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A lawyer’s journey to Travis Perkins

16 Mar

As well as having a multitude of different businesses under its group umbrella, Travis Perkins also offers a wide variety of different career options. Jessica Robinson found this out when she applied for an in-house legal counsel role in Northampton in 2016, and she hasn’t looked back since. She spoke to us about her legal journey with Travis Perkins:

“I started out in private practice before deciding to move in-house”

Starting her career as a trainee solicitor in private practice, Jessica completed her training and worked as a solicitor for nearly five years. Through this work she had opportunities to build relationships with different businesses and have strategic insight into their business matters, which triggered an interest to move into an in-house role.

“Working in-house, you see the bigger picture and are more closely aligned to business strategies and outcomes. This means you can provide more tailored legal and commercial advice, which is something I really enjoy doing,” says Jessica.

“I moved to Travis Perkins to progress my career”

After transitioning to an in-house capacity, Jessica saw an opportunity at Travis Perkins. The focus on career development and progression really appealed, as did the variety of work she’d be involved with working under the wider Travis Perkins Group. It was a perfect fit for both Travis Perkins and Jessica, who joined as Legal Counsel in 2016.

“It was part of my development plan to progress to Senior Legal Counsel”

From day one at Travis Perkins, Jessica was focused on developing her career, something she says her managers supported her with all the way. After working towards the goal of becoming Senior Legal Counsel, Jessica was promoted in 2019 – when she was eight months pregnant!

“Travis Perkins have been so supportive of me as a mother and a lawyer”

Jessica says that her pregnancy was never viewed as a barrier to progression within the business, with her managers committed to ensuring her career development fitted in with her personal life. Moving from a full-time position to maternity leave and then part time work, Jessica has been able to work in a flexible way that hasn’t prevented any career opportunities and also hasn’t taken time away from her family.

“I enjoy a fantastic work-life balance that is really important to me as a new mum”

While initially nervous to take time out in case it hindered her career development, Jessica is happy to report that has not been the case at Travis Perkins. She says the approach has felt very different from private practice, where presenteeism is often encouraged.

“At Travis Perkins there is a supportive team structure and a trusting relationship which means you can have a good work-life balance, with everyone pulling together as a team”.

“Our team structure has evolved since I joined”

Jessica was welcomed into a relatively small team with a flat structure when she started at Travis Perkins, but this has since expanded to include Legal Counsel, Senior Legal Counsel, Head of Legal and General Counsel.

“This is more reflective of the type of work we do and the different responsibilities we have at each level,” says Jessica.

Sustainability and corporate governance roles are featured in the wider team, with a wider support network that covers a range of different matters. Jessica says this structure in an in-house environment is interesting, supportive and social, with different expertise within the team rather than purely commercial lawyers.

“There’s a great team atmosphere where we all work together – our work is not siloed”

Travis Perkins’ team atmosphere is something that Jessica enjoys most about her work, particularly in her team where legal professionals are encouraged to get away from their desks and meet with different parts of the business to partner with them and meet their needs.

“Travis Perkins presents a great opportunity for legal professionals”

Jessica says the Travis Perkins experience has shown her that career development and progression is possible, regardless of what life stage you are at. She says she’s had opportunities she may not have had elsewhere, thanks largely to the size of the team and the way it’s structured, with a wide variety of work and interesting strategic matters keeping her engaged every day. If you value work life balance, flexibility and professional development, it could be perfect for you. Join the team!

Life since lockdown

In March 2020, the World became a very different place amidst a global pandemic. The team were quick to adapt their ways of working, to continue to support the business during the COVID-19 emergency, whilst ensuring that the team could work flexibly to accommodate personal commitments. Beyond lockdown, Jessica says “We have regular team video calls, as well as individual catch ups with other team members, and there is a real recognition of the importance of supporting our colleagues’ mental health and well-being. This has strengthened the team ethos all the more.” The team has also welcomed new colleagues since lockdown, with the new starters being well supported as part of their inductions. Working remotely has also created additional opportunities to get to know the wider business - geographical location is no barrier to connecting people!

Find your next legal job at Travis Perkins. We’re always looking for driven, ambitious and collaborative legal professional to join our team. Apply now!

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