The Inside Story

We’re more than just lawyers, we’re trusted advisors

We’re more than just lawyers, we’re trusted advisors

Karen Bates joined Foot Anstey as a Solicitor 11 years ago. Now, Partner in the Employment and Pensions team, advising on HR, employment and business immigration matters, she reveals the importance of working closely with her clients. 

Foot Anstey really appealed to me as a place to work because of the opportunity and variety of work, I’d get to solve people issues and advise on people law – it was so much more than “just HR law”. I also appreciated the great quality of clients. As a Partner I now specialise in equal pay, gender equality and immigration, which I really enjoy. I’ve also been a board member since May 2015, which means I’m directly involved with the strategic projects for the business. It was an elected position and it’s a real privilege to be part of those key decisions for driving the business forward in a progressive way. 

Foot Anstey has a very business focused advisory practice, we put the needs of clients at the forefront of everything we do, enabling us to deliver an all-encompassing, broad spectrum of services, which don’t just affect the here-and-now, but deliver solutions that fit the individual needs of clients in the long term. 

The closeness of our client partnerships enables us to be more innovative in our solutions. Because we look at the bigger picture, we help formulate decisions that are not simply getting the job done, but look forward at what happens next and in the longer term. We look at issues and adapt our way of working around that, offering a flexible, fluid and bespoke service – solving the problem comes before sticking to a process. 

I truly care about my clients – as does everyone here – and will do anything to help find the right solution for them, working with them to understand the nuances of a particular case. Often the nature of the issues our clients are faced with is extremely confidential so we’re the only ones they can talk to about these issues: we’re more than just lawyers, we’re trusted advisors. I’m very proud of the trust my clients put in me, as we as a team work hard for this and I think it’s a mark of the importance of our relationship. 

Working in close partnership with our clients means getting to know them, their staff and their processes, so I’m regularly out of the office and on the road, building relationships with them. I also have responsibility for a limited number of key clients, which makes it possible to really develop our connections, as I have the time to focus on our relationship. All this means I’m actually more often on the ground with clients than in the office in Exeter, which is quite surprising to colleagues in other legal firms.

Personally, I believe that to be successful in this industry you need to be genuinely interested in the success of your clients. Don’t expect to just give standard answers, ensure the solution you’re offering is right for the client on every level – always add value and have your client’s best interest at heart. There’s no such thing as a one size fits all approach when it comes to giving legal advice. Here at Foot Anstey, we measure our success on our client’s success. 

We’ve an exciting, entrepreneurial spirit underpinning all that we do at Foot Anstey and we’re constantly increasing our people and client base, always looking to move forward and for inquisitive, talented and hard-working people to join us. 

To find out more about the current opportunities available in our Employment and Pensions team, contact Karen Bates via