Meet the team: Introducing Emma Whiting
This week, our meet the team series continues as we introduce Emma, our fantastic co-founder, partner and specialist employment lawyer.
1. What is your elevator speech?
I’m the co-founder of Torque Law, a specialist employment law firm, which I set up with long-time friend and brilliant business partner, Tiggy Clifford in September 2016. I’ve been specialising in employment law for 20 years and am really interested in discrimination and equality law. I am best known in the team for my vast array of faux sportswear, which of course has come into its own during lockdowns 1, 2 and 3, and being the Strictly Come Dancing guru and master of the team sweepstake.
2. Who/what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?
I was first inspired to pursue a legal career after my Mum had an operation which went wrong and she took me along to a meeting with a medical negligence solicitor when I was in my early teens. I found the whole experience fascinating and felt it would be a career path that would sit well with my ambition and competitive nature. However, it was only when I did my seat in Employment as a trainee solicitor that I decided that was the career path for me. I was fortunate to have an inspirational supervisor, Malcolm Pike, who supported me throughout my early career. Having someone champion your corner is very important as a junior lawyer, and I will always be indebted to him for that.
3. What energises you at work?
I’m very results-driven and so I get a kick out of getting a good outcome for our clients. I also enjoy the freedom that comes with being a business owner. That freedom manifests itself in lots of different guises, from being able to dictate my working hours (and free time) to pursuing opportunities, work or clients that genuinely interest me, and saying no to those that don’t!
4. What’s something that made you smile recently?
Like everyone else, I am very much ‘over’ Zoom; however, I took part in a virtual Whodunnit recently which was excellent fun. It was for Macmillan Cancer Support and it was a great excuse to get dressed up and put on make-up. The murder took place on HMS Pandemic and, rather aptly, my character was Lady Iceberg. I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t the murderer!
5. Do you have a favourite quote?
I could choose any one of Charlie Mackesy’s quotes from gorgeous The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, but my favourite, and the one that resonates with me the most, is this one about courage:
6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
When Tig and I were in the throes of setting up Torque Law we sounded out lots of people we respect about different aspects of business ownership. It was, after all, our first (and, hopefully, last) business venture together. Probably the best piece of advice I think we received, and which we’ve tried to bear in mind throughout the evolution of Torque Law, was to be bold and think big, and potentially bigger than may feel comfortable or appropriate for the business at the time. We’ve taken that advice on board when it comes to key decisions around staffing, premises, infrastructure and systems and, as a fast-growing business, that approach has definitely been a factor in our ongoing success and has helped to minimise the growing pains that we might have otherwise encountered.
Stay tuned next week as we introduce another member of our team!