In this edition of Realm Talks To…our Private Client recruitment specialist, Kelly, spoke to Liz Hughes, Director and Head of Court of Protection at Hugh Jones Solicitors. During their conversation, Liz gave us an insight into why she decided to become a lawyer, the advice she would give to her teenage self and where she’d love to go on holiday.
Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
I was always very academic at school and law seemed a sensible route to take. I was also keen to study in an area that would leave me with transferrable skills as, in all honesty, I didn’t think I’d actually end up becoming a lawyer!
I now realise that it’s a natural fit with my personality. I don’t like to see people struggle and will always do whatever I can to reassure people, reduce stress and offer peace of mind – which is exactly what I do in my role as a specialist Court of Protection solicitor.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?
In one of my first roles, when I was very junior, my boss offered very little support but had very high standards. I was very much left to figure everything out for myself. With hindsight, this introduction to the world of work is what shaped me into the professional I am today, but at the time it was tough.
What makes Hugh Jones different?
We have a strong culture of knowledge sharing, which unfortunately isn’t always the case within law. If someone has a really tricky issue, it’s likely someone else has faced it before so we encourage team members to always speak up and ask for advice. The firm has open lines of communication between all levels of seniority and we share information about the firm and future plans.
Every single colleague has the Mental Capacity Act at the forefront of their work and recognises the impact of this on our clients and their families – no matter what role they’re in.
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2022?
Drink more water and do more exercise – unoriginal I know, but there’s always room for improvement!
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
If you don’t understand something, just ask. No matter whether you’re the MD or intern – you can’t advise clients without a thorough understanding. I’ve seen very senior lawyers and judges say that they don’t understand something because it’s so important to the advice they give or decision they make.
Also, hard work pays off but only if you’re amongst people who recognise it.
Which app can’t you live without?
To be honest, I don’t really use apps. Human connection is key, so I’m a big believer in not spending too much time behind a screen.
Where’s your favourite holiday destination?
For me, a holiday is all about who you’re with and family time is so special. If I could book a ticket tomorrow, I’d love to see more of the USA, particularly New England.
About Liz Hughes
Liz Hughes is a Director and the Head of Court of Protection at Hugh Jones Solicitors. She specialises in Court of Protection and Mental Capacity work, and is passionate about client care, working closely with the families, caseworkers and carers of her clients.
Liz has had her work recognised by The Legal 500 as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ in 2022 and was listed as one of Barclays ‘Women of Achievement’ in 2019.