I lead on Strategy at byrne-dean. Dual qualified as a lawyer in the UK and Australia, I work out of London and Sydney.
My background is a 20+ year legal career, specialising in workplace disputes, with a particular focus on discrimination, whistleblowing and dismissal cases in financial services and law firms. I also conducted strategic media relations for reputation management. This was mainly on behalf of individual claimants, although I also acted for organisations and those accused of serious misconduct. Some of these cases were extremely high profile, making the news and occasionally even changing the law. Most, however, settled confidentially, with reputation a paramount concern. Alongside my legal career, I have also dedicated my time to campaigns and policy work aimed at improving equality, diversity, inclusion and fairness in the workplace.
Although there is satisfaction in achieving sometimes swift - and often high value - resolutions for individuals, to help put the past behind them and move forward, it can be disappointing to look back at the bigger picture. My motivation in this career has been to achieve change, so that workplaces can be kinder, fairer workplaces, where people are able to realise their potential. Yet all too often, my cases saw the same forms of discrimination, harassment or victimisation repeated, sadly sometimes in the same workplaces. Against a backdrop of bruising grievance and litigation processes, compensation was paid out. In the meantime, however, problem behaviours and systems had continued, and bright, talented individuals had left the business, and sometimes their careers.
My experiences as a lawyer, campaigner, and in communications, inform my work. Much of what we do here at byrne-dean is about solving the issues before they start - and so that they need not inevitably happen again. After all, less work for lawyers + more productive workplaces = a win-win both for individual workers and their organisations. Our strategy projects also apply deep thinking to support businesses undergoing a change in direction or ambitiously vying for top talent. I am energised about diving deep into specific challenges, one workplace at a time, to achieve meaningful, tangible change.