Laura Barnfield, 35, is a Commercial Property Partner at Baines Wilson LLP. She lives in the Lancaster area.
What was your first job?
I was as a waitress at a restaurant which is no longer in the area, but which I would class as having been a local institution. I loved working there, the owners and other staff were brilliant and it was probably my first realisation of how important and how much more efficient business is when there is a strong collegiate atmosphere.
How do you relax after a hard day’s work?
Having been used to commuting to Manchester for over six years, it is still a pleasant surprise to the system to have more hours in the day! Perhaps not totally relaxing, but I have recently taken up running and am trying to improve my long distances. I am currently running 10k to the same time as Mo Farah does half a marathon.
Proudest moment in business?
It is always difficult to pinpoint one particular thing, but I think there is a “proudest feeling” when you know you have been instrumental in helping achieve a client’s goals.
Most embarrassing moment at work?
I remember as a trainee being asked to drive my supervising partner out in his car to visit a client. Luckily he was taking the time to prep in the car, so did not notice the white knuckle ride that was going on around him, but when we finally reached our destination I remember being absolutely mortified having to say ‘You’re going to have to park this for me now please’.
Your biggest vice?
Cake. Butter. Wine. No particular order.
Biggest influence on your life?
Career wise, one of my mentors at qualification was fairly influential in that from day one he instilled in me not to be ‘lawyer like’, but to rather give advice like a business adviser who knows the law, rather than like an ‘outsider’ who bamboozles with out of context and uncommercial legal jargon. Personal life wise, without a doubt, my Mum.
Word of business advice?
When involved with transactions, never be an unnecessary points scorer and make sure you do your best to co-operate and strike up a good relationship with everyone you work with. It simply makes life easier and leads to better and more efficient results and future relations.