Team Insider - Kelly Bannister
What was your proudest career moment?
It has to be qualifying as a solicitor, because it took years of effort to get there, especially as I was juggling a full-time job as a lawyer alongside a part-time Legal Practice course. Becoming a partner was another major milestone, as it’s a big achievement in a legal career and a real pleasure to have a vested interest in a firm and its future direction.
What is your main ambition for yourself and for James Legal?
James Legal was considerably smaller when I joined and I’ve already seen it grow substantially. I think the firm has great potential because of its ethos of doing things differently in a more relaxed environment and the team’s commitment to giving our clients the best results. It’s great to be a part of that unfolding story.
Why commercial law?
I really enjoy dealing with commercial clients and the fast-paced nature of commercial property law. It’s great to have the opportunity to find out about lots of interesting projects and developments, and help to shape and see them through.
A lot of what I do involves new ventures and developments, where business owners are creating something for the first time, expanding or moving. This can be a really exciting time in any business’s development and, at the moment, I’m working at the cutting edge of a lot of what’s happening in our city.
What makes James Legal different?
It’s a lot more flexible than other, more traditional firms. The fact our team is relatively small means we all get to know each other really well. It’s like being part of a big family and, no matter what role each of us plays in the business, we can play a part in its future direction and have our voices heard on everything from marketing to business development. This benefits our clients too, because the fact we work so closely means they get the insight of the whole team on their case.
What has been your most formative career experience?
I’ve been fortunate to have been thrown in at the deep end on jobs and having the opportunity to tackle some pretty big transactions from early on. Because I’ve worked in smaller departments within firms, I learnt much more quickly because the case load was varied and I had no option but to learn to swim!
What has been your most interesting career experience so far?
It’s been great being involved in City of Culture and the new developments that are really shaping the city, like Humber Street. There’s a real buzz about Hull at the moment and it’s a privilege to feel part of helping to create that.
Do you have one legal message that every business needs to hear?
Don’t rush in! Take your time and get proper advice when it comes to any momentous decisions about your business or project. When the pressure’s on, it’s easy to focus too much on simply getting the job done, whereas the important thing is to get it done properly, particularly when you’re talking about large sums of money. Turning that vision into reality isn’t just about getting hold of the keys to that dream commercial premises, it’s about looking at it from all angles and avoiding any potential pitfalls or problems further down the line.
What’s your view on business in Yorkshire & the Humber in 2017?
Everything’s very positive at the moment, thanks to the effects of Hull’s status as City of Culture 2017. There are lots of really exciting things going on and everyone can see the kinds of changes happening in the city, and the amount of investment coming in. It’s a great time to be living and doing business in the Yorkshire & The Humber region.
What gets you out of bed in a morning?
The fast pace and buzz of the work I do, and ducking and diving to bring projects big and small to a successful conclusion. Every day is very different.
For how many years have you been practising law?
I started practising in 2002 and qualified as a solicitor in 2006.
What types of clients do you work with?
A huge range of different ones – the diversity of cases we have access to is one of the things I like best about working for James Legal. I deal with everyone from small start-ups to charities, housing associations and major new developments. It’s fantastic to be a part of all these different developments and, in a small way, help to shape the future.