The Inside Track With: Neil Williams | White Collar and Regulatory Solicitor
- September 26, 2023
Every month we speak to prominent professionals working in, around, and for the legal sector in the UK, uncovering their greatest inspiration, what makes them tick in a work capacity and out, and their own career paths and journey to the top of their game.
Interview with: Neil Williams | White Collar and Regulatory Solicitor
WHAT HAS YOUR MORNING LOOKED LIKE?
As with many mornings, no matter how much has been planned, unexpected matters crop up which require priority, so it has been a case of triaging the most important items to get through first. Other days, things can run smoothly and the list of tasks which have been crafted can usually be completed.
HOW IS BUSINESS AT THE MOMENT?
The effects of the pandemic are still being felt in criminal law, as well as the strike by the Bar. Delays still pervade the court system, so uncertainty remains as to whether cases will be heard before the courts, no-matter what their history. That being said, progress is being made, both with resolution to long standing investigations, as well as trials waiting for a court to hear the case.
HAS IT ALWAYS BEEN ‘LAW’ AS A CHOSEN CAREER?
I suppose law was always going to be something which I was going to be a career path I was going to tread, as a number of my relatives are police officers. I nearly followed the same route into law, but a last minute change of heart meant I decided to pursue a degree and qualification as a solicitor. I didn’t think criminal law would be the area where I would focus and specialise, however given my family history, it was perhaps inevitable.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
There have been quite a few successes over the years, each of which have their own highlights in terms of accomplishments. Some will have attracted main stream media interest, others would be viewed as low level, but all will have equal importance to the client. I am fairly tenacious when I am dealing with a case where I feel a defendant is being let down by the prosecution investigation and evidence gathering, so I will leave no stone unturned to present the defence case as accurately as possible. This has helped to secure acquittals where the outcome has looked bleak from the outset.
WHO WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION?
Aside from close family members, I don’t really have a single inspiration figure. That being said however, I will always take inspiration from individuals who overcome adversity to succeed, or overcome a life defining challenge. I enjoy reading about the lives of historical figures as well as individuals who appear in contemporary news who fit that mould.
WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT?
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOURSELF IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THE START OF YOUR CAREER IN THE LEGAL SECTOR?
Always stay true to your principles, and don’t allow yourself to be swayed by others to make decisions which you don’t think are right. I have luckily been able to stay close to these throughout my career, and it is advice I provide to junior colleagues as I have moved into supervision and management.
HOW HAS THE LEGAL SECTOR CHANGED IN RECENT YEARS?
In criminal law, there is a stark reduction in newly qualified lawyers embarking on that as a chosen career path, which will be a concern in years to come. More generally, there has been a marked increase in lawyers from very different backgrounds, which is a trend I welcome, to ensure the legal profession is as diverse as the society it represents, to ensure fair representation for all.
OUTSIDE OF WORK, WHAT MAKES YOU TICK?
I enjoy watching a varied diet of sports, but rugby and football are the staples. I like to travel as much as possible, and am happy with a typical tourist break, as long as I can balance it with a very untypical adventurous trip.
AND FINALLY, YOUR GO-TO PODCAST?
Anything by Peter Crouch, a true man of the people….