Happiest Person in Legal 2020

Posted in Interviews on 13 Feb 2020

As part of the data we gathered for the 2020 Salary and Benefits Benchmarker we looked at how satisfied legal professionals were with their jobs, salaries and benefits packages as well as other triggers such as stickiness in their current role. We are delighted to say that Amy Wells, Head of Legal at Everton FC scored highest.

We decided to catch up with Amy and find out a bit more about her and her career in the legal profession. 

Tell us a bit about Everton Football Club and what you do there

I am really proud to work for Everton Football Club. Everton has been competing in top-flight English football for a record 116 seasons, and as a founding member of the Football League, it is well-known as a club of firsts.

From being the first team to wear numbers on our backs, and the first club to sell tickets via text message, to becoming the first (and up to now only) football club to enter the Sunday Times Top 100 Places to Work, our club is ambitious and we are always looking to lead the way.

However, Everton is much more than a football club. We refer to ourselves as The Everton Family. Within that we include our first team, women’s team, the Everton Academy (which develops the next generation of footballers as players and people), our award-winning charity Everton in the Community and our Everton Free School.

Known as The People’s Club, we are engrained in our community, and carry out life-changing and lifesaving work daily through our charity.
If all of that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, we have also proposed plans for a new first-team stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront, and a legacy project for Goodison Park, our current home.

My job involves providing legal advice to all areas of the Everton Family. I draft and negotiate commercial contracts with the Club’s sponsors, support the football operations team during transfer windows, advise on regulatory issues and litigation matters and provide company secretarial support to the Board.

What do you enjoy most about your job

I love that every day is different. Football is a fast-paced industry and I never know what will come across my desk on any given day. But I especially enjoy working for Everton. I am a fan - so perhaps I’m biased! - but it really is a special place to work.

Our approach to everything we do is based around the Everton values – Ambition, Family, Authenticity and Determination. The culture is unlike anywhere else and the support I have received from the Board and the Leadership Team since I joined the Club has been phenomenal.

Would you agree that you are in fact the Happiest Person in Legal

Yes! I love my job and never have that sense of dread on a Sunday night or when my alarm goes off in the morning. Even on the most stressful of days at work, I have a smile on my face and feel privileged to have my dream job.

Who has been your biggest influence in your career and why

My mum and dad have been the biggest influences, not just in my career but in my life. My mum is the strongest person I know and has taught me the importance of hard work, kindness and perspective. My dad gave me a love of sport from an early age and encouraged me to support my team of choice (rather than his team, Blackburn Rovers). I also get my positivity and sense of humour from my dad which probably has something to do with me being the Happiest Person in Legal!

Why the law and why In House

When I was younger, I wanted to be a doctor or a vet, but I didn’t really enjoy Science at school and I’m actually quite squeamish! I studied law at A-Level and the more I learned, the more I wanted to pursue a career in law.

I realised quite early on in my career that private practice wasn’t for me and so I moved in-house at 2 years PQE. I really enjoy a variety of work and practice areas, rather than having a narrow specialism, and I like being able to take my time on research and considered advice without feeling pressured by time recording and billable hours targets.

What has been your greatest achievement so far in life (personal or professional)?

Winning £2,770 on ‘The Weakest Link’!

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a proud Lancastrian and a proud Evertonian!  I love sport, and my husband and I plan our holidays around major sporting events, having attended the Ryder Cup in America, the Olympics and the French Open in recent years. I love spending time with my friends and family – especially my niece, nephew and godchildren.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to an ambitious Solicitor at the start of their legal career

Don’t plan too far ahead.  There is sometimes pressure to think about where you see yourself in five, or 10 years’ time, but it is impossible to predict what might happen that is outside of your control. I was 3 months into my training contract when my firm went into administration and it made me realise how little control I have over my own career. Take one step at a time, say yes to the right opportunities and focus on the here and now.  Oh, and be happy!

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