After graduating from Sussex University in French and European Studies, I was selected for a Japanese government programme and spent a fascinating two and a half years working as a high school English teacher in a small town in Japan.
On my return to the UK, I joined the London branch of Japan’s oldest department store, Mitsukoshi, assisting the buyers from Tokyo to identify British goods for export.
After a career re-think, I spent two years at Nottingham Law School, and then trained and qualified as a solicitor at City law firm, Clifford Chance.
Always keen to find a way to combine the law with my interest in the arts, in 1997 I came across a job advert which seemed to have my name on it. For 10 years I was the sole lawyer at SOLT and UK Theatre, and latterly have headed a small team of exceptional solicitors, providing legal services to our Members and in-house.
The Member services include one-to-one legal advice, briefings (guidance, alerts and regular updates), monitoring new developments in the law which might affect the industry and representing Members’ views in responses to government and other consultation exercises. We cover an extensive range of legal areas, including employment, immigration, tax, copyright, child performance licensing, health and safety, ticketing, alcohol and entertainment licensing, disability discrimination, governance and general commercial law.
Mine is a unique role to which, in my opinion, few other legal positions can compare for interest and variety; and I find being able to make a small contribution to the theatre industry very rewarding.
Outside work, I am an active performer with local amateur groups. Recent roles include Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads (A Bed Among The Lentils) and the Chorus in T S Eliot’s Murder In The Cathedral.