Why did you become a solicitor advocate?

I didn't initially aim to become a family lawyer – I just wanted to be a litigator. However, I am glad to say that a desire to practise family law soon followed and I am pleased to be able to marry (excuse the pun) those two interests.

It is fair to say that for most of our family law work, litigation is not the right forum for resolving matters. However, for those cases where litigation is necessary, it is essential that we have the right tools at our disposal. I am always looking for ways to develop further my advocacy skills and it is hands down the most satisfying part of my role.

I am delighted now to be able to represent clients in the Court of Session, particularly those who are based in the North and North-east who can avoid the need to travel to Edinburgh to meet with counsel.

What case stands out for you?

I was introduced to court as a solicitor advocate in August this year so nothing too momentous has happened yet, but my absolute career highlight is the reported child relocation case of MS v SS [2012] CSIH 17. I was only a trainee when the client first came to us and was delighted when, after an interesting evidential hearing, we were able to secure a decision for her to move with her child to Houston, Texas. This was followed by an appeal to the Inner House (which we successfully opposed) – I have been hooked on the buzz of Court of Session work ever since.

What have you learned about yourself since becoming a solicitor advocate?

That I can accomplish more than I realised with enough perseverance.

What TV or film lawyers do you identify with and why?

I grew up watching Ally McBeal… like her, I do sometimes let words escape from my mouth before fully engaging my brain, but fortunately I have learned to suppress that when appearing in court! It's maybe just as well we don't have a bar under our office.

What one piece of advice would you give to anyone who is thinking about becoming a solicitor advocate?

The training is demanding (and let's face it, we are all busy people) but entirely worthwhile – if you really want to succeed, you will find the time.