We talk to Harjinder Saundh from the Newcastle office
As part of our Spotlight On series to find out more about the people behind the firm’s success, we had a chat with Thompsons’ executive, Harjinder Saundh, to discover more about her role.
Harjinder is originally from Leeds but moved to Consett in County Durham to work at our Newcastle office. When she’s not working, she likes to run to keep fit and has recently taken up playing netball for her local club.
What is your specialism?
I am part of the professional misconduct team specialising in regulatory cases. When I started working for Thompsons 12 years ago, I was part of the employment team in Newcastle. I then moved across to the criminal litigation unit which is now the professional misconduct and crime team (PMC) dedicated to regulatory cases.
What is your proudest moment with the firm so far?
Moving across to the PMC division and being involved in setting up a specialist team dealing with regulatory cases has been particularly rewarding. We offer the service to our trade union clients and their members who are facing disciplinary action by their regulator. It’s a very niche area of practice, which has enabled my colleagues and I to develop very specific skills and knowledge, making Thompsons one of the few specialist firms in this field.
What types of cases are you currently working on?
One case in particular that stands out, is working to support a group of midwives who were involved in the care of a patient who sadly died. The experience and knowledge of the midwives became very clear during the case but unfortunately the ward they were working on was considerably understaffed, meaning that they were overstretched to the point that it impacted on their ability to provide the one-to-one care required.
The midwives have continued to work without any concerns being raised about their practice. My job has been to highlight to the regulator the difficult circumstances these women found themselves in, how they have reflected on what happened and have done additional training as a result. The aim is that going forward, the regulator does not place any restrictions on their ability to practice.
Understaffing seems to be a common theme in a number of cases I am dealing with. Increasingly, it affects not only patients, but also the medical professionals who are often overstretched in terms of time and resources and as a result find themselves facing allegations from their regulator.
What do you think is different about Thompsons in comparison to other law firms?
Thompsons is a law firm that is committed to social justice and I am so proud to be part of an organisation that represents the interests of working people. All my clients are union members and that means, with their union backing, they get a legal service they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford and yet always need and deserve.
How have you found lockdown and working from home?
I would say it has made me think of new ways of working and realising I can quite easily run cases without paper-heavy files. I found it a little challenging at first because I was trying to home school my daughter as well as work. I realised quite quickly that I would not make a very good primary school teacher and my skills are much better suited to the legal sector.