Team Story – Emma Klieve

Support is readily available across all departments and offices at Butcher & Barlow, and I’ve never felt like a burden.

Q: Can you tell us about your role at Butcher & Barlow and area of specialism?

A: I’m a Solicitor in the Private Client team, where I help clients on matters such wills, trusts, probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection.

Q: Can you tell us about your journey so far at Butcher & Barlow?

A: I qualified as a Solicitor in March 2023, but my journey with Butcher & Barlow began in January 2021 when I joined the firm as a Paralegal, working alongside Chris Hopkins in Bury. In September 2021, I started my Training Contract at the Runcorn office where I gained exposure to a wide range of legal areas. It was great that I got to experience a diverse range of specialisms that provided me with a well-rounded legal foundation.

Q: How did you discover your passion for private client work?

A: During my training, the Firm suggested I might thrive in private client work. I’d initially thought I would qualify into dispute resolution or family law. However, my time with Chris really opened my eyes to private client and as I rotated through different departments, private client consistently stood out as the most fulfilling choice for me. It’s interesting how others can sometimes recognise our strengths before we do.

Q: What skills and qualities do you think make someone well-suited for private client work?

A: Being sociable and approachable is crucial in private client work, which I think is why they thought I’d be well suited to it as I’m naturally quite chatty. Making clients feel comfortable, providing reassurance and even adding a touch of humour during challenging times can be incredibly rewarding in this department.

Q: Could you share your proudest career moment?

A: Despite loving private client, my proudest career moment so far is actually an experience in my family law seat. There was a particularly memorable instance when I was due to attend a court hearing with my supervisor – who asked me to handle the hearing instead. The responsibility felt daunting, but her reassurance and confidence in my abilities were invaluable. Representing the client at that hearing was a significant milestone in my career, and the feeling of accomplishment afterward was indescribable.

Q: How has Butcher & Barlow supported your growth and development?

A: The Firm values pushing its team members out of their comfort zones, recognising that this is where the most significant growth occurs. I was meeting with clients early on which was nerve-wracking at the time but knowing that my senior colleagues believed in me and were always there for support was reassuring.

Q: Can you describe the level of support and collaboration within the Firm?

A: Support is readily available across all departments and offices at Butcher & Barlow, and I’ve never felt like a burden. Whether I need guidance from my supervisor or assistance from a colleague in a different team, there’s always someone willing to help.

Q: How does Butcher & Barlow’s approach to trainee development differ from your previous experience?

A: Before joining Butcher & Barlow, I worked at an international firm as a Cost Draftsman, where trainees often spent months on administrative tasks. At Butcher & Barlow, Trainees are given meaningful legal work much earlier, a testament to the Firms’ exceptional approach to trainee development. I definitely preferred the more hands-on approach.

Q: What are the work-life balance expectations at Butcher & Barlow?

A: Butcher & Barlow offers a better work-life balance compared to larger firms. Late hours just aren’t expected which makes it much easier to maintain a healthier work-life balance.

Q: Any advice for aspiring trainees?

A: My advice would be to remain resilient during the process of securing a training contract. It can be challenging and involve facing rejections but remember that it only takes one successful application to change your career. On a practical note, get a stamp with your name on when you qualify; it makes certifying documents much easier!

My three words to describe Butcher & Barlow are: approachable, collaborative and progressive.