In addition to working at various regional law firms, Carla has also run her own consultancy business and held roles within the not-for-profit sector, local government and FTSE listed companies. She is a former Company Secretary for The Kenward Trust, school governor and property management company director.
“I enjoy working with directors and senior managers, getting to know their business and where I can add commercial value; I’m known as a ‘hand-holder’,” Carla explains. “I’d like to consider that I’ve done my job well if I have managed to translate and break down the rules, responsibilities and roadmap into practical and meaningful bite-size guidance, action points and stepping stones.”
She adds: “It’s for us to carry the load of the bigger picture, allowing our clients to focus on day to day operations of their business. So simply reciting the law does not offer that commercial value. My job is to risk assess and identify what an issue means for the client we’re working with and where their obstacles and barriers might be? How can we help them overcome these road blocks?”
Carla began her career in retail for Oasis, quickly progressing into management and securing the role of assistant branch manager of the (then) new flagship store and training branch in Knightsbridge.
“Then, taking my grass roots business knowledge, training and management skills and customer care experience with me, I joined a small start-up and found my way into company secretarial practice,” Carla says, adding that she’s always been drawn to the legal profession, ever since her first time watching LA Law!
Carla has known CooperBurnett Partner Andrew Hawkins for more than 10 years, having worked with him on ‘both sides of the deal table on numerous occasions’ and says it’s ‘lovely to be back on the same side!’.
She adds: “It’s impossible to view the CooperBurnett website and not feel the genuine warmth and dedication the firm has towards community. I’m a very civic minded person, so I knew that I wanted to work, learn and grow with my fabulous new colleagues, who are as equally passionate about people as I am.”
Taking on a new role during the Covid-19 pandemic may well have thrown up additional challenges, but Carla says: “Every beginning represents the end of something preceding it, regardless of this time of the world being upside down with Brexit and Coronavirus, so it’s always about transition and transformation.”
She continues: “I am humbled and immensely grateful for the welcome I have received from everyone here, the space and time afforded to me to settle in, find my way and become a true CooperBurnett green. The team is creative, dynamic and fun and that’s reflected in the way we communicate, keep in touch and look out for each other. I’m very happy to be here!”
Victoria Sampson, Partner and Head of Corporate and Commercial Services adds: “Here at CooperBurnett, we are continuing to grow our team and are making the most of opportunities to acquire talent from the region, despite the uncertain times we face during this pandemic. It is great to have Carla onboard; she brings with her a huge amount of experience and heaps of enthusiasm.”
When she’s not at work, Carla is a busy mum to two teenagers and loves making the most of the great outdoors.