LEGAL eagles Natalie Gibson and Jennifer Stroud are flying high in Huddersfield.
The two solicitors have been appointed to head the new Queen Street offices of well-established family law specialist Makin Dixon.
While Jennifer has transferred from the firm’s Todmorden office and is new to the town, Natalie has joined Makin Dixon from Holroyd & Co in Milnsbridge. Both are now making contacts in the local business community.
Natalie, 29, who was brought up in Edgerton and now lives at Salendine Nook, is a member of Huddersfield Incorporated Law Society and serves on its committee. She is also a member of regional businesswomen’s networking group Forward Ladies.
She went to Greenhead College before gaining a law degree at Huddersfield University. She joined Holroyd & Co and worked as a para-legal before qualifying as a solicitor in 2007.
Jennifer, 27, who grew up in Wyke and now lives at Rastrick, attended Whitcliffe Mount in Cleckheaton.Š
Like Natalie, she took law at Huddersfield University before joining Makin Dixon in 2007 and qualifying in 2010. She worked at the firm’s Keighley office before qualifying and switching to the Todmorden site.
Says Natalie: “I always knew from an early age that I wanted to do law. My careers adviser had high expectations for me – saying I was a good listener and meticulous about paying attention to detail.”
Jennifer says: “My family always said I was going to be a solicitor. When I went to sixth form college, they didn’t have an A-level law course. But they allowed a few of us to do A-level law via distance learning, which was excellent.”
Natalie has retained her links with the university by mentoring law students. “I help them apply for jobs and put together their CVs,” she says. “I have also had students work-shadowing me. It’s good to put something back.”
At Makin Dixon, Natalie and Jennifer handle general family law matters – principally Legal Aid work – with particular emphasis on emergency protection work, representing victims of domestic violence.
Both Natalie and Jennifer are members of Resolution, a body of lawyers committed to resolving disputes amicably. Natalie is also a collaborative lawyer, where parties commit to resolving their disputes without going to court.
Natalie and Jennifer recognise that “people” skills are vital in their work. Says Jennifer: “People come to us for help when they are often at their lowest ebb. Helping to get them through the ordeal is the most rewarding thing about this job. When the ordeal is concluded, they are so grateful for what we’ve done.”
Natalie adds: “The satisfaction comes from helping people when they need help most of all.”