Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Employee Stories

Carla Whalen

When I decided to move down to London I was looking for a firm with a strong reputation that would offer great quality work, but I also wanted a friendly team around me. Clarkslegal delivers on all fronts.

What was your journey into your current role with Clarkslegal?

I had a slightly unusual journey into my current role in Clarkslegal’s London employment team. I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2004 with a degree in music and English literature but, after a few years in arts administration, I decided to return to university to do a law conversion course. In my first year of law school I did a summer placement in the employment law department of a large Scottish law firm and I was hooked. I trained in Edinburgh and Glasgow and started working as an employment solicitor in summer 2012. I’m Scots law qualified but my practice has always been UK-wide, working with clients north and south of the border. For me, the biggest challenge in moving from Glasgow to London has been dealing with the difference in the weather!

Tell us about a typical day in the office

I usually start the day with a coffee while I check my emails. A lot of what I do is acting for employers defending claims in the Employment Tribunal so I might typically spend some of my day taking witness statements or drafting legal pleadings. I also help clients with day-to-day immigration and employment issues and I’ll often get a call or an email asking for ad hoc advice about things like working visas, employee absences or redundancies. Every situation is different so no two days are ever the same.

How has Clarkslegal supported you in reaching your career goals?

When I decided to move down to London I was looking for a firm with a strong reputation that would offer great quality work but I also wanted a friendly team around me. Clarkslegal delivers on all fronts – over the past few months I’ve been given opportunities to work on some really challenging files, with the support of an experienced and close-knit group of colleagues around me.

What is the highlight of your career here so far/favourite project?

Working to prepare a response to a complex multi-party Employment Tribunal claim involving over 200 claimants.

What do you enjoy the most about working at Clarkslegal?

The people. The knowledge and expertise of Clarkslegal’s people makes it an exciting place to be - there’s a real diversity of experience across the Reading, London and Cardiff offices. I particularly enjoy working for a firm that supports multi-disciplinary services alongside its legal functions. Sharing a workplace with colleagues from Forbury People, Forbury Investment Network and The Commonwealth Environmental Investment Platform really drives the firm’s culture of innovation and open-mindedness.

Describe your experience with Clarkslegal using 3 adjectives.

Welcoming, exciting, rewarding