Here, we chat with Gareth Carter, a 28-year-old chartered legal executive who works in our Manchester office. Gareth graduated from the University of Hull in 2014 and has worked for Thompsons for five years, while studying for his most recent qualification with CILEX.


How do you start your week at Thompsons?

I usually start my week with a coffee as I read through any emails that have come through over the weekend. Then, I make a list of tasks that I would like to complete that week, prioritising the work that needs to get done that day. It’s good to make an early start on any tasks which have deadlines, so I try to tick those off at the start of the week if I can.

Gareth Carter who works in our Manchester office
Gareth Carter who works in our Manchester office

What are your day-to-day responsibilities at the firm?

I handle my own caseload of personal injury claims in Thompsons’ Foreign Jurisdiction team. I pursue cases - all of which have an overseas element to them - from start to finish. My cases include accidents abroad, claims against foreign-based defendants, and cases involving international travel.

My day-to-day responsibilities can range from gathering evidence, issuing court proceedings to negotiating settlements.

My role also involves me supporting senior colleagues dealing with complex cases with say multiple defendants. Getting involved in those cases gives me a unique perspective on the law in the UK but also further afield as well.


What do you have planned for the week ahead?

I am preparing to issue court proceedings on behalf of a union member who was injured whilst working abroad. The defendant has put in a robust denial but in my view they’ve failed to adequately explain why my client was required to work with the poor equipment he was given that led to his injury. I am confident that despite the bullishness of the defendants the evidence we have shows that my client was treated unfairly and exposed to an avoidable workplace hazard and since they won’t budge the next step is to get court proceedings and if necessary take it to trial - but I suspect they will back down at some point!


Gareth out on a walk with his dog
Gareth out on a walk with his dog

How do you like to unwind after a working week?

It depends on the week! In the evenings, I usually take my dog for a walk as I listen to a podcast. At the end of a working week, my fiancée and I will try to catch up on whatever TV series we are engrossed in at the time, or we will have plans with friends. I usually have a book on the go as well!


What would you say to someone looking to start a legal career?

Law graduates should try different areas of law before committing to a particular practice area. In the old days in some firms it was like a conveyor belt and you had to go down one path but that hasn’t been the case in Thompsons in my experience and you can try out areas of work to see what you want to do. University gives you the academic knowledge but on the job experience lets you see how the law is used day-to-day. My first job allowed me to see what different areas of law were like in practice and that allowed me to make a more informed choice when it came to deciding on what to commit to.

I would also recommend taking on a CILEX qualification, as it enables you to learn on the job and go at your own pace.