At Bellevue Law, we’re fortunate to have attracted such exceptional talent to our team – but our team aren’t just great lawyers, they’re great people, too!
This week, we’re catching up with Leigh Edgar, one of our most experienced employment lawyers. Join us to find out more about Leigh’s career highlights, challenges, and her secret passion for saxophony…
Can you explain what you do in under 20 words?
I use my knowledge of the law relating to employment and partnership to advise and support businesses and individuals.
What did you do as your first job and what lesson did you learn from it that still rings true today?
I was desperate to have a job when I was a teenager and have had quite a few rather interesting ones. The first one was handing out leaflets for a new clothes shop on Guildford High Street when I was 13. I had to wear a distinctive branded sweatshirt and cap and carry balloons and stand for hours, rain or shine. It taught me that some marketing strategies are better than others, and that you can never wear too many pairs of socks…
Like my subsequent jobs (babysitter, school cleaner, silver service waitress, bartender, night shift surgical kit-packer, Child Protection Agency receptionist, and legal secretary), it also taught me resilience. In addition, I learned the importance of doing a good job, regardless of the task, listening, being receptive to others – and smiling.
Looking back over your career, what’s been your proudest moment?
I am proud of surviving and succeeding as a trainee solicitor during the busy dotcom boom; appearing as an advocate in a Tribunal hearing in the early days of being an employment solicitor; becoming dual qualified and working at an incredible pace in Hong Kong; and re-entering the UK workplace as a parent and managing the daily balancing act.
Most recently, I am proud of the results of Bellevue Law’s client feedback survey . The clients, both employees and employers, were so keen to take part and gave really positive feedback. That is something special, particularly in the legal world, where people often don’t come to you in the easiest of circumstances. At Bellevue we build a real bond with our clients, and you can really share in the successes and rewards earned as part of a smaller team.
And the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
The constantly changing world of employment law and legislation is the biggest challenge for an employment lawyer, and the last three months have been extraordinary. We have advised clients on how to react to legislation which has just been announced and which is being drafted overnight. The legal sector has however pulled together and there has been so much discussion, debate and guidance issued for free, including by Bellevue, through webinars and website posts.
What makes Bellevue Law special?
Bellevue Law offers a unique blend of quality work and flexible working, meaning you can really take ownership of and develop your career, and enjoy it, while being fully engaged at home at the same time. It is incredibly well and professionally run, and with real warmth and care for the whole team. Florence is a total star – hugely supportive – and the other members of the team are fantastic people. You honestly couldn’t ask for more in a firm.
What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?
Spending time with family and friends. One day I will also get back to playing my saxophone on a regular basis (other than for the amusement of family during lockdown Zoom calls!). The ability to work so flexibly means that hobbies have more of a chance of being a reality… one day.
What’s your favourite podcast, and why?
So many to choose from. ‘Fortunately’ is a real favourite – I try to listen every week, or if I miss one I store them up for a marathon session while I am cooking at the weekend. I’m a big fan of Fi Glover. I love her banter and her interview questions – it’s a decent second best when you can’t have your own oldest friends round for a coffee. I also like ‘How to Fail’ by Elizabeth Day for its great guests and insightful stories, and the ‘Missing CryptoQueen’ and ‘Serial’ for totally engrossing investigative journalism.