Articles - How I became a Medical Negligence Solicitor | Expert Interview

Specialising in medical negligence, abuse cases and Coronial Law. Renu talked to us about her experience, her day-to-day role, and gives advice for young hopefuls for how they can make their first steps into a professional career in the field of law.

Renu Daly is a Solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors

What made you decide to become a solicitor?

Having previously worked in the Crown Prosecution Service and as a Police Officer in the Metropolitan Police Service, a career as a solicitor appealed to me because of the investigative process involved and because I enjoyed being on my feet in court.

How did you find your university experience as a law student?

I very much enjoyed the vibrant university atmosphere.  The campus was always alive with students from different backgrounds and cultures making it a great place to study my subject of choice and meet people from around the globe.  It gave me my first opportunity to moot and the facilities and lecturers were excellent.  It is often said that you never forget a good teacher and speaking from personal experience, I would agree.

Describe your typical day.

There is no such thing as a typical day as no two days are ever the same.  It can range from visiting clients and attending court all over England, as well as conferences with Counsel to being in the office liaising with experts, drafting documents and assessing the claims you are running.  Since no cases or clients are the same, each day is different.

What is your favourite part of your job?

I would have to say that advocacy at court is the most enjoyable aspects of my job.  I particularly enjoy advocating at inquests in particular whereupon it combines my interest with medicine and being on my feet in a courtroom.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is from time to time it can be difficult to travel back to back from place to place which is sometimes required to visit clients and attend court.  This can raise logistical difficulties which often involve long days with early starts and late nights.

Which has been your most interesting case to work on, and why?

It is impossible to identify one single most interesting case.  Each has presented challenges of its own from high profile abuse claims to extremely complex medical errors which have caused a catalogue of effects on the patient which have caused significant impairment in their daily function.

What was the turning point in your career?

The turning point in my career was the realisation that for some the definition of justice does not necessarily include a criminal offence and police involvement, but rather the provision of answers and the admission that they were let down and treated poorly. For the people I have worked with and those I continue to work with, the investigation into what happened and why healthcare institutions failed them and their families is often equally as important as the outcome. Every case is different and so is the impact on each person.

What advice would you give an aspiring lawyer?

The level of competition in this field can be daunting.  The key piece of advice I would offer is to seek experience and opportunity both from the traditional route to your professional destination and from other avenues which may not necessarily be directly related to what you may wish to do, but they may assist you in the development of the skills you are seeking to perfect as well as providing you with a wider and more innovative perspective. There’s more than one way to skin a cat!

How can an applicant stand out from the crowd?

It is important to develop strong interpersonal skills as they are a necessity in this career.  People come to you at what can be the most traumatic time of their life and in my area you also work alongside many medical professionals as well as Counsel and defendant hospital trusts and insurers.  Clients are from all walks of life and it is important to appreciate the needs of each, one standard approach definitely does not fit all!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

It is extremely fulfilling to be able to assist people and their families when they have suffered as a result of negligent treatment and in five years time, I would like to be carrying on in the same vein. I have a great deal of respect for those who have suffered an injury and then have the courage to embark on the litigation road.

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