Laurence started at Bott and Co in April 2015 as an Office Junior. Within a few months he progressed to the role of Legal Assistant and now specialises in the relatively new area of law – holiday sickness.
When not at work, Laurence spends his time in a variety of different ways. He is accomplished in three musical instruments: guitar, bass and piano and can occasionally be found honing his proficiency with each of these.
We take 5 minutes to chat to Laurence and get to know more about him.
Why did you choose the legal profession?
Like most people, I had thought long and hard about what kind of career would suit me in the long-term and I felt extremely unfulfilled and dissatisfied with the job I had in retail management.
I have always had a keen interest in the law and the role it plays in society as a whole, having bought various books on the subject despite not having a legal academic background. I have always believed that the best way to learn is to go out and find information for yourself rather than relying solely on schooling.
Not long after graduating from university, I began to realise that I craved a career that would provide not only some intellectual challenge but also diversity in the work I do and that offered the potential for growth. The legal profession seemed to tick all of those boxes and then some!
You are working in a new area of law; tell us a little bit about holiday illness compensation.
As package holidays have become more commonplace, the law has had to adapt to meet the changes and apply to a wide range of situations to ensure that customers of tour operators are protected.
If you book a package holiday through a UK tour operator, most of the major parts of your trip will be covered by ‘The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992’.
These regulations are the basis on which we pursue our client’s claims for compensation; they state that the tour operator is responsible for all the separate parts of your holiday. This means that your transport, accommodation and food whilst on holiday are all covered by British legislation.
We have used these regulations to make successful claims for clients who have had suffered from food poisoning and even bedbugs whilst on holiday.
What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
I think the art of ‘plate spinning’ is certainly something that I believe will prove to be a continuous challenge throughout my legal career. Keeping the multitude of simpler tasks at bay whilst dealing with the things that require the most attention is certainly the most challenging aspect of my job.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Being able to satisfy our clients by leading them through the process involved in pursuing a claim. It’s also very rewarding to be able to achieve a substantial award for a client who has had a particularly rotten time on holiday!
We understand you are very into your music, tell us a bit about how this started?
I began to play the guitar at the age of 14 due to my love of bands such as The Smiths, The Beatles, Oasis and many more. I loved the discipline that came with the craft of playing the guitar and this extended to bass guitar and then the piano too. Ultimately this led to my decision to study music at university, as it was my real passion at the time and a subject that I excelled in. However, I never really saw music as being a way of earning a living.
What do you feel most proud of?
I’ve never been a quitter and I think that’s something that has very much held me in good stead in my life. I believe that it’s a slippery slope if you adopt a quitting mentality.
What would you be if you weren’t a Legal Assistant?
I would most probably go down the route of becoming a fully-fledged music teacher. I taught guitar in private tuition lessons for years whilst I was studying at university and even before that.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Ideally, with the funded education that I am receiving through the Bott Academy, I will have qualified with a level 6 diploma in law and practice. This will enable me to qualify as a lawyer in addition to the experience that I will have gained alongside the academic study.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
I recently heard of an island off the coast of Japan called ‘Aogashima’ which is home to only about 170 people. There is nothing around for miles but apparently the night sky offers a perfect view of the Milky Way. I think being able to witness our own galaxy with zero light pollution would be an unforgettable experience and one that you would be hard-pushed to match!