Business profile: Marilyn Bell

Marilyn Bell

Marilyn Bell - Credit: Archant

The partner and head of family law at SA Law, St Albans gives an insight into her business ethos

How did you get started in business? From when I first started training, I knew I wanted to be a family solicitor. During my training contract, back in the days of lots of legal aid, I had a few small files of my own under the supervision of the head of the family department. When I finished my first six months, these files would normally have passed to the next trainee but I asked if I could keep them and continue to work on them in my own time in addition to my work in my next department. That’s how I started a long history of working early mornings and late evenings. How different it might have been if she’d said no.

What’s your motivation? As a family solicitor, I specialise in relationship breakdown and all the difficulties that arise with finances and children. I really like helping people and working with them to take them from what is often a very bad place in their lives through it and out the other side with the best outcome that can be achieved.

What are the biggest challenges? Keeping costs down; there is only one pot of money in relationship breakdown and it’s not in anyone’s interest to spend lots of it on legal costs if that can possibly be avoided.

What are the most valuable business lessons you’ve learned? Listen, listen and listen. It’s vital to understand fully what my client wants to achieve and work with him or her and plan how together we are going to achieve this in the legal process.

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