Meet the team: Introducing Susan Burnett
Our meet the team series continues as we introduce Susan Burnett, our Practice Manager.
Introduce yourself and your part in Team Torque.
I’m a qualified non-practising solicitor and joined TL as Legal Practice Administrator in March 2019. My job title has changed recently to Practice Manager, reflecting the development of my role and the experience I have gained with the practice.
My role is to assist the Partners and other fee earners to manage the client workload and related practice administration. In particular, I assist with compliance checks and records, the effective use of our online case management system, and the invoicing process. I think I’m (affectionately?!) known as the office Nagger and Prodder and I help the team keep on track (is the Strictly Come Dancing update ready Mrs Whiting?!)
Who/what inspired you to pursue the career you have today?
My father was a Patent Examiner and I grew up hearing a lot about regulation and patent/intellectual property law. I was quite bossy and had a strong sense of right and wrong as a child too! I enjoyed both arts and science subjects at school and after a lot of research, work experience and visits to courts and conferences, chose to read Law as it seemed to combine elements of both disciplines. It was also important to me to work towards something vocational in nature, and something that would involve helping others.
So I started my migration north from London! First stop Cambridge for university and second stop York for the College of Law. I didn’t want to become a barrister as I’m not a performer by nature! It also seemed to involve less direct contact with clients and less teamwork with colleagues, and being self-employed did not appeal. I did my training with a firm in Leeds and Harrogate, but sadly never had a chance to work in Employment Law. On qualification I specialised in Family and Mental Health Law for 7 years.
I took a career break to raise my children, but during that time my father died in a car accident and my mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Mum now relies heavily on me to be able to live at home. The opportunity to work at Torque Law in a support role was ideal. I am extremely grateful to Emma and Tiggy for their understanding of my situation, and for their commitment to nurturing me and all the team. The role and office flexibility allows me to work in the legal world again, doing interesting and rewarding work whilst managing my other commitments.
What energises you at work?
I enjoy working with genuine and like-minded people, and our team are supportive and fun to be with. Everyone places trust amongst their top values, and we respect our different ways of working. There’s a definite sense of shared purpose and of striving to be the best we can be. I enjoy using my strengths and background in the law to support the fee earners. I welcome opportunities to learn and grow, which Tiggy and Emma actively encourage.
What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?
Weekends are mostly centred around the family – running around with children’s activities, hosting sleepovers, helping Mum with shopping and other errands, walking Lottie our cockapoo. When I get some ‘me time’ I enjoy yoga (early days on this journey!), cinema and theatre visits and live music. I love visiting new places and I never get bored of walking in the Yorkshire Moors and Dales.
Do you have a favourite quote?
Feel the fear and do it anyway!