Seven Questions...with Caroline Rayner

Caroline Rayner
Caroline Rayner

Caroline is an employment law solicitor at Baines Wilson LLP.

What was your first job?

I assisted my dance teacher at a dance school in Lancaster which I lived and breathed throughout my childhood. I ran errands and helped in class on a Saturday. I still enjoy dancing today and have recently taken part in a local dance show; although my legs don’t move as quickly now as they did back then.

How do you relax after a hard day’s work?

Evenings usually consist of singing; playing; reading and all that goes with spending quality time with my eighteen month old son: a complete contrast to the working day! I dance once a week and am taking part in the St Johns Hospice Moonlight Walk this year.

Proudest moment in business?

Memorable moments include a trip to the Court of Appeal on a reported case and being the first female secretary of a local charity which is over 300 years old.

A successful trial is hard to beat in terms of pride, however achieving a favourable settlement for a client can be equally as satisfying.

Most embarrassing moment at work?

Jumping into orbit in front of a table full of people – clients; opponents; fellow solicitors and a mediator – during a mediation in a taxidermy dispute when a real bird in a cage next to me squawked – I thought it was part of the mediation exhibits but it was a pet.

Your biggest vice?

Prosecco. It is too easy to find anything to celebrate with a glass of fizz.

Biggest influence on your life?

In terms of career, a teacher who once advised me not to try and get into the law as it is too competitive. Unknowingly she spurred me on and I thought of her when I qualified as a solicitor. Other than that: somewhat predictably my husband by bringing me back down to earth when necessary and my mum for always teaching me that “you get out of life what you put in”.

Words of business advice?

Leave your comfort zone. I am not suggesting we should all follow Eleanor Roosevelt and “do one thing every day that scares you”; but in my view the day you stop being nervous or excited in what you do is the day you stop caring.

That and treat people with respect - Lancaster is a small place and you never know when you will meet someone again, either in business or in the local!