Legal Assistance Scheme Manager
“I was 22 when I started working for the NFU and have been here for the last 30 years. If it wasn’t a great place to work, then I probably wouldn’t still be here.”
I am proud to manage the NFU Legal Assistance Scheme (LAS), which provides financial and moral support for members, and help in resolving legal disputes related to their core farming or growing business. I also have overall responsibility for the 16 NFU’s Legal Panel Firms in England and Wales. I feel passionate about my work because I get to help members who are up against large companies and government agencies and make a difference. Some of our work can also influence changes in legislation and government policies.
In 2018, we celebrated 30 years of LAS with a beautiful cake which was combined with the inaugural ceremony of the NFU Legal Panel Excellence award. This was a real ‘stop and look back’ moment for me and a huge sense of achievement knowing I had played a pivotal role or crucial part in the scheme’s success having managed it since 2002 and the current set‑up of the legal panel firms established in 2008. My different roles within the organisation have even taken me abroad and given me opportunities to work with different government departments and be involved in landmark farming cases in the various courts in the UK and at EU level.
The organisation supported me in my ambitions to pursue my degree and legal training, and I believe I have been rewarded for my dedication. The NFU has since gone on to offer a qualification pathway for its employees so that they can qualify internally, and I hope my journey has helped put this in place.
The support in working around my family’s needs has been fantastic and the flexibility enabled me to make time for my kids when necessary, especially following the move from London to the Midlands where I didn’t know anyone. I made it a priority to accommodate job‑shares and part‑time working for mothers in my own team so that people could feel comfortable and still achieve their best at high standards.
There is never a dull moment here. The issues I face every day are never the same, which I love because it challenges me to develop and demonstrate various skills needed in helping members resolve their problems. I enjoy the camaraderie between my colleagues and bouncing ideas off each other!
I was 22 when I started working for the NFU and have been here for the last 30 years. If it wasn’t a great place to work, then I probably wouldn’t still be here.