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Journal 'A Meeting With' Sarah Hall interview

06 Feb 2019

Employment Partner and Head of Commercial Department at Hay & Kilner Law Firm in Newcastle

What is the best thing about your job?

Working closely with clients to positively manage some very difficult employment law issues. I feel very lucky to work in this area of law – there’s never a dull moment!

What is your proudest achievement?

From a work perspective, becoming a partner at Hay & Kilner ten years ago and then, in 2017, becoming Head of our expanding Commercial Department, working alongside the new Management Board. We have a terrific team and I genuinely enjoy coming into work every day.

From a personal perspective, my children!

What advice would you give to someone starting in your career?

Find an area of law about which you feel passionate and take the time to get to know your clients and understand what they are trying to achieve.  Clients rightly expect all solicitors to know “the law” – they are looking for much more than that, a trusted adviser.

Which individual has inspired you most and why?

My father – he did not have the opportunities I had, but his work ethic has always been outstanding. He has also taught me the importance of patience and persistence, and perhaps most importantly, to be myself.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Never be afraid to ask for what you want – as my father would say, ‘shy bairns get nowt!’

Sarah Hall

What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career so far?

It was both a challenge, and a fantastic opportunity, when my husband and I decided to move back to the North East 14 years ago.  I always knew I wanted to return (who wouldn’t!), but having never previously worked in Newcastle, I was very lucky to find such a fantastic firm in Hay & Kilner.

How is your business going to change in the next ten years?

Advances in technology while ensuring we maintain close personal relationships with clients, which is key to the service we offer.

What do you like to do out of work?

Spend time with family and friends. It’s certainly true that children keep you well and truly grounded!

What do you always carry with you?

Mobile phone – it’s a lifeline when juggling family and work commitments.

What would you do if you had to change career?

Perhaps a training role as there’s already an element of that in my current job through our bespoke in-house HR training service. When I was at school, I wanted to be a teacher but, speaking to my teacher friends, that’s certainly not a profession to be entered into lightly!