Simon Mortimer is our Partner and Head of our Family department. Simon works predominantly on high value financial cases arising from divorces that usually involve a business or farm. Having qualified in 1982, Simon joined us in 1988 and has been a Partner since 1992.
Simon, how did you get into law?
I started getting work experience when I was 16 going to various local firms in north west London and was soon hooked on the way the legal system affected everyone’s lives and how being a lawyer helped people deal with their problems using the law.
Early on I saw family cases in the Principal Registry in Somerset House in London as well as a lot of Crown Court cases including cases at the Old Bailey – when I was training, I dealt with a murder case and I was often visiting clients in prison so it was very varied and exciting and I trained with a great firm in London which was very friendly.
Initially I practiced in Family and Criminal law but when the new Children Act came into force in 1991 there were so many opportunities, I concentrated on Family law and gave up Criminal practice.
How did you come to be at Burnetts?
I moved to Carlisle from Essex when I was 30 to live somewhere rural but with a city practice. I had a number of offers but Burnetts was the most welcoming and innovative firm and was clearly forward thinking so I chose Burnetts and haven’t looked back since.
I have never once wanted to work anywhere else. I have always had great colleagues and a high standard of practice and being a partner has meant being involved in driving the firm forward to where we are now as a major regional firm with ambitions for further expansion and recruitment.
I started as an assistant solicitor – in those days all newly qualified solicitors were called ‘assistant solicitors’ - and then became an associate after 2 years and an Equity Partner in 1992. I had to build up my profit share over a number of years but I was always fully involved in Partnership decisions and it was an exciting time as we recruited and expanded our offices and the Family team was growing including a specialist Children’s team which was a first in Cumbria.
Any advice for lawyers aiming to become a future partner?
There are so many legal, political and technological pressures in our industry and the pandemic has turned the previous world of employment upside down, so it’s vital to try to think and plan outside the box and engage the whole business in our ambition to ensure our firm and our clients can all flourish and achieve their aims.
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