head of Employment, Samira Cakali

Samira said “I am pleased to be opening our second office in Horsforth as part of our growth strategy. The second office not only provides us with more space but also shows our ambition to compete in the Leeds market.”

“Research published, and announced, at last year’s Leeds Conference, named Leeds as the fastest growing legal centre and as clients and employees move towards a more agile way of working I believe having a North Leeds office will allow us to attract the right clients and talent.”

Senior Associate and Head of Litigation, Richard Newstead added “All of the team are excited at the firm’s expansion with the opening of a second Leeds office. The move has given us the ability to offer additional services to our clients such as in-house training and seminars. 

“The new office provides us with much needed additional space. It will offer superb facilities for our solicitors, staff and clients including on-site parking facilities.”

If you would like to find out more information about SCE Solicitors and their new Horsforth office, you can contact them on 01133 50 40 30 or at info@scesolicitors.co.uk

Pictured (L to R): Emma Roberts, Eve King, Richard Newstead, Samira Cakali and Jennifer Hoult. 

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Supporting and Engaging Women in Law in Leeds

This month our Director Samira Cakali presented to a room full of likeminded female legal professionals providing them insight, inspiration and instruction on the world of an entrepreneur.

Speaking at the Women in Law: Alternative Career Paths, Samira covered why she diverted from the traditional career path of working in established legal practises and instead broke out and created her own; focusing on client care and being able to create an environment where people can thrive, celebrating the individual.  It also has enabled her to have experience on a wide variety of cases and issues, deepening her understanding and enhancing her skills, quicker than she would have ever been able to do in a traditional route.

She also shared how it was her husband, who is naturally entrepreneurial minded, that told her that it was an equally safe option and that she was young enough, that if it didn’t work that she could go back to being employed.

Samira discussed the achievements and challenges associated with her career decision, which included still working with clients that she took on from day one, being able to have a child and return to work and finding the right team members.  She also highlighted that there is a completely new skill set that needs to be learnt when becoming business owner and strongly advised the audience to never, ever, think that things are running smoothly, as inevitably they immediately won’t afterwards.

There were also two other insightful legal ladies, alongside our Samira, who explored alternative career paths within the law, sharing their unique stories at the evening event.

Samira was inspired by Maria Walsh who juggles running her own practice, being an active mum of two, teaching, running training and online seminars while also finding time to keep fit!  

Her main takeaway from the evening was how much can be learnt from sharing experiences.

The seminar, hosted by the Leeds Law Society is part of the Women in Law network created for women solicitors, both in private practice and in-house in Leeds.

The format is informal and aimed at addressing issues that are at the centre of a working woman balancing the demands of career in the legal sector.  It is followed by time to chat, share ideas and build relationships.

VouchedFor Winter 2017

We were recently notified that SCE Solicitors have qualified for VouchedFor’s Winter 2017 ‘Certificate of Excellence’ based on the quality of reviews we have received.

VouchedFor.co.uk is like TripAdvisor, but for finding professional services.  Clients can rate and review their legal adviser, accountant or financial adviser, helping others to choose the right one.

It has quickly become the standard that clients look for when seeking financial or legal advice. Being VouchedFor means that we are verified, reviewed and independent.  They only list professional with the necessary permissions to practice from the appropriate governing bodies and are reviewed and rated by genuine clients and verified by VouchedFor’s systems.

If you would like to leave us a review please click here

While we greatly appreciate your review, please do not feel obliged to leave one.

Continuing the Charitable Legacy

For the third year running we have been working with the University of Leeds to provide law students with eight-week work placements, following them winning the prestigious Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Scholarship.

The Pamela Walsh Peaker Memorial Scholarship is funded by Mr Tony Peaker and is dedicated to honour the memory of his late wife, from Halifax, who was a partner of L Bingham and Co Solicitors in London.

This year the scholarship winning student that we took on was Chloe Payne who comes from a Sheffield family of 3 children. Here’s how Chloe found life at SCE Solicitors 

1. What was the most memorable experience at SCE Solicitors?

The most memorable experience I had at SCE Solicitors was when I was involved in a preliminary hearing at an Employment Tribunal where it was to be decided whether the case should go to a full substantive hearing or should be struck out. I got to grips with the details of the case beforehand and whilst at the preliminary hearing, I effectively observed and took notes as well as liaised with both Samira and the client. This case made me aware of the challenges claimants face in discrimination cases, especially in relation to time limits. 

2. What was the most valuable experience?  

The most valuable experience I had whilst doing my work placement at SCE Solicitors was working on a lengthy and challenging race discrimination case. I was actively involved in the preparation for the substantive hearing which involved preparing copies of the bundles for the client, putting together a chronology of events and compiling the witness statements, a key piece of evidence in the hearing. In order to prepare the witness statements, I took part in client interviews and was even given the opportunity to speak with the client individually, giving me a real sense of responsibility. I found this particular case to be the most valuable to me as it helped me to get to grips with the many complications that come with discrimination cases and how difficult it can be for individuals to make these sorts of claim. It also really opened my eyes to the various clients that can walk through the door of an employment law firm. It gave me a real feeling of satisfaction knowing that I was helping someone to access justice especially given the difficult circumstances clients, who are in the middle of employment disputes, are facing. 

3. What stood out about your vacation placement?

What really stood out about the placement at SCE was the amount of responsibility I was given. Samira is not afraid to let you give something a go, which not only gives you the invaluable opportunity to get stuck in to real legal work but also instils confidence in you. I was able to give various activities a go including: drafting particulars of claim, researching into different legal problems which arose, reviewing submitted evidence, submitting a claim at an Employment Tribunal, creating draft witness statements, putting together chronologies, attending and assisting at a preliminary hearing at an Employment Tribunal, note-taking at client interviews and even conducting part of the client interview myself, and, finally, putting together documents and bundles for Counsel.  I believe that being given this high level of responsibility gives you that heightened level of experience that is necessary in order to progress in law. 

4. Would you recommend doing a vacation placement at SCE Solicitors?

I would highly recommend taking part in a vacation placement at SCE Solicitors. The placement gives you an all-round experience. You are able to get involved in high levels of claimant work, giving you a real taster of controversial issues such as access to justice. You also get a taster of the more commercial side and you can get involved in the marketing aspect, knowledge of which is becoming more and more essential in small private firms. 

5. What piece of advice would you give to any wannabe interns?

It might be more appealing to apply for the bigger and more well-established law firms in order to take part in a work placement. I can admit that I have been there and done that. However, the experience I have gained from SCE Solicitors, a smaller niche employment law firm, has been extremely invaluable and I believe I have had more support, encouragement and responsibility than I have ever gained anywhere else. My advice to wannabe interns would be not to underestimate smaller firms such as SCE Solicitors. SCE is where real, authentic experience in the legal field can be gained. Another piece of advice I would give would be to put your all into the tasks and activities set. In order to get experience, you have to really push yourself and, well, impressing the principal of the law firm is not a bad thing!

Chloe was a very competent young lady, who was diligent, thorough and a very quick to pick up the practical elements of employment law. She became an invaluable member of the team during her placement.