Sarah Picken Takes Next Career Development Step!

Sarah Picken has taken a big step toward becoming a fully qualified costs lawyer, after successfully passing a milestone exam.

The Association of Costs Lawyer test is a significant marker on the road to full qualification, with next steps involving the submission of a portfolio of work before a period of employment that results in achieving her professional objective.

A great achievement for Sarah, this has been welcomed by her line manager, Head of Costs and Debt Recovery Rachel Glendenning. She said: “It is impressive to see how she has developed and progressed during her two-and-a-half years with the business. 

“Sarah’s enthusiasm for her role shines through and I think she will have a bright future as a costs lawyer - congratulations Sarah!”

We took a little time with Sarah to discuss her training and development path, and the significance of this achievement:

Tell us about this exam and how it fits in with your training path?

The course itself is quite intense; you have six assignments on separate modules and then a final exam which covers the course as a whole.

I went down to Manchester for the night prior and as it was just before Christmas, the markets were on but I was too nervous to enjoy them!

The exam was long but worth it as it was the last hurdle I needed to pass to gain my qualification. Costs law is such a niche area to practice in and it is really respected in the legal community; I would strongly urge others to consider a career in this area.

You gain knowledge in all areas of law including Personal Injury, Court of Protection, Legal Aid and more. You need to have a thorough understanding of all aspects of the law, and not just costs.

What’s motivating you to take this career path? 

Costs is a really rewarding area of law to practice in, more than many realise. You take and deliver instructions, provide legal advice, and work closely with all the departments here at Winns.

You gain professional relationships and that allows for a more dynamic way of working. The way in which a claim is handled, even when still with the First Response Team, can significantly impact the costs recovery at the end of the claim.

We need to be able to recognise small details to allow us to maximise costs recovery and cash flow into the business. Although the costs community is small, the opportunities are massive!

How much has Winns supported you through the process?

The support I’ve received has been great, from both management and the team in general. I’d like to take the time to thank Rachel Glendenning, Phil Aspin and my team leader Andy Anderson as, without them, I wouldn’t have been able to gain my practicing certificate.

A massive thank you to my colleagues in the Costs Department as their encouragement and positivity helped me through a stressful year.

What comes next?

I’m always keen to take on extra challenges. With more files coming through the department, I always have time to develop and enhance my knowledge.

I will continue to offer support to the newer members of the department and the trainee solicitors when they do their seat with us.

I look forward to the next steps of my legal career as a costs lawyer.

Want to take the next step in your career and join Winn Group? Check out our current vacancies by clicking here.