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A Day in the Life of Catherine Thomas

23rd September 2016 - John Oxley
A Day in the Life of Catherine Thomas

Vardags managing director Catherine Thomas spoke to The Brief, setting out her average day at the top of family law. Discussing her early starts, she said I tend to get to the office around 8.30am but will already have been through my emails, as many of them come in overnight from other jurisdictions. When I am particularly busy, for example when I have a large case coming up for trial, I will start work by 7am to get a head start on the day in the relative peace of the early morning. If a lot of my lunches and evenings have been booked up, I will sometimes have breakfast meetings before I go in to the office.

Setting out how her day takes shape: A lot of my time is taken up with meetings and telephone calls with current and potential new clients. Large parts of a day can often be taken up in conference with counsel or in court. I recently spent an unusual afternoon on a photo shoot for the coverage of Management Todays list of the top 35 women under 35 in business. It turns out standing in one place for 45 minutes is harder than I thought. I am increasingly called on to provide comments or interviews to the press on recent developments and significant cases. If a story has broken that morning the journalist will often want a comment turned around very quickly in order to meet their deadline.

She added It can be difficult for me to plan my time between meetings in any meaningful way because often there are developments which require immediate action. If, for example, the other spouse starts competing divorce proceedings in another country we may have to react immediately with an injunction application. Obviously, there is always significant time pressure with such matters.

She concluded It can make for a very long day but I never tire of getting to know new people and sharing Vardags story.

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