Paralegal Sarah Dunlop talks agriculture and explains why she has ambitions to conquer Mount Everest Base Camp.
When did you join the firm?
I joined the Agricultural Team at Mogers Drewett in September 2014 following a 10-year stint at a national law firm.
Tell us about what you do?
My role is varied: I act for farming families, advising on everything from Farm Business Tenancies and Partnership Agreements to matters regarding unregistered land and the first registrations of it. I act for both purchasers and sellers in respect to farm sales. I also work closely with our Private Client department on farm succession. In short, I deal with most things relating to rural land and farm property!
What do you like best about your job?
I really like meeting and working with people. I think it’s important to really get to know your client, their business and their requirements. I love my job and I take time to listen and get to know people so I can serve them well.
How did you end up working on agricultural law?
I have always wanted to work with rural land and property. I was brought up horse riding and fly fishing from an early age and was always outside. My grandparents farmed and I remember helping them whenever I went to visit them in Wales. I fell in love with the rural lifestyle. The opportunity at Mogers Drewett came along just as my husband and I were moving to Dorset so it worked out perfectly.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
I have been studying for my professional qualifications while working full time. I have done many exams and, during that time, my husband and I have also completely renovated our house. Looking back, I have no idea how I found the time!
What would you look for in a legal advisor?
Trust is such an important aspect of the legal advisor/client relationship and I would look for a foundation to build this on. Seeking legal advice can be daunting as you are entirely relying on advice from someone you might have only just met, but whose advice can affect your life. It is important for the legal advisor to be human and empathetic, and to able to explain things clearly.
What’s next for you?
I hope to qualify soon and I want to continue learning and gaining more experience. I was brought up in the countryside, and I would like to continue developing my professional involvement in that area. On a personal note, there are many things I would like to achieve but the biggest is climbing to Mount Everest Base Camp.
What do you do to relax?
I have two wonderful spaniels and my husband and I go out exploring with them for hours. The summer is mainly spent counting down to the shooting season when I take the dogs beating, and on long summer evenings I go horse riding after work. I also run and cycle through the country lanes around my home. It’s amazing what you don’t notice when you’re in a car!