Getting to know you: Kate Banerjee

What do you currently do?
As a family lawyer, I am involved in anything to do with the welfare of children. This can include both private and public work, dealing with child abduction, adoption, relocation orders, surrogacy work, custody issues, and care proceedings.

What is your inspiration in the business?
My aim is to always try and improve a situation for a child. All proceedings have a child at the centre, so whatever role I play, the onus is on them throughout the case. Whilst I don’t always get to choose sides, I believe in our family law system and trust the outcome that results.

Who do you admire?
I admire those who have a vocation and seek to make a difference. Particularly those brave enough to go where others dare not (as with those involved in trying to control the Ebola outbreaks) or stand up for what is right to their own personal or professional cost.

Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
There is not much I would have done differently although I would definitely have avoided wearing that lime green jacket to work so often back in the 90s (what was I thinking?). Whilst there have been ups and downs on the journey, I am lucky enough to know that I was always on the right path (even if I am not sure where it is going at times!).

What defines your way of doing business?
Personal and direct. It is important that my clients understand what their options are and what is likely to happen however hard that message may be to hear. I try to deliver that message in an empathetic and compassionate way. I’m also very, very determined to achieve the best outcomes I can for families.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
The legal market is changing at a fast pace with the old hierarchical systems evolving into far more commercial corporate structures. What remains consistent is that individuals with enthusiasm, passion and ability will always do well. Find the area of law that brings this out in you and get the best training and exposure to it that you can. This could take place in the midst of a big firm or a small specialist firm – choose your field first and then the firm. If you’re not sure, get exposure to as many different legal areas as you can and look for the spark.