“I am a solicitor and the Regional Judge for the Eastern Region of the FTT (Residential Property). I was appointed in 2019.
I spent the first 12 years of my career in private practice in Camden Town, becoming a partner soon after qualification and building up one of the largest specialist housing teams at the time. In 2001 I joined the organisation which ran legal aid in England and Wales, after a short but enjoyable stint making training videos for the College of Law.
I started thinking about pursuing a judicial career while working in the public sector and was appointed a fee-paid Judge for the Residential Property Tribunal in 2013. After a few years I decided to pursue a salaried judicial role and the Regional Judge position for Eastern seemed a great fit for me; building on my expertise in landlord and tenant law but also using my leadership skills further developed in legal aid, where I ended up on the executive team responsible for the strategic direction and performance of an organisation of some 1500 people.
As I had been through a few JAC competitions, without success, I got some professional help with my interview skills. The top tip for me was to put yourself in the position of the interviewer and make it easy for them to give you a good score. This time round I also focussed on my role and the outcome rather than spending too much time explaining the background or being modest!
I went straight from fee-paid to Regional Judge which was quite a leap but the leadership side is much less pressurised than in government! COVID-19 was obviously a challenge but I work with a great team and between us we managed to keep the show on the road without backlogs. I feel very privileged to spend the last third of my career in such a fascinating role and really enjoy the mix of hearings, case management and leadership. It has also been a literal breath of fresh air to take a break from working in London.
The Regional Judges led by the Chamber President operate as a team and they have all helped me navigate any difficult issues. I joined the training committee to build up more detailed knowledge about developments and new jurisdictions and I am also the diversity lead for the Chamber. As the second female Regional Judge in Residential Property (our President was the first) I am keen to improve the diversity in the Chamber and the pool of applicants for this competition is an essential start!”