Life of a Solicitor

Author:
Patricia Cannon
Partner, Head of Child Protection Law
Date:
31/01/2019

This week is National Storytelling Week – and each one of us has a story to tell.

Patricia Cannon, a Partner at Simpson Millar and our Head of Child Protection Law, shares her story here.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A ballerina – despite having no talent for dance, nor a single ballet lesson. I was given a hand-me-down tutu at the age of 4 and built my future aspirations around that.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a Solicitor?

After I completed my degree, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to go into law. I then tried working in other areas and realised that I wanted direction and decided to complete the postgraduate Legal Practice Course. I enjoyed that and it set me on my career path.

Why did you choose this area of law?

I specialise in child safeguarding work. In representing parents, I am drawn to helping the lost and lonely, usually vulnerable individuals who have been failed by their own parenting experiences and been left with no model for being successful parents themselves. I also represent children and find meaning in being part of protecting them and setting them up for brighter futures.

Why did you choose to join Simpson Millar?

Accepting my role here gave me the opportunity to build my own team all dedicated to helping families or children with child protection issues. The firm has a very strong presence in areas of work that help the vulnerable and disadvantaged in society.

What case has had the biggest impact on you?

I represented a lovely young client whose children had been removed from her care because her newborn baby had unexplained bone fractures. We were able to obtain medical evidence to confirm the child had a rare condition which caused spontaneous fractures.

When the Court decided the children should be returned to her care, she said she was going to have to hug me as she had no one else to celebrate with - all her family were in prison. It made me realise how much the client relies on you caring as much about their case as they do and how wide your role can be to them.

What is the most important thing to you about your role?

The client believing that their voice has been heard through me.

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