Ad: Meet Edmondson Hall's Head of Family Law
In the month that we celebrate International Women’s Day, we speak to high-flying mum of two Elisabeth Sneade, who is a Partner and Head of Family Law at Edmondson Hall in Newmarket
What initially attracted you to a career in law?
When I was at university (studying for a Politics degree) I volunteered at the student advice centre. I liked answering the varied queries and providing help and support. I then decided to study law and become a solicitor.
Can you tell us a little about the kind of work you specialise in?
I specialise in family law. I cover everything from how to divorce and the financial aspects of a family separating, through to how the care of children is agreed. I also advise people who are separating and are not married. I prepare pre-nuptial agreements/post-nuptial agreements if someone wants to protect a particular asset or perhaps has children from a previous relationship and they want to make sure things are as clear as possible to avoid future problems. I also liaise with social services or court-appointed officials who have been asked to write reports recommending how much time a child spends with each parent.
You joined Edmondson Hall in March 22 as Head of the Family Team; what does that role entail?
Each week is different and sometimes it is super busy preparing for court cases (January was hectic!) and other times I have roundtable meetings with fellow solicitors to try and settle a case away from court. I like the variety of work and because many of my cases take a while to resolve I build a relationship with clients over time. As a team we try to ensure that clients feel supported, their concerns are heard and pragmatic steps are set out to help them find a solution to their problems. The law is challenging and can seem quite scary to clients but nearly always it is the emotional side of family law that requires compassion and time to enable the client to find a solution that works for them and their family.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
When a case finishes and a client sends you a thank you message. It doesn’t happen as often as you might think!
And the most challenging part?
Managing clients who are emotional and stressed because their family situation has changed and they are scared about their future.
You’re a mum of two girls (and a dog), so we imagine, very busy! What are your top tips on managing the work / family life juggle?
I juggle and hope for the best! Thankfully my girls are both at senior school so they take themselves to and from school (which helps) but I have a big list of things that are happening each week at home and work and I tick things off as I go along. My mum worked full-time so I had a positive role model, which helps. My girls see that whilst it is not easy to combine a full-time job with being a parent, it is possible. They also know they will always come first. I also couldn’t do this job without my PA, and support at home. It doesn’t mean every day is easy though and sometimes you just have to accept you can’t get everything done.
How do you relax when you’re not at your desk?
I taught myself to crochet during the pandemic and that is a great way to relax whilst watching TV. I’ve also played with an orchestra with my oldest friend for a long time, and now my girls come too, which I love.
Edmondson Hall is at 25 Exeter Road, Newmarket. Find out more at edmondsonhall.com
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