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Celebrating 100 years of Women in Power

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Posted by Wolferstans Admin on 30th October 2019

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign in honour of the first woman in Parliament – Nancy Astor, which was organised by Plymouth Women in Business Networking, Wolferstans Solicitors are proud to be one of the many local businesses to have supported the appeal and will be attending the unveiling of the memorial statue of Nancy Astor in Plymouth on the 28th November. The memorial statue will be unveiled outside Lady Astor’s former family home on The Hoe Promenade in Plymouth.

It has been 100 years since Nancy Astor became an MP. She went on to serve the city of Plymouth for 26 years and during that time she fought for the rights and safety of women and children. Her incredible efforts set the foundation for a historic change in terms of fairness, equality and democracy in the UK.

To celebrate and to show our gratitude of Lady Astor’s remarkable achievements, we have asked our female colleagues to answer a few questions. As a company, we are an equal opportunities employer and strive to ensure our outstanding, talented and ambitious team members are given the encouragement and resources they need to develop their careers. We are pleased to be able to show our support for this movement.

Name: Samantha Buckthought

What is your job role and what does it entail? Partner Solicitor and Member of Leadership Board. Private Client lawyer. Responsible for advising clients on all aspects of private client law and acting as professional panel deputy for the court of protection. Responsibility as part of the leadership board for the management and focus of the firm.

If you weren’t in your current role, what do you think you’d be doing? Likely setting up my own business for children’s party planning.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement? Being a mum to 4 lively boys!

Who is your greatest role model? No one individual, just take inspiration from all those around me and learn from them.

What does empowerment mean to you? Having independence and autonomy and freedom to make decisions.


Name: Alisa Willows

What is your job role and what does it entail? Managing Partner – crystal ball gazing

If you weren’t in your current role, what do you think you’d be doing? A science degree

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement? Raising two resilient daughters

Who is your greatest role model? Every #girlyswot

What does empowerment mean to you? Fulfilling your potential


Name: Rebecca Bawler

What is your job role and what does it entail?

I am a Chartered Legal Executive in the Wills & Trusts team. I am based at the Plymstock office and I assist clients with the preparation of Wills, Powers of Attorney and applications for Grants of Probate. I also assist bereaved individuals and families with administering the estates of people who have passed away.

If you weren’t in your current role, what do you think you’d be doing?

I have known since I was very young that I wanted to go in to law, although I did always imagine myself practising in Criminal Law as a duty Solicitor or Barrister. If I didn’t work in law all together, I would have liked to work for a large corporation in marketing or PR, or for a charity as a fundraiser.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement has to be winning Plymouth Law Society’s ‘Young Lawyer of the Year’ Award in recognition of my work and contribution made to local charities.

Who is your greatest role model?

I can’t really say I have a specific ‘role model’, however, I did grow up watching ‘Ally McBeal’ and I thought she was brilliant. I have always admired strong, hard-working people who have been successful in achieving their goals. As I have grown up my own definition of ‘success’ has changed, and I admire all people who achieve things in life, despite having their own battles to face.

What does empowerment mean to you?

To me, empowerment means having choices and being able to make decisions that are right for you. It is having the confidence to have a voice and ambition, despite others having doubts, and not being afraid to take risks.


Name: Layla Batchelor

What is your job role and what does it entail?
Chartered Legal Executive. Working with clients who have contracted a disease or illness because their employers failed to protect them.

If you weren’t in your current role, what do you think you’d be doing?
Children’s costume designer!

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
Completing the London Marathon and raising £3000 for The Downs Heart Group.

Who is your greatest role model?
I don’t have one. I am inspired by any person who manages to overcome their daily struggles and make the best of their lives and those around them.

What does empowerment mean to you?
People coming together to provide support enabling an individual to become stronger and more confident in themselves.


Name: Nicola Mitchell-Rodd

What is your job role and what does it entail? I am a solicitor in our Disputes and Litigation Team. The nature of my work means I have a varied workload, acting for both private and commercial clients, from advisory work to commencing Court proceedings or facilitating settlements.

If you weren’t in your current role, what do you think you’d be doing? I would love to travel and explore the world.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement? Qualifying as a solicitor.

Who is your greatest role model? My parents.

What does empowerment mean to you? Positivity, strength, determination, confidence and support.


Name: Sophie O’Connell

What is your job role and what does it entail? I lead the Court of Protection team. I also manage the financial affairs for a number of clients and provide advice on Court of Protection issues and social care.

If you weren’t in your current role, what do you think you’d be doing? I would probably be working in immigration law which is the area in which I started my legal career.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement? Doing my law conversion at the same time as caring for two small children.

Who is your greatest role model? The women in my family.

What does empowerment mean to you? Having power over decisions in my life which is something that is still lacking for too many women.



Name: Suzanne Broughton

What is your job role and what does it entail?

Partner and Head of Department. The job of leadership encompasses everything from being compassionate and understanding to listening and guiding a team as a whole and as a collection of individuals. The role is demanding and requires stamina, energy and determination – to think outside of the box to make best decisions to solve problems. The role requires me to remain calm and composed and take an unbiased view and remain impartial in certain situations.

If you weren’t in your current role, what do you think you’d be doing?

I would be Pilates teacher or choreographer of an inspirational musical theatre show.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?

Being offered a position as a Partner and Head of Department in a well-respected law firm.

Who is your greatest role model?

I am inspired by people who work hard to achieve their ambition and those who overcome tragedy in their lives and do something to help others to achieve.

What does empowerment mean to you?

Strength, self-belief and confidence in oneself to achieve something that you never thought you could. Your own personal measure of success.


Name: Liz Makin

What is your job role and what does it entail? Associate Solicitor representing clients with asbestos related and other industrial diseases and bereaved families.

If you weren’t in your current role, what do you think you’d be doing? Teaching.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement? Providing financial security for families and individuals at desperately sad times and managing this with empathy and compassion.

Who is your greatest role model? Lady Hale of The Supreme Court.

What does empowerment mean to you? Being able to stand up for those who are in need and who have been wronged and having been lucky enough to have the attributes and received the education to do this.