Posted in Interviews on 28 Feb 2018
Laura Clapton, owner of Consilia Legal a boutique law firm specialising in the areas of employment law and family law in Leeds City Centre and, in the process of crunching through the data for our 2018 Salary and Benefits Benchmarker, the legal professional we have identified as 2018's Happiest Person in Legal.
Tell us a bit about Consilia Legal and what you do there?
Consilia Legal is a boutique law firm specialising in the areas of employment law and family law. We also offer workplace and family mediation. Our head office is in Leeds City Centre and we also have an office in Harrogate. The firm was established in 2014 by myself and co-directors Marie Walsh and Sally Clark. Our vision was to create a new legal service offering which is dynamic, forward thinking and client focused.
My role at the firm is extremely varied and it’s fair to say no day is ever the same, which I love! As a family solicitor and accredited mediator helping separated families, my clients are my number one priority. As a business owner I care a lot about my team and invest as much time as possible in them and improving our systems and processes to make our firm an enjoyable and rewarding place to work.
In the 3 years since Consilia Legal was established, we’ve seen huge growth in areas of family and employment law which has resulted in recruitment in both departments together with internal promotions. We have a fantastic team of ambitious, enthusiastic and hardworking individuals who are the key to the success of our business.
We have also seen a major increase in the number of mediation referrals from other solicitors and organisations throughout the Yorkshire region and this was the main driver behind the opening of our Harrogate office. We aim to continue to grow our existing departments whilst remaining niche in those disciplines.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
As a family mediator, helping to secure an agreement between separated parents round a table without the need for contested court proceedings is the most rewarding part of my job. Knowing I have saved them costs, time, stress and most importantly helped them find the tools to co-parent going forward gives me tremendous job satisfaction.
As a business owner, developing and training members of my team and watching them flourish is invaluable to me. I am a firm believer that you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I stand by that in both my work and personal life.
Would you agree that you are in fact the Happiest Person in Legal?
On the scale of happiness, I would definitely say I’m up there. I’d like to say our team at Consilia Legal are up there with me. I feel extremely lucky and proud to have started a business which is filled with such positivity.
Who has been your biggest influence in your career and why?
My parents have definitely been the biggest influence on my career for different reasons but in equal measure. Before my mum retired she was a domestic abuse support worker and her passion for helping people definitely rubbed off on me. My dad has been a huge support throughout my education and has given me the confidence to always strive for more and believe in myself.
What made you decide to go into Law?
I’ve always been fairly academic and passionate about helping people. Family law seemed like the perfect fit for me.
What has been your greatest achievement so far in life (personal or professional)?
My biggest achievement has to be setting up my own law firm at the age of 27. It was very much with a leap of faith but through sheer determination to make it a success it has and continues to be the best decision I’ve ever made.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a Yorkshire girl, born and raised. I went to Leeds University where I studied Law and then went on to do my LPC in York. I qualified in 2011. I worked at several firms in Leeds before establishing Consilia Legal.
I got married last year to my husband who is my best friend and biggest support as well as being a frustrated amateur cyclist! We live in Horsforth in Leeds and have two cats. We have a great circle of friends and spend a lot of time with them going away for weekends in the countryside, camping at festivals and hosting dinner parties. To keep fit and clear the mind, I enjoy a bit of running and taking part in local charity races.