Elaine Gunning joins My Local Solicitor
My Local Solicitor (MLS) is delighted to announced a new appointment: Elaine Gunning, who will be specialising in Residential Landlord and Tenant Law and Housing Law.
“The inspiration behind joining MLS was to begin working for an upwardly mobile, young law firm, with an exciting vision for the future,” she says.
Looking to bring her vast knowledge and legal expertise to a wider client base, Elaine hopes to use her passion for helping people to support those “who do not necessarily live locally to me” in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
“I understand the pressures and worries clients face,” she says. “I am compassionate and understanding and committed to making time to reassure and update clients so that they are engaged in the legal service and processes from beginning to end.”
Thanks to a route into the legal profession that has included roles as a legal secretary; a county councilor; a trade union representative (whilst employed by Welsh Water); and running her own business managing and letting property (during which time she gained her Association of Registered Letting Agents (ARLA) qualification); Elaine is able to draw on her own varied life experiences to offer a holistic approach that is insightful and client-centred
“I loved literature and when I got my A-level in night school whilst working as a legal secretary it gave me the confidence to do my Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX) exams. I loved academia and decided to quit work and go to University full time when I was 26,” she remembers.
Elaine headed to the University of Cardiff where she obtained a 2:1 law degree, gaining a distinction on the legal practice course. She followed this up with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) so she could also lecture in law.
Part of the appeal for Elaine in joining MLS has been the flexibility it provides solicitors to not only suit their own home lives, but that of their clients too; working around the traditional 9-5 to offer a legal service that supports modern lifestyles. She herself remembers tough times bringing up two small children on her own, caring for her disabled father and enduring a 100 mile daily commute. So her hope is that she can offer her clients a legal service that recognises unique needs and is tailored to individuals.
And when deciding on her specialism there was an obvious preference: “I came from a typical working class background, growing up on a council estate. So when it came to choosing which area of law to focus on I wanted to help people who came from the same background as me; so I chose housing law, civil liberties and social welfare.”
Elaine wasted no time in cutting her teeth in those areas of law, as well as experience in complementary sectors.
“I’ve worked for the City of Westminster Council in London as a Licensing Solicitor dealing with Public Entertainment Licensing for London including the big clubs like Stringfellows. I enjoyed my time at Moss Beachley Mullem & Coleman in Central London where I was responsible for social welfare law which included everything and anything to do with housing – homelessness, allocations, disrepairs, repossessions, rent arrears… and I was involved in many judicial review proceedings challenging Local Authorities on decisions regarding homelessness.
“I worked for Ashley Bean Solicitors on civil litigation, housing, wills and probate, and injunctions, which followed a time at Moon Beever on bankruptcy and debt recovery, both of which were in London.
“Returning to West Wales I was then an acting departmental head in all aspects of housing law, training and mentoring staff at Ty Arian in Swansea, as well as a time working at Red Kite.”
This varied career means Elaine offers wide-ranging legal experience as her clients navigate the ‘new normal’. So what are her predictions for the coming months?
“With regards to housing law I think there is going to be a log jam of cases that the courts need to deal with in relation to possession orders and repossessions because of the Covid-19 restrictions on dealing with evicting tenants.
“Furthermore mistakes may have been made in court papers and when drafting and serving notices; failing to ensure registration with Rent Smart Wales for example, or not providing prescribed terms and conditions when depositing bond monies with the DPS.”
When she’s not supporting her clients you’ll find Elaine with her two teenage daughters, preferably walking their dog Benji on a beach in Pembrokeshire – her favourite place.
“Law was always for me,” she says. “I enjoy people’s company, am loyal, honest and value my integrity. For my clients I’ll always go that extra mile.”
Founder of My Local Solicitor Marta Williamson said: “I’m delighted to welcome Elaine Gunning to the MLS family. She brings with her a wealth of experience across housing, social welfare and civil litigation law, with a commitment to her clients that is second to none.”
Explaining the MLS model, she added: “At so many established firms solicitors are forced to manage hundreds of files at one time. This results in overworked and unhappy solicitors who, struggling under their workload, are unable to deliver the same level of quality and detail across their cases. Our vision begins with how solicitors are paid. By empowering them to keep the majority of their billings we allow solicitors to assume smaller caseloads and focus their attention on the specific requirements of their clients, providing a more professional and dedicated service.
“Our vision is to create a perfect balance between work and home life through realistic workloads, supportive working relationships and improved payment structures.”
• Elaine Gunning, previously of TyArian Solicitors, has joined My Local Solicitor in July 2021.
• For interviews, images or to find out more please contact Marta Williamson on 01244 478 730.
• Head to my-local-solicitor.com for further information.
• My Local Solicitor is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.