We talk to Emma Hulme in the Birmingham office
As part of our Spotlight On series to learn about the people behind the firm’s successes, we talk to Emma Hulme from our Birmingham office, and find out more about her life both in and out of the workplace.
Emma, 38, is a crime and regulatory solicitor from Warwickshire who has a passion for travelling and lists exploring and adventure as some of her favourite things to do. She also volunteers at her local library in her spare time.
What inspired you go into law?
My history teacher noticed I had a passion for debate - and it went from there. I was drawn to helping people (a cliché but true) and I set out to give people a voice in what can be a sometimes overwhelming legal system. For me, it’s all about representing ordinary working people, most of whom have never been in the legal system before. I like to support and guide them through the process.
What is your specialism?
I am a crime and regulatory solicitor assisting those accused of criminal offences (often during the course of their employment) or taken before their regulatory body. Even at university I knew I wanted to specialise in this area. I find it quick-moving, interesting and I enjoy representing clients in the police station and at court. For the system to remain fair, everyone deserves a robust defence or strong mitigation, and I want to help provide this. Most of my clients have never been in this position before. It is daunting and disorientating and often consumes their lives - my role is to guide them through it.
What has been the most challenging case for you at Thompsons?
A death by careless driving prosecution, where the person who died was the driver’s family member. It was an immensely sad and sensitive case with a very distressed client and we ensured respect to all those affected.
Another memorable case was obtaining a Nolle Prosqequi. This is as rare as it is difficult to pronounce, and means we ‘shall not prosecute’. It was for a client who suffered a head injury while being prosecuted and we achieved the right result where the case against him was dropped.
What is the most satisfying thing about your job at Thompsons?
Knowing that I have protected people’s rights and defended them in a way they deserve. A large part of my role is to preserve people’s character, livelihoods and liberty. To hear a not guilty verdict is always satisfying.
How have you found lockdown and working from home?
It took me a little while to adjust, especially as lockdown happened when I was on leave. I left the office expecting to be back a week later and it was five months before I saw my desk again. I had the IT Department on speed dial. However, with excellent support, I now enjoy it and feel I have adapted well. As a team, we’ve managed to stay in contact via calls, emails and Zoom. We even had a Zoom Macmillan Coffee Morning.
If you weren’t working in law, what would you be doing?
As someone who loves to travel (coronavirus permitting), I would say either a travel presenter, writer or hotel inspector.