Lawyer Career Changer Profile

Sarah Fawcett

Strategic Advice Consultancy

Legal Career

Established Criminal Set, Barrister, Criminal, London

New Career(s)

Strategic advice consultancy

Career Change Story

I am now a Director of a company that specialises in providing litigation support services including asset tracing, cross border fraud investigations and internal investigations.

I was increasingly concerned about the lack of financial security at the criminal bar caused by the increased competition with solicitors for the same work and ever reducing fees. Having practiced for 10 years, I could no longer see the opportunity for proper career development over the next 10 years and considered that the criminal bar was on a downward spiral which left me feeling increasingly disenchanted. I approached a high-level recruitment consultant who specialised in senior legal appointments and was contacted by them a few weeks later and asked to consider this position. After a few meetings with various members of the company the transition from chambers to employment was very easy.

Career Change Reflections

Surprisingly, I have not missed life at the bar at all. I don't miss the challenge of being in court because I regularly use my advocacy skills in making presentations about our case findings or pitching our work to industry leaders and these skills are highly valued by my company. I use my legal experience every day and was recruited because of the value that could add to the business. I travel regularly to many exotic and far-flung places to interview witnesses, take statements and meet high-level contacts in government, law and industry. I am in regular contact with many senior partners at magic circle law firms and so in many ways am broadening and developing my legal knowledge far beyond that of the criminal bar. Being employed has many positives, a salary, paid expenses, private healthcare programme coupled with working in a supportive environment where I am encouraged by regular positive feedback, compared to life at the bar where you rarely get any thanks. Of course, the main downside of employment is dealing with team dynamics, managing upwards as well as downwards can be a challenge for someone used to sole practice.