Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Employee Stories

Michael Hibberd

Michael Hibberd

Position: Senior Solicitor
Location: Reading

The support and advice that is available is invaluable, not just on technical legal issues, but on tactical decisions.

What was your journey into your current role with Clarkslegal?

Having studied my law degree at Durham University and completing law school in London, I trained at a local firm just outside London. On qualifying in 2015, I made the move to Clarkslegal to work in the Reading office as an Employment lawyer. I joined due to the firm’s high-calibre client base and the opportunity to be surrounded by leading lawyers in their fields.  I was also attracted by the opportunities to conduct my own advocacy at Tribunal and the promise of responsibility and autonomy (with support where required) from day one. The firm has certainly met and gone beyond all of these expectations.

Tell us about a typical day in the office

As you would expect, given the nature of employment law, no two days are the same! This means that on some days I can be focusing on advising individuals on terms of settlement they have been offered by their employer, while on the next day I am advising employers on how to defend a new claim which has been brought against them. I am always kept on my toes, as any client can call with an issue throughout the day on which they require some support or advice, with no two issues being the same!

How has Clarkslegal supported you in reaching your career goals?

From the outset, Clarkslegal has let me think on my feet and gain autonomy. On my second week of joining, I was entrusted with advocating at a Tribunal.  

Despite the level of responsibility I have been given by Clarkslegal, at no point have I ever been made to feel out of my depth. This has been particularly important for me as a newly qualified lawyer.

One of the main strengths of working at Clarkslegal is the level of support I am provided. I am able to speak to any of my colleagues, no matter how senior, about any issues that arise in my work and discuss any ideas I have. The support and advice that is available is invaluable, not just on technical legal issues, but on tactical decisions when running a matter and deciding the next steps a client should be considering, from a commercial and practical perspective.

Clarkslegal place a strong emphasis on individual development. Rather than issuing billing and chargeable hour targets from day one, the focus has been placed on the quality of work produced. I am also encouraged to read up on any areas of particular interest that arise in my work, thus enabling me to broaden my knowledge and expertise on an ongoing basis.  

What has been your favourite project here so far?

Advising a client on a complex dispute they had with their employer following a business restructure, and negotiating on her behalf in order to achieve a sizeable settlement. The matter was constantly changing and a number of issues arose throughout, which affected the tactics used throughout the negotiations.  

What do you enjoy the most about working at Clarkslegal?

The high calibre of work, combined with the available knowledge and experience of the department.

Describe your experience with Clarkslegal using 3 adjectives.

Challenging, dynamic and rewarding.