Get to know paralegal Beth Taylor. She was named Paralegal of the Year at the 2017 Scottish Legal Awards – a win that is testament to herself and Watermans but most importantly to the people she helps daily.
How does it feel to be named Paralegal of the Year?
I feel overwhelmed but ecstatic to have been named Paralegal of the Year. I was up against tough competition so to have bagged the prize was an unexpected but welcome surprise. I still can’t quite believe I won! It gives me a great sense of achievement to have recognition for the work that I do.
What does your typical day involve?
I deal with all aspects of personal injury claims daily, from first notification through to settlement. This regularly involves negotiating with insurers and solicitors to achieve the best outcome for our clients. I work on Summary Cause court actions and assist in high value Court of Sessions cases which I enjoy.
What aspect of your job gives you the greatest satisfaction?
It has to be achieving the best outcome for clients – especially when overcoming denial of liability! Most recently this involved a case that settled above £1m just two days before it was due in court. To see the client filled with joy, and relief at being able to move on his life without the stress of a court case, was one of the most satisfying moments of my career. Bringing such happiness to clients is a feeling I will never tire of.
What do you enjoy most about working for Watermans?
I enjoy lots of things about working here, but particularly how close-knit everyone is. We all work really well together and my colleagues are like a second family! Their support in the lead up to the Scottish Legal Awards was amazing and the benefits Watermans provides for staff helps to strengthen those bonds.
Other than your recent award win, have you got any other career highlights?
When completing my Paralegal course, I achieved 100% in my final three assessments. To go from passing that in September last year to dealing with such high value cases now makes me immensely proud. I thrive on the work I’m undertaking.
How do you like to spend your time away from work?
I like to spend time socialising with family and friends and most recently this has involved planning for my wedding in June this year. I follow my beloved Hibernian Football Club and am a big fan of Lewis Hamilton and Formula One. I’ve been to Grand Prix’ in Malaysia, Belgium and the UK and I’ll definitely get to more.
If you could give some advice to yourself when you left school, what would it be?
It would be to take on a Law degree straight from school. I never intended to work in this industry but looking back now I wish I had done the degree.
When I left school, I worked a couple of office jobs and was made redundant after the 2008 recession. I still wasn’t interested in a career in law and after being made redundant again in 2010 I took up a temporary post as a legal secretary with Watermans. From there, I’ve never looked back and shortly after my role was made permanent I pushed to do my Paralegal. The firm has been so supportive every step of the way.
So, whilst I wish I’d studied for a Law degree I’ve no regrets and who knows – maybe I wouldn’t be Paralegal of the Year if I’d made different choices!