Congratulations to Dispute Resolution Solicitor, Coralie Smart, who celebrates her 5-year work anniversary at Ellisons this week! To mark this milestone, Coralie shares some of her highlights and achievements from her journey so far.

How would you describe your 5 years at Ellisons in 5 words?

  • Diverse;
  • Collaborative;
  • Challenging;
  • Rewarding; and
  • Positive.

What stands out as a highlight from the last 5 years?

A definite highlight for me was being offered a role as a newly qualified solicitor in the dispute resolution team. I had already enjoyed working at Ellisons for over three years and during that time had decided that the civil and commercial litigation team was where I wanted to qualify. It was therefore a great relief and joy to receive and accept the job offer.

What would you say has been your greatest achievement whilst working at Ellisons?

I will always remember fondly reaching a positive settlement on one of my first ever cases as a qualified solicitor. It felt great being able to call my clients and hear their relief and gratitude that the opposition had accepted our offer and that the outcome which my clients had hoped for was now achieved. It was not the largest or most prestigious case that I have worked on, but as it was my first successful result, it will always be a personal achievement and a valued memory.

I also enjoyed being part of the winning pair at the first Ellisons tennis tournament!

Do you have any words of wisdom for those starting out their career in law?

Enjoy the journey. There are various different routes into law and they all tend to include a number of years spent studying and training before qualification. During this period, it’s inevitable to focus on the end goal, but it’s also important to take the time to recognise the opportunity that you have in a more junior role to ask questions and to learn from those around you.

Also, I really appreciated having the chance to work in several departments whilst completing my training contract at Ellisons, before then deciding where to qualify. I think as a student your perception of the various areas of law can be quite different from experiencing the reality of how law is applied in practice. It was only when working in the dispute resolution team as a trainee solicitor that I realised the extent to which I really enjoyed the nature and variety of litigious work.

What are you looking forward to in your future with Ellisons?

The pandemic restrictions caused my first year of qualification as a solicitor to be quite unusual, working mostly from home, with both client and colleague meetings being largely limited to video conferences. I think working from home has a number of benefits and Ellisons have been extremely accommodating in providing the technology necessary to transition seamlessly to remote working. In the short term, however, I am looking forward to being able, hopefully, to spend more time in the office, exchanging ideas with colleagues, as well as having the opportunity to meet and engage with clients in person.

Longer term, I am looking forward to progressing my career within the civil and commercial litigation team and developing my wider role within Ellisons. I still have lots to learn and am looking forward to seeing what the next five years have to offer!