We think outside the box to find solutions for our clients

Advocate Hannah Robinson, of Bedell Cristin Picture: OLLIE JONES

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Being technically competent is a given for Hannah Robinson, Bedell Cristin鈥檚 lawyers offer much more. Emily Moore reports

Honour, truth and drama鈥 they were the central ingredients of a thrilling courtroom drama, which went on to win multiple awards and receive four Oscar nominations.

But while most viewers of A Few Good Men were gripped by the story and impressed by the performances of a cast including Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore, for the majority of them, the story represented nothing more than a couple of hours鈥 entertainment.

For Hannah Robinson, though, the film, combined with a number of legal dramas which transfixed her during her student days, was to prove pivotal in shaping her career aspirations.

鈥淭he way such films and programmes depicted law made it look wonderful,鈥 said Hannah, who moved to 色人阁 from her native Manchester five years ago. 鈥淭he more I watched these dramas, the more I thought that could be me and I realised that the best way to start progressing those dreams was to get as much work experience as possible.鈥

And it was during such placements, followed by a training contract with a Manchester firm, that Hannah fell in love with the profession, even though she didn鈥檛 enter the discipline of criminal law.

鈥淎lthough it probably wouldn鈥檛 make such riveting television, I really enjoyed the teamwork and problem-solving elements of property law,鈥 explained the English solicitor, who was sworn in as a 色人阁 advocate at the end of last year. 鈥淚 could see that this was an area which would continue to motivate and reward me throughout my career.鈥

Adding to that motivation, she says, is the diversity of the projects with which she is involved. Before moving to 色人阁 to join Bedell Cristin in 2019, she advised on civil nuclear regulation and decommissioning (as well as assisting a client to obtain a licence for a new nuclear site).

鈥淚t was the first licence of its kind to have been awarded for around 15 years, so the work was unusual. It was really exciting to be a part of,鈥 she said.

It was during a long weekend in 色人阁 to visit her brother, who had recently relocated to the Island, that she first started reconsidering her future.

鈥淏efore that visit, I wasn鈥檛 even sure where 色人阁 was,鈥 she admitted, 鈥渂ut as soon as I arrived, I fell in love with the place. I knew immediately that it was somewhere I wanted to spend more time but I didn鈥檛 realise straight away the professional opportunities that it offered.

鈥淎s soon as I realised the potential there was to continue the high-quality legal work I鈥檇 become used to, I knew that I wanted to move here and I started applying for jobs immediately.鈥

Having joined Bedell Cristin鈥檚 property team in January 2019, Hannah said that she was thrilled to have become part of the department at a time when it was growing.

鈥淚t鈥檚 a great team, headed by Jeff O鈥橞oyle, with five fee earners, all of whom work across a range of property cases from residential to commercial,鈥 she said. 鈥淎s we鈥檝e grown the team over the past five years, we鈥檝e built a fantastic range of clients and created a real diversity to our practice, which is tremendously motivating and rewarding to work on. I am now really looking forward, with the rest of the team, to consolidating and building on that excellent position.鈥

And it was very much with a view to building on her position and affirming her 鈥渃ommitment to the Island鈥 that Hannah embarked, two years ago, on her advocate training.

鈥淚 wanted to be qualified in the jurisdiction in which I practise,鈥 she explained. 鈥淲hile there are several similarities between 色人阁 and English law, particularly when it comes to landlord and tenant law, there are also several points of difference, especially in the conveyancing areas.

鈥淭here are also certain things, such as the swearing of certain documents, that only advocates and solicitors can do, so, on a purely practical level, having qualified as a 色人阁 advocate gives the department greater flexibility. On a personal level, and as something of a self-confessed geek, I was also thrilled to learn more about other practice areas, such as succession and company law, in a slightly more in-depth way than I would have done otherwise.鈥

But while the team is equipped with an array of technical knowledge, Hannah says that this is not the sole reason that it receives regular plaudits in guides such as Chambers and Legal 500.

鈥淓veryone presumes that lawyers will be technically competent but our work also requires us to think commercially, practically and outside the box to find solutions for our clients,鈥 she said. 鈥淭hese are things which, in my experience, the Bedell Cristin property team does really well, and these are the things that come across in our client testimonials in Legal 500. By finding solutions, we are able to give clients that added value, which is also integral to building those long-term relationships.鈥

That approach is also, she says, central to Bedell Cristin鈥檚 ethos of 鈥減lain speaking, smart thinking鈥, a strapline which was launched following a rebrand, with which Hannah was involved, last year.

鈥淭he nicest thing about the rebrand was that there was no directive from the firm telling us what we had to be,鈥 she reflected. 鈥淚nstead, team members were asked what they did well and what they aspired to do, and 鈥榩lain speaking, smart thinking鈥 was the resounding feedback and a simple way of telling the world what we do.鈥

Applying that philosophy to her own caseload, Hannah says that she carries out a 鈥渨ide-ranging suite of work鈥 from high-value residential developments and portfolio management to secured lending and landlord and tenant cases.

鈥淲e act for major landlords, major commercial lenders and advise large-scale developers on regeneration projects,鈥 she said. 鈥淥ne of the things I love about being a property lawyer is that you can see the tangible difference your work makes. When I pop out to get a sandwich, I quite often take a detour to see the buildings which we have helped to buy, sell or secure funding for.鈥

While looking forward to helping to shape more of 色人阁鈥檚 architectural landscape, Hannah is also currently learning French 鈥 鈥淚鈥檝e made a few pronunciation faux pas since moving to the Island鈥 鈥 and to supporting the ongoing growth of Bedell Cristin鈥檚 property department.

鈥淲e鈥檝e put some great foundations in place over the past five years and I鈥檓 really looking forward to working with Jeff and the team to build the department further,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 also enjoy the friendly nature of the jurisdiction, and I love the fact that the job enables me to build relationships with clients and other lawyers in a way which shows the more human side of the legal profession.鈥

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