In this edition of Realm Talks To…, Associate Director and Family Team Lead Paula Pawlowska spoke to Henry Venables, Director at Maguire Family Law. During the interview, Henry gave an insight into his early days as a family lawyer, explained what sets Maguire apart from other firms and shared with us his favourite holiday destination.
Why did you decide to become a family lawyer?
I sometimes think it is because in the first week of my spell in the family department during my training contract I went with my boss on a client’s private plane to the Royal Courts of Justice for a family court hearing. I probably thought that would happen every week! I just preferred family law to the other areas of law I experienced during my training. I liked (and still do) the variety of work, the fact that family law requires a lot of interaction with the client and also the challenge of helping the client emerge from a very difficult period in their life. 19 years later I have no regrets about choosing family law and I cannot imagine specialising in any other area of law.
Before joining Maguire Family Law, you worked at several larger multi-service law firms; what are the benefits of working at a family law boutique and in particular, Maguire Family Law?
I think it is a case of ‘horses for courses’. I enjoyed working at a large law firm and gained good experience from those times, but being at a smaller, niche firm brings much more satisfaction to me on a personal and professional level. We only do family law work and that means I have developed a specific skill set and area of expertise. Being smaller means being more agile. There are no hold-ups that can sometimes be experienced at larger firms. If we want something to go on our website, we can make quick decisions and it is done. We have been able to create a recognised and well-regarded brand which helps attract good quality and fulfilling work. Personally, I much prefer being a ‘bigger fish in a smaller pond’ and feel more valued and believe I am able to add value to the business as a result. There is a close bond within the team and that helps create a more enjoyable working environment.
You head up the firm’s Knutsford office, what’s it like working in Knutsford?
It’s great. Knutsford is quite small but is lovely and is a vibrant market town. Ironically, I grew up in Knutsford and have happy memories of my childhood there and have now come ‘full circle’ by returning to Knutsford to work. The town has a friendly community feel about it and there is a diverse and professional business community too. Since opening an office in Knutsford in January 2019 we have been made to feel very welcome in the local and business community and the town generally. We also have a beautiful office at Marble Arch. Passers-by often stop and admire the building and take photographs.
What’s the last book you read?
I tend to listen to audiobooks in the car or whilst travelling these days due to a lack of time to sit and read. I have just finished “Golf is not a game of perfect” by Dr. Bob Rotella who is a renowned sports psychologist. The book focuses on the mental side of the game of golf and how having a solid, consistent and straightforward mental approach can improve physical performance and results. This has been very enlightening and there is a lot in the book that can be applied in life generally and also in my professional practice.
What app can’t you live without?
Being a sports fan, and Manchester United supporter, the BBC sports app is a must for daily sports news and gossip. I would definitely miss that app if it was taken away. Also, I have recently been introduced to Google Family Calendar as well which is brilliant given we have two children at school with busy sporting and social lives to keep up with.
Where’s your favourite holiday destination?
This will not sound particularly exciting or exotic but my favourite holiday destination is, and always has been, Trearddur Bay, Anglesey in North Wales. I have been going to Trearddur every summer since I was a small child and love it there. I have a large group of friends who also return every year and have done so for decades. We now all have children who are also making friendships and memories there. Sailing is the main focus in the summer and it’s lovely to see my children out on the water with their friends. The only downside is the weather; which either seems to be amazing or dreadful – sometimes both in the same day!
About Henry Venables
Henry is a Director at Maguire Family Law and heads up the firm’s office in Knutsford.
Henry has specialised in family law since qualifying as a solicitor in 2005 and has significant experience in advising clients in relation to financial matters in the event of a relationship breakdown. He advises clients on how best to protect their wealth in the form of pre-nuptial, post-nuptial or cohabitation agreements and also represents clients in cases involving children.