10 Questions with Senior Solicitor, Heather Tierney

What’s your biggest fear?

I am not fond of spiders and I’m also afraid of needles which makes trips to the dentist for treatment a tad tense as I refuse to have any injections!

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?

When I was little I wanted to be an actor or a singer. I loved performing and was involved in choirs and amateur dramatics from an early age.

If you could be anyone, who would you be?

I would say Gillian Anderson because I have always admired her. She is not only a successful actor but also speaks out regularly for charities, civil rights and issues which are close to my heart.

What would you do if you won the lottery?

The first thing I would do is pay back my parents for all their help and support throughout the years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without everything they have done for me. Then I’d probably take my boyfriend and closest friends away on holiday somewhere special to celebrate!

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?

Too long a list to mention! Although in all honesty I believe your past makes you who you are today, so even though it would be very tempting, I don’t think I would change a thing.

When you’re not at work, what do you like to do?

In my spare time I love movies, stand-up comedy and amateur dramatics/musical theatre. Since graduating from University I have also been a volunteer with Victim Support Scotland where I provide emotional and practical support to victims of violent crime.

Why did you get into legal sector?

When I was just about to finish primary school I experience a small glimpse into the workings of the Scottish justice system. I didn’t like what I saw and started to research how I could become part of the legal profession and potentially make a difference.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing solicitors today?

For the personal injury industry in particular there have been several instances of governmental interference over recent years which has meant that firms have required to adapt in order to keep up to speed and stay afloat in this financially difficult climate. The insurance industry is another challenge with their focus appearing to be their shareholders and executives as opposed to those who have been injured through no fault of their own.

What’s been the most interesting case you ever worked on and why?

The most interesting case I have ever worked on involved an individual who was shot in the eye by a ricocheting shotgun pellet at a rural fox hunt. He was left blind in one eye as a result. The circumstances, injury, expertise and locus of the case were all very unusual which made it really interesting to pursue. The impact of the injury on the client was also significant which made negotiating a favourable settlement really satisfying.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone who has just started out in the industry, what would it be?

In the current financial climate the legal profession is a tough and competitive market particularly for those who are from a background where they don’t have contacts within the industry. My advice would be work hard, get as much work experience as you can (even if it is in a field of law that you didn’t envisage in your long term plan) and keep pushing forward.