Businesses are made up of people and can be a very personal thing – not only someone’s livelihood but also their passion, idea or family heritage. I like to work in a collaborative manner with my clients and enjoy learning about them and their business

Leanne Yendell, Solicitor

Telephone: 01392 286779
Email: leanne.yendell@cartridgeslaw.co.uk

Name: Leanne Yendell

Age: 32

Job Title: Solicitor

Specialisms: I help SMEs with commercial and data protection matters.

What attracted you to law?
I didn’t have the calling at 18, so to speak. I was rather indecisive at that age and apart from my mum’s career in Human Resources (which involves aspects of employment law) and Hollywood’s portrayal (Legally Blonde I’m looking at you), the realities of a legal career were largely unknown to me.

If I am honest, I had a point to prove to myself for various reasons and once I had started the journey, I was determined to stay the course. I grew from experience, challenges and knock backs. I tried different sectors of law – some that suited me and some that didn’t and after many years I found the right fit.

What do you like most about your job?
Businesses are made up of people and can be a very personal thing – not only someone’s livelihood but also their passion, idea or family heritage. I like to work in a collaborative manner with my clients and enjoy learning about them and their business, often over a coffee – everything from operations to aspirations.

What do you like least about your job?
Casual (and, at times, blatant) sexism exists in the commercial world. I covered this issue in my blog on the need for female investors and in my article for the Law Society where I spoke about my own personal experiences. We need to create a commercial world where women are encouraged and supported to thrive in business. I think there is still a way to go.

What do you think makes you good at your job?
I think my curiosity makes me good at my job. Commercial work isn’t just about dealing with an immediate need – you must also have an eye on the future and lessons from the past. By being curious, I can unearth information that makes my legal support more effective.

What is the biggest misconception that people have about your job?
That people can do my job armed with nothing more than a google template.

What is the most common legal mistake you see businesses make?
Being reactive rather than proactive. Reacting to problems rather than planning for them is a much more expensive, stressful and time-consuming process.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for SMEs in the next 12 months?
The pandemic has changed businesses forever. Some for the better, others for the worst. SMEs do not have the lending capacity and resources of big business, thus missing a vital safety net. SMEs will have to navigate the long-term effects of the disruption and I fear we have only seen the beginning.

What do you like best about working for Cartridges Law?
The strong, supportive female role models at the helm who lead by example.

If you weren’t doing this job, what else would you like to do?
I love history and anthropology. I’d be an archeologist of ancient civilizations.

What piece of advice would you give to a young person considering a career in law?
Spend as much time in law firms as possible – whether it is on placement, work experience or part-time work. They vary greatly, as do the departments. You should get an idea of the profession before committing so many years of your life to the study involved.

Do you have any pets?
Wotsit. He may be an orange plastic dog, but he is by far the most obedient pet I’ve ever had.

What is your favourite place in Exeter?
My favourite place in Exeter is the river. It is right on my doorstep and provides me with much needed fresh-air, food, drinks and cycle rides.