Wilson Browne | Legal Partner at Coulters
This feature contains exclusive interviews with trainees and lawyers currently in the legal profession. The first 10 questions are designed to give law students helpful insights into the life of a trainee solicitor or lawyer in the UK and find out more about their story into the legal profession. The last 10 questions are just a bit of fun – after all, lawyers are human too!
Our first guest is an ex-Managing Editor/Treasurer of the previous Student Law Review at Napier back in 2013 and is now a Partner with Coulters as of December 2020. He was a very hardworking student and was even awarded the university medal in his final year.
1. Tell us a bit about your background. Did you take a year abroad? What were your favourite/worst subjects at university?
Some might say that I came to Law later in life! I started studying law when I was 33 after a career in the Military and Private Security industry. No gap year am afraid only a few operational tours whilst serving in the Army. Worst subjects would have to be Commercial Law…..
2. What made you choose to pursue a career in the legal profession?
Studying law for me was not always about being a Lawyer. A Law degree is a great all-round degree which is attractive to many employers, and that was my basis for studying law. It wasn’t until third year when I thought a career in law may be an option.
3. When did you know the area of law you wanted to practice?
I don’t think I knew which area, Conveyancing/property found me by accident! I remain interested in many areas of law.
4. When applying to law firms you wanted to work for, how did you find the process?
I was very fortunate to work for Aberdein Considine while studying, so they knew what they were getting. I applied and was lucky enough to be given a traineeship.
5. What advice would you give yourself as a law student looking back as a now qualified solicitor?
Being a mature student isn’t so bad….
6. How do you feel about the future of the legal profession? Do you think dealing with clients will become virtual more permanently?
Technology has and will play a huge part in the future of the Legal Profession. Covid has driven virtual interaction even more in 2020 and whilst we can see clients and talk to them, developing a relationship virtually has it challenges. I don’t think the virtual meeting will totally replace the need for face to face meetings and human interaction. Face to face meetings are just as important and many clients prefer to see their Solicitor in person. The challenge will be about striking the correct balance to maintain and develop the client/solicitor relationship.
7. Do you work from home all the time or do you work in the office on occasion? Is there an office rota in place for when you are allowed into the office?
My wife and I have an office rota at home! I go into the office once a week to meet with clients if required and deal with Firm management. Coulters have asked all staff to work from home as much as possible whilst restrictions are in place. Employee safety in that regard is paramount. There is a limited skeleton staff who have rota in office to deal business critical matters.
8. What is your work/life balance like? Do you find that your workload has increased or decreased since the lockdown?
I think it is a constant juggle. If you think there is a balance, you always end up disappointed. You have to go with it and try and plan as much as you can.
9. What is the firm culture like where you are currently working?
Open, ambitious, honest, and responsive.
10. As a previous member of the law review, do you have any tips for us going forward?
Keep up the high standards even if it adds extra work. Engage with the Law Department for support and ideas and more importantly get out in the legal world and network. I love the new website.
11. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, hardworking, and loyal.
12. Who was your role model growing up and why?
Whether I knew it at the time or not, now I would say my Dad. He was driven and hardworking. He took risks that failed, he took risks that were successful. Where he failed, he learned and moved on. That taught me not how to be successful but how to deal with failure and move on, which breads success. That risk taking is invaluable in life.
13. What is your proudest achievement?
My two children who are 11 and 13. How did that happen?!
14. If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go and why?
Tuscany – Italy or Brampton Island – Australia – to see family and friends -to and to lie in the sun, relax, eat well and laugh a lot.…..
15. If you were going to a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what three items would you want to have with you and why?
- Photo of my family
16. What is your favourite pastime/hobby you like to do in your spare time?
Watching Rugby – try to do the occasional painting (I enjoy painting landscapes) and watch comedy. Laughter is by far the best medicine.
17. What Television series are you watching at the moment?
Mandalorian! Don’t you love baby Yoda….
18. If you won the lottery, what would be your first purchase and why?
Flights and travel arrangements to bring all the people who are important to me to one place for a week (or two) long party.
19. If not law, what other career would you be interested in pursuing and why?
Forest Ranger on the West Coast of Scotland, or start my own small croft.
20. If you could write a book/film about your life, what would the title be and why?
I love films, so it would have to be a film. Mission Impossible? As Nelson Mandela said, it always seems impossible until it’s done!
Interviewed by Sean Doig (Editor-in-Chief 2020/21). We would like to thank Wilson Browne for taking the time out of his busy schedule to participate in the interview for the Law Review. If you would like to participate in an interview with the Law Review, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com