Julie is a Stoke-based solicitor who has only been with Thompsons for 16 months, having changed firms during the Covid-19 pandemic. She has already secured significant outcomes for her clients.


What inspired you to go into law?

I always knew that I wanted to work in a law firm – although I didn’t know what path my career would take. On leaving school, I wrote to all the local law firms asking for a job. One firm took me on as an office junior and I remained with them for 41 years. In that time, I progressed to secretary, PA to the senior partner, qualified as a legal executive and solicitor respectively, while studying part-time, before becoming an associate and legal director.


Julie Vallance, one of our Stoke-based solicitors
Julie Vallance, one of our Stoke-based solicitors

What is the proudest moment of your career so far?

This would have to be being featured in a double-page spread in The Times for an article entitled “From Office Junior to Solicitor – how to break the glass ceiling”.

What is the most satisfying thing about your job at Thompsons?

This is an easy question to answer - it is the client reviews on Trustpilot. For me, one of the most important elements of my job is client care. It means a lot to me to know that clients have taken the time to do a review and are happy with the service provided. I have received some truly lovely comments that I’ve found really touching. It is still hugely rewarding to settle a claim.


Julie sky-diving
Julie skydiving

Tell us something surprising about you that most people don’t know.

I am more adventurous than I look. I have hang glided over the beaches of Tunisia, travelled over Matlock in a hot air balloon and abseiled into a cave in Wales.
Last year I did a skydive – not for charity, but just as a bucket list tick.


How have you found lockdown and working from home?

As the country went into lockdown, I was made redundant by my previous employer. I found it very daunting having to look for alternative employment, face my first interview in 41 years over Zoom, and then create a home office to work remotely from.
With the aid of an excellent network of support at Thompsons and a good IT system, I have thrived working from home – I love it.

Working from home has taught me a lot – not least about how to improve my IT skills. Despite working remotely, I have established good relationships with my colleagues, and I’m confident I am delivering an excellent service for my clients. I look forward to meeting my colleagues in person when I get back to the office, in whatever form that takes. In many ways, lockdown has done me a favour – if that had not happened, I would not be happily working for Thompsons as I am now.