Meet the team: Kate Bayley
Can you briefly describe what your role involves?
My day-to-day role involves a great deal of communication. It is a balance of managing the department and dealing with my own conveyancing caseload. I communicate with clients, estate agents, financial advisors, other lawyers, colleagues and managers, whether this be face-to face, via the phone, email or video call. The role of conveyancer is fast-paced, and not one day is the same. With my managerial hat on, I assist colleagues with technical queries as well as frequent communication with our head of department, Sarah Cowley. We are both looking at ways to develop the team skillset and take the res. prop. team forward.
Did you always want to be a lawyer and what inspired you to pursue a legal career in the first place?
I initially had no intentions of being a lawyer! I was sitting my A Levels (including A level law) and had no real desire to attend university. The lovely Pam Johns approached me to ask if I would like to train as a legal executive once my exams were over. And here I am 19 years later. It was obviously the right career path for me.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best part of the job is the calling the client on the day of completion of their house sale or purchase. Sometimes it has taken weeks/months for the clients to get to this stage, so it is always a pleasure to pass on the good news to them.
Covid-19 has transformed the way in which many of us work. How have you adapted and what do you now do differently?
The changes have been positive. I was lucky enough to already have the benefit of flexible working and ability to work from home pre-pandemic, which was a huge help for me when lockdown hit. As a firm, we have changed our phone systems, video calling, centralised our post team, have paperless desks and solely electronic files. As a residential property department, we have brought in new protocols and procedure to facilitate the new ways of working.
Can you briefly explain your career path to date?
I started my career with A levels and went on to train as a legal executive whilst working with Coodes. I qualified as a Legal Executive in 2007 and then continued my training to qualify as a solicitor in 2010. All of my studies were carried out whilst working enabling me to gain practical experience at the same time.
What, in your opinion, does Coodes do particularly well? Is there anything it does differently from other law firms?
They have the ability and want to adapt quickly to the ever-evolving legal world around them.
What skills and character traits do you think are most important for someone doing your job?
Communication skills are key. Being punctual, fast-thinking and enthusiastic and the ability to work under pressure. Moving house is one of the biggest life events a client will go through, so us lawyers need to empathise with them. The transactional style work that we carry out mean that it is vitally important to keep clients and third parties updated as to progress. We are also luckily enough to have the technology that updates the clients via text at keys stages of their property transaction.
What have you been most proud of in your career to date?
My recent promotion to partner and assistant manager of the residential property department.
Who or what inspires you in your life and work? [this could be a well-known figure or someone in your own life]
My husband who has such belief in me and is always encouraging me towards my goals, and my two children.
What object would you not want to be without as you go about your daily work and why?
My laptop. My laptop is my work, files, phone, email, to-do-list…..everything!