Carla is the Director of Legal Services at WTT Legal Ltd. Carla is a dual qualified lawyer (US/UK) and has extensive experience in employment law, IR35 advice, commercial contracts, data protection and insurance law issues. Prior to joining WTT, Carla was Senior Legal Counsel at Alexander Mann Solutions Ltd., Head of Legal at Gattaca PLC and Compliance Manager at Capita Group PLC.
What made you want to become a lawyer?
My father was a lawyer, my brother was a lawyer, and I worked as a claims adjuster dealing with lawyers- so it just seemed a natural progression!
What does WTT do well?
We are viewed as trusted advisors to their contractors, many of whom are faced with difficult (and often life-changing) tax demands and issues. We established the action group “Big Group” which has provided contractors directly affected by HMRC’s legislative changes with a collaborative voice.
What’s your favourite thing about working for WTT?
WTT is a dynamic, forward-thinking organisation of professionals - this is a refreshing change from the usual corporate non-flexible model adapted by most large companies.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago on how to shape your career?
I think I’ve been very lucky to have been able to mould my career around a few skills which are transferrable. I worked in the insurance sector for over 20 years but because I had compliance and legal qualifications, I was able to seek new career opportunities in entirely different sectors - i.e. recruitment and employment law. I therefore think that it is important not to focus entirely on one skill during your career – by diversifying you are able to have a much more interesting (and marketable) future.
When is the right time to start building your network and how is best to achieve this?
I still have connections from my first job as a claims adjuster in California- it’s never too early to network.
Who has had the greatest influence on your career?
When I moved to England from California in 1996, I wasn’t qualified to practice law here, so I accepted a job for a loss adjusting company. Whilst I was there my manager offered to subsidise the cost of the QLTT over a 3 year period (Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test). As we were a young family with limited income, I would not have been able to afford that cost on my own. That opportunity therefore allowed me to qualify as a lawyer in the UK- I will always be grateful for that.
What qualities do you look for in potential candidates hoping to join your team?
Enthusiasm, intelligence and a desire to learn.
What do you think will be some of the major changes to the legal profession in the future?
The legal profession and its regulators have accepted that innovation and an entrepreneurial approach are essential for law firms to thrive in the future- the relatively new ABS model has allowed law firms to bring in non-lawyers and I think that this more open-minded approach will enhance the profession.
How will flexible and agile working impact law firms in the future?
Flexible working IS the way of the future and all law firms will need to adapt to remote working- it brings lots of benefits. The legal profession is very traditional and is probably one of the last to embrace this model, but it is happening.
How can lawyers and firms ensure they are at the forefront of progress and innovation in the legal market?
To remain at the forefront of progress and innovation in the legal market, you need to be able to take risk - you need to grasp new ideas and go for it. Otherwise, you simply get left behind as there is someone else who is willing to capitalise on a new idea!