My journey as a personal injury lawyer has been one I am very proud of, however it was not expected given my underachievement at school. I left school with just 4 O levels (GCSEs) and did not go to university, instead I joined the legal profession straight from school. At that time there was as distinct lack of diversity, particularly within personal injury law and therefore very few with whom I could identify. This was also a time where there was a great deal of overt racism in society.
Following years of working full time whilst studying via the Institute of Legal Executives, I qualified as a Legal Executive then a Solicitor. I was subsequently appointed Partner at Rowley Ashworth at the age of 28, becoming their first black partner. Even at that stage I still had absolutely no sense that I was embarking on a personal injury career which would endure 38 years and lead to me becoming the first black Senior Partner at a top 100 firm , a proud moment when I was elected Senior Partner at Moore Barlow in 2021.
As a personal injury lawyer, I have been privileged to be involved in many high profile cases, these include co-leading 60 Jimmy Saville Child Abuse cases as well as being involved in the Ladbroke Grove Rail Crash , Westminster Terror Attacks & the Croydon Tram disaster. I also enjoyed success in the House of Lords in 2008, conducting the landmark employers liability case of Corr V IBC vehicles which was the first case of its type since 1957.
Despite my modest beginnings and the historic lack of diversity within the legal profession which presented many challenges through my career, it has always been incredibly important to be my authentic self and to work hard to eradicate racial and social inequality, I have always believed that with hard work and commitment I would overcome the many hurdles I faced and hopefully in sharing my story it will inspire others to believe that they too can have the opportunity of being a personal injury lawyer irrespective of race or any other personal characteristics. I am incredibly proud to be a personal injury lawyer, the more diverse our profession, the more we will reflect the clients we proudly support.