Two talented Cumbrian legal brains have been able to advance their careers without leaving the county thanks to commercial law firm Baines Wilson.
Abigail Clucas, 32, from Cockermouth, has joined as an associate solicitor in the commercial property team while Ailsa Layton, 26, originally from Brampton, becomes Baines Wilson’s latest trainee solicitor.
Abigail is a former pupil of Cockermouth School who studied law at Newcastle University before completing a legal practice course at Northumbria University while simultaneously working as a paralegal at Carr’s Group in Carlisle.
She then spent seven years at Burnetts Solicitors, becoming an associate solicitor specialising in commercial property, before moving to Milburns in Workington after the birth of her children Harry, aged four, and Imogen, two.
She said: “With two young children I was looking for a better work-life balance but I missed doing high-end commercial work, which is why I joined Baines Wilson when the opportunity arose.
“I enjoy the transactional nature of commercial property work. There’s great satisfaction in seeing something through from start to finish.”
Baines Wilson has offices in Carlisle and Lancaster.
Abigail believes that having detailed knowledge of the patch can benefit clients.
She added: “Clients like to deal with a local firm and someone with local knowledge and local ties, rather than a faceless person in a city that doesn’t have any connection with the area.”
In her spare time, she competes in triathlons and is a member of the Tri-Lakeland Triathlon Club, as a strong swimmer who represented English schools and took part in trials for the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Ailsa attended William Howard School in Brampton before attaining a first in law from the University of Greenwich and a distinction in her legal practice course at the University of Law (Bloomsbury).
The latter achievement was all the more remarkable given she was studying while working full time as a paralegal for a specialist charity law firm.
She said: “I did it that way primarily due to funding. I had to work and earn money to be able to live in London.”
As a trainee at Baines Wilson, she will complete six-month stints in commercial property, employment law, corporate and commercial law, and dispute resolution before qualifying as a solicitor.
She said: “It wasn’t always the plan to return to Cumbria but Baines Wilson is a leading commercial firm that works in the areas of law that I’m interested in.
“They’re focused on giving clients commercially-realistic advice as well as legal advice.”
Outside work, Ailsa is looking forward to moving into her new home in Carlisle and resuming her passion for walking in the Lake District.
For more information about Baines Wilson, see the website – https://www.baineswilson.co.uk/ – or call 01228 552600 for the Carlisle office or 01524 548494 for Lancaster.