Sharde Williams

Sharde-Williams-(1).jpg

Job title: In-House Legal Counsel

Role Level: Experienced

Describe a typical day at work?

My morning starts with a cup of tea at my desk, checking emails, setting up any urgent meetings with directors, trustee or administrators, reprioritising matters where necessary and updating my to-do list. Generally I provide legal advice and support to internal administrators, accountants, directors, trustees and partners in relation to a range of trust and corporate matters arising from day to day.  I also often liaise with law firms in Jersey, London and Europe and sometimes involved in business development queries. 

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area? 

Ability to work in a team... and lead a team; exceptional attention to detail; and excellent communication skills (both oral and written).

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?

I have been a lawyer my whole career however I am qualified as a barrister and subsequently a solicitor of England and Wales. My earlier career involved a lot of advocacy within the courts of England on a number of litigious matters. I wouldn’t say my career has changed, as I am a practising lawyer, but my area of law and specialism has changed. I moved to Jersey a year and a half ago looking for a new challenge. I had learnt trusts and company law at university, so I was keen to explore this further. Changing areas of law is not impossible but requires commitment, dedication and lots of reading!

What do you love most about working in your career area? 

One of the things I like about a career in law is that it is an intellectually demanding profession. I find being presented with a number of facts, weaving your way through the legal matrix to advise on the law and strategy or solutions great fun! (Sad I know!)

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of? 

The perceived negative aspects include long hours in the office dependent upon the area of law you practice. Whilst in my current role at Moore Stephens this is not a problem, I have experienced it in the past. The best way to combat it is to build stamina, energy and resilience... and do something outside of law that you enjoy for the work life balance! 

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking? 

My current role as In-House Legal Counsel requires a qualification as a lawyer whether as a solicitor, barrister or advocate in a recognised jurisdiction. I read law at the University of Birmingham during my undergraduate years and went on to complete my Master of Laws degree in commercial law. I completed Bar school qualifying as a barrister and years later qualified as a solicitor of England and Wales. I continue to attend CPD courses and I am currently enrolled on a Management Development Programme at Moore Stephens. 

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career? 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the profession (no matter how silly) to a range of lawyers including trainees and even judges. Couple this with experience (where possible) in a range of law firms both large and small. You will be investing a lot of time and finances, so do your homework to make sure this career is for you. Hopefully you will find it as rewarding as I do!