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Eileen Sherry On Point

13 December 2023
This article is part of the Winter 2023 edition of our On Point Scottish Professional Indemnity newsletter.

Eileen is a Senior Associate in DWF's Glasgow-based Professional Indemnity team, and specialises in defending professional negligence claims brought against a variety of professionals. Eileen has over ten years of experience in the field of insurance-related litigation. 

What piece of advice would you give colleagues and peers?

Be open-minded about where your career may take you, and try to absorb as much information and advice from your colleagues as you can. There is something to be learned from everyone. I would also say to try to treat others as you would wish to be treated – you never know what people have going on in their own lives. Similarly, be a good team-mate – muck in where it is needed, even if you cannot immediately say that a task is the most exciting. That willingness to help out will not be forgotten, and if you can be trusted with the "smaller" tasks, that should ensure that your name will be remembered for the bigger tasks in due course.

Also – dance like no one is watching, but draft your emails like they will be read back to you on the witness box!

Did you always want to practice Law, or did you have any other aspirations?

After my dream career as a ballerina and/or star of a West End musical was dashed via a serious knee injury, Law was the only subject I considered studying at University. I was, however, adamant that I would never have a career in private-practice! My dream was to work for the United Nations, and so I combined Law with a degree in French, with that aim in mind. Developing the open-mind mentioned above though, I qualified into a private-practice position some 15 years ago and have never looked back! I started working exclusively in the field of insurance around ten years ago, and struggle to see where else I would get the variety and range of hugely interesting work which is on offer in this industry. The travel "bug" has never left me though, and I do still love any claims with a "foreign" element!

What are you most proud of in your work at DWF?

I am so proud to be part of such a fantastic team here in Glasgow, and to work with lawyers of the calibre and experience of my colleagues in the Glasgow Professional Indemnity team. The team is held in high regard both in Scotland and nationally, and is a brilliant place to continue my development, and to further specialise within an Insurance environment. It is also really beneficial to be part of the wider Global Risks team, and to have access to the shared resources and contacts of the wider team – making it easier to provide a really practical and positive offering to our clients.

Away from the "day job", I am also very proud to have been involved with DWF's "5 Star Futures" programme, offering practical advice and support to young people who might otherwise struggle to have access to mentors, and assistance with CV writing and interview skills. I have always greatly appreciated any occasion when someone has taken the time to help me out, or provide advice, and so paying it forward again with something like "5 Stars" is hugely rewarding, and I always leave every workshop with a big smile on my face!

What is your greatest work achievement?

I am proud of my decision to come to work at DWF, and of perhaps moving out of the "comfort zone" of a previous position where I had been happy for many years, but where I knew that embracing a new challenge would only make me a better lawyer. I have learned so much in the two years I have been with DWF, and look forward to embracing many more challenges as our team goes from strength to strength.

Feel free to look away now, but I am also hugely proud of every occasion when an Insurer client, or their Insured, has thanked me for my work and expressed gratitude for the way I have handled their claim and endeavoured to make their lives a little easier. ln an environment where expectations are (rightly) high, and where professionals are often dealing with what can be the most stressful situation they have ever been faced with, any time that I have succeeded in dealing with their claims in a way that lightens the load a little, and in spreading a little kindness and understanding where possible, is something which I will always look back on with pride.

Eileen had an article published this year on the essentials of effective communication.  

Read more about this here.  

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