If you are looking for a firm that provides their clients with high-quality service and ranks highly in job satisfaction, then Payne Hicks Beach could be the ideal place for you.

“Family law is a complex area that requires a demanding set of skills.”

Supportive and Welcoming

emily and co (2)
Interviewees: Tom & Emily

Tom “Payne Hicks Beach is a homey and genuinely close-knit firm.” Prior to joining, Tom identified Payne Hicks Beach as a firm he wanted to work for, because of its excellent reputation in the private client area and stated, “it started with an interview and the rest is history!” When asked what the people were like, Tom said, “You get to spend time with a nice bunch of people who become almost an extension of your family.”

Work Life Balance

The work is litigious and can be highly pressured but is cyclical and you have a lot of support from your colleagues. Both Solicitors confirmed that the long-established firm provides their solicitors with a healthy work-life balance. Tom works occasionally on weekends but he doesn’t mind this. He said he starts his day bang on at 8-8.30am and finishes between 6-8pm. Emily admitted, “Your whole day can be overwhelming when you have to work extra hours in the office, but this is often time limited. You may have to cancel the odd social function but, generally, work hours can be restricted to weekdays and 8-8 only.”

Demanding but Interesting

Tom says due to the demanding nature of Family law, “this area of law will not suit everybody.” But is he right?

Emily, who had her first seat in Civil Litigation told us, “Family law is difficult and you must be prepared to work hard.” She commented that she sometimes has clients calling her way past office hours and that often makes it difficult to leave your work at the office. When asked how she deals with the emotions in Family practice, Emily stated, “Family law involves you dealing with traumatised clients and it is sometimes a battle to ensure you don’t take your emotions home with you.”Emily said it can be hard to switch off when you are in the midst of a difficult case but also informed us, “You get some clients who are demanding and have high expectations.” She expressed the feeling of satisfaction which arises when a client who has had a very traumatic time comes back to her months or years later to express how much happier they are and that the battle has been worthwhile.

Study vs. Practice

Emily critically analysed the significance of academia when it comes to practising the law, “The LLB Law course does not fit into practice and prepare you for the legal world.” The LPC goes some way towards this but nothing can really prepare you for life at the coalface and work experience is critical to really decide if law and being a solicitor is for you. Emily, who held down a part-time job whilst at university and was able to obtain many transferable skills, emphasised the importance of extra-curricular activities, obtaining legal work experience and being “more than just a lawyer” She passed on some useful advice to law students, “In my opinion it is better to get a 2:1 and do extra-curricular activities and enjoy yourself than it is to get a first class degree and lack having a proper balance – there is time for that later!”


Tom advised, “enjoy your time at university as it is a wonderful experience.” And also echoed Emily’s sentiment of really involving yourself in extra-curricular activities, legal work experience and anything else that may add colour to your CV and separate you from others.


More information about Emily & Tom can be found here.


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