5 Years on by Partner Elizabeth Selby

February 6, 2020
Elizabeth Selby


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I have now been at gunnercooke for longer than I was with either of my previous law firms. It certainly doesn’t feel like 5 years since ex-colleague and good friend Sarah Innes convinced me that I didn’t need to give up on the world of law and that there was a law firm out there that would allow (and in fact encourage) me to put my family first.

Sarah Goulbourne provided further assurances and, before I knew it, I had organised child care and a shiny new laptop, all ready to start work after a 4-year career break. Having only ever worked as part of a large team, I was terrified about the thought of working ‘alone’ but quickly realised that remote colleagues can be just as supportive as anyone sitting at a desk next to you.

Work levels built up slowly but before long I ended up with a client who needed 20-30 hours of legal support a week. Effectively an in-house legal role but with the flexibility to collect my 2 boys from school each day. Another benefit was the fact that I had a pretty much-guaranteed income despite being self-employed. In 2017 I transitioned from being a legal counsel to partner but otherwise continued to work in much the same way as I had for the previous 3 years.

It was win-win for a while but about a year ago I realised that I was missing out on other opportunities due to dedicating most of my available working time to one (fairly demanding) client. That was when I realised yet another benefit of being a gunnercooke lawyer – the ability to adapt the role to my changing needs and interests. I waited for an appropriate time to extract myself from the client relationship (on good terms I hasten to add!) and am now re-inventing my practice by gradually expanding my client base. At this point in time, most of my work still comes from referrals within gunnercooke but my challenge for this year is to start bringing in some clients of my own. Here’s to the next 5 years!