At Nine St John Street we pride ourselves on creating an environment that helps our Members practice thrive. All too often this happens 'behind the scenes' however from time to time the success of our Members is recognised by some of the leading Legal publications in the world. One such example is the Legal 500 'Rising Stars'. Rising stars at the Bar are defined as barristers between four and eight years’ call who are seen as up-and-coming members of the Bar in their respective practice areas by clients and peers alike. They will already be instructed in high-profile, complex, and high-value contentious and non-contentious matters, working with and opposite more experienced leading counsel. We are so proud that four of our Members have received this prestigious accolade. All too often, it is left at that. We felt it would be of interest to look behind the award at the individual and their road to where they are.
In this piece we feature Laura Kaye, a Member of 7 years call. A dynamic, meticulous and pragmatic barrister the Legal 500 comments "Laura is always fully prepared and goes over and above her initial instructions to achieve positive outcomes. Her written submissions are always excellent and she is an extremely effective advocate. She has fantastic communication and interpersonal skills, and it is impressive how quickly she puts clients and witnesses at ease. Laura is fantastic to work with and gets results.".
1 - What made you choose law as a career?
At college we entered a team into the Young Citizen Bar Mock Trial Competition. Other enrichment projects available to me were bridge club and salsa dancing but having decided to sit A-Level Law, I thought it would be a great opportunity to further my studies. I auditioned for the team and successfully secured the role of Barrister. We competed at Leeds Crown Court for our heats, and then progressed to the finals which were held in Edinburgh. There was a real buzz on finals weekend, with ambitious students from across the country eager to show off their advocacy skills and I loved it! There is nothing quite like the feeling you experience in the last moments before you begin your cross examination. Whilst our team didn't win, three of us are now at the Bar, which demonstrates it was a truly inspiring experience.
2 - Why did you move into your chosen practice area?
Employment law has it all. It is rooted in technicality - the intricacies of the statute applied through case law and authoritative bodies of guidance which lend themselves to the expertise of a lawyer. It is dynamic and ever-changing, such that it is almost impossible to ever truly master it. In its procedure, it is it is largely free from the rigidity and inflexibility that often plagues the other courts. The exceptionality of costs allows the triable issues to come into sharp focus, so the parties are never in any doubt as to why they are truly there. But really what makes employment law are the people. It is the people and their work which I find incredibly fascinating. There is also a humanity to live witness evidence which can be lost when you are buried in your papers. I could not imagine doing anything else.
3 - Why did you choose Nine St John Street as the place to develop your practice?
As an aspirational student with an interest in employment law, you could not hope to be anywhere else in the North than 9SJS. Our team is made up of some of the brightest (and most modest!) employment lawyers in the country. I have been incredibly fortunate to receive their help, guidance and support throughout my career. Many former members have joined the Judiciary on a full time basis, but we all retain a strong link to one another through the 9SJS Employment Team. It is a real privilege to count myself amongst their ranks.
4 - What does the future hold for you?
My goals for the coming year are to continue the success of my employment practice and further develop my professional discipline/regulatory profile. I will also be part of the team for the 9SJS Access Award 2023, which is an initiative that I am incredibly passionate about. In the long term, I hope to secure a legal advisor role or judicial post alongside my professional practice at the Bar, so I will be working closely with my clerking team to help me achieve those objectives in the coming years.
Full details of Laura's career to date can be found here.
To instruct Laura or to discuss an Employment matter please contact Julia Lanza, Practice Manager on Julia.Lanza@9SJS.com or 0161 955 5123.