I get up at 6am and work out at home on a spin bike and free weights until 6.45am. I then get my son Kai up (he is eight) and sort out showers and breakfast, school bags etc. We leave the house at 7.45am and head to West Kirby, where Kai goes to school. I do the ‘Drop and Run’ as it has become known and head back to Chester.
My days in the office vary tremendously as I can be working on a big tribunal case with some of my team, attending management meetings, or I might find myself in our Shrewsbury office managing the team over there. If I have a tribunal case on the go I could find myself anywhere around the country on a three or four day hearing.
I do all of my own advocacy and have Higher Rights of Audience (which allow me to appear at the high courts and appeal courts). This is a great part of being an employment lawyer for me.
At lunch time I usually go to Revolution or The Old Harkers Arms if I need a quick bite to eat. I also regularly have lunch or after work meetings at Claire House, whether informal or a formal board meeting of trustees. If if is the latter I will leave work at 5.30pm to attend the meeting at 6-8.30pm. My mum does the school pick up and after the meeting I go via her house to pick up my son and take him home for stories and bed.
I then generally pick up from where I left off and log on and continue working until around 12.30am when I head to bed. When I am not in meetings after work I will usually spend the time doing sport with my son or watching him play football for Vauxhall Junior League. On other nights I do another chapter towards my PhD or attend various Chester and North Wales events, including Business Club dinners, Institute of Directors, CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and charity events. There is something on most nights!
Dress: I wear a Claire House T-shirt when out cycling or running for the charity but other than that I wear smart dress in the office.
What is the favourite part of your job? Working with my team and my clients – I am definitely a ‘people person’. I also thrive on being on my feet in tribunal or training and presenting to large audiences on an area of law I am passionate about.
What is the least favourite part of your job? There actually isn’t one. I have been an employment lawyer forever!
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now? A glamorous celebrity actress – you have to be an actress at times as a lawyer anyway (just not quite so glamorous!).
How do you relax when you are not working? I don’t relax very often in the true sense of the word but I love my sport and can sort a case out in my head whilst running a half marathon, which is generally rounded off by a few glasses of wine (I do have my vices!). My involvement in Claire House is also very rewarding and helps me to put life into perspective on a regular basis.
I spend most of my weekends fundraising for Claire House and other charities. I recently completed Tough Mudder and in the last year have cycled across Paris and Cuba, as well as running the London Marathon twice, all for Claire House and Women With Cancer.
My next challenge is to cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia in 2016 which I’m really looking forward to.
I also have a holiday home in North Wales where I escape at weekends with my son whenever we can.
What is your favourite film? Les Misérables (I really love the stage version too).
What is your favourite book? Anything by John Grisham. I also love reading biographies – very nosey!
What is your favourite song? Every Breath You Take by the Police.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? Charlize Theron
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? Yes thank you!
- Name: Helen Watson
- Job: Owning partner and head of employment at Aaron & Partners LLP; Chair of trustees at Claire House Children’s Hospice.
- Born: Clatterbridge, Wirral
- Lives now: Little Neston
- Education: Abbey Gate School, Chester and Abbey Gate College, Chester. Dual honours degree in Criminology and French at Keele University, Masters degree in Law at Staffordshire University, Law finals at The College of Law Chester, PhD in Law at Glyndwr University (ongoing)
- Family: Divorced and single mum to Kai, eight
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