Hello, Gareth. We understand congratulations are in order. You recently qualified as a solicitor. Well done. You must be delighted.
GE Thanks very much. Yes, I am.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where were you born and grow up?
GE I grew up in Ferndale in the Rhondda and I’ll always be a Ferndale boy. It was a great place to live and grow up, the Valleys are really beautiful, and the people are great. I loved my sport and for such a small place, it had a lot of great facilities, although I wish I hadn’t spent so much time playing football on the astro turf as my knees are completely wrecked, from doing it!
Where did you do your studying?
GE I did my law degree in Manchester Metropolitan University and then completed a Masters Degree in International, European and Commercial law at Sheffield University. I did my legal practice course part time over 2 years at the University of Glamorgan whilst working full time.
That’s great. So, the million-dollar question – what made you want to become a solicitor?
GE I came into this a lot later than I could have done really. Although I obtained all my qualifications it was never really a huge objective of mine to become a Solicitor. I’ve never been the type of person who had a fixed idea of what they wanted to become.
I thought doing a law degree would give me a good general education, which I could use in a variety of fields. I was right to think that because it’s been helpful in everything I’ve done.
This was especially so with my previous job, where I managed and undertook large scale criminal fraud investigations for a Government Agency. I’d worked for the Agency since 1999 and had been doing counter fraud related work since 2002. It was very interesting and rewarding work, but I was ready for a fresh challenge.
I took the path to becoming a solicitor after a chance meeting. I met the owner of Mooneerams, Alistair Worth, socially one day and that led to me being offered a job at Mooneerams. Looking back now, becoming a Solicitor had been in the back of my mind for some time. When the opportunity came to work at Mooneerams, I knew it was the right thing to do and it felt like it had all happened for a reason.
So, you did your training at Mooneerams?
GE I started training here at Mooneerams, but because we’re a specialist personal injury solicitors practice, I also went on secondment to CJCH Solicitors in Bridgend and Cardiff to gain the necessary experience in some other areas of law, as required by the Law Society. I’m really grateful to everyone at Mooneerams and CJCH.
You started working at Mooneerams early in 2018. How have you found life here?
I read up on the firm a before accepting Alistair’s offer of a job. Making such a big career move was obviously a bit of an unknown step. I’m pleased to say it’s worked out really well. I love working here and I’m really impressed with everyone’s dedication.
We care about the work and offer a great service. It’s personal; we meet all our clients and really get to know them. We have so many file transfers from other firms, with people complaining of poor, sometimes shocking levels of service. It’s not like that here. We’re very focused on our clients and we’re always available. We’re dealing with people at difficult times in their lives. They’re sometimes very vulnerable and they’re relying on us. It’s not just about securing damages, although that is clearly significant as some people may have been out of work and some may never be able to work again.
The most important thing is doing our bit to help our clients to recover as well and as quickly as possible. We work with great local experts who do all they can to aid our client’s recoveries. Our clients respond well to that approach; you can see that from all the positive feedback the firm gets. Everyone at Mooneerams is extremely knowledgeable and it’s a great place to work. There’s a fantastic vibe in the office; we all work hard but we have a great laugh too. It’s different from what I was expecting, but in a good way! I’m really happy to be working here.
What does it feel like to become a qualified solicitor?
GE They’ve kept me so busy here I haven’t had any time to think about it!
When you are not working, what do you like to do when you find yourself with some free time?
GE I have two young daughters and I enjoy spending time with them, and my wife of course!
They’re a handful (my daughters now, not my wife), but we have a great laugh together, so it’s always good fun.
From a hobby point of view, although my knees are in poor shape and I can’t run any more, I still do a lot of cycling; a mixture of mountain biking and road biking. I’m lucky to live in an area where I can get on my mountain bike and within 10 or 15 minutes, I’m in the middle of some great Countryside or up the top of a Mountain!
Thanks for your time Gareth. Here’s wishing you a long, happy and successful career with Mooneerams!
GE My pleasure. I’d certainly settle for that too!