Fiona Sasan, accredited family law specialist, recently celebrated her fifteen-year anniversary as a Partner with us. In this short interview, she reflects on her legal career, highlighting key milestones and sharing advice for future lawyers.
What initially attracted you to working in family law, and how have your motivations for staying with the firm evolved throughout your career at Morton Fraser?
Family law is so multifaceted that the breadth of knowledge and skill set required of me keeps my job fascinating. I had already gained a broad knowledge of other areas of the law but that has grown in spades since being part of a full-service firm like Morton Fraser.
Reflecting on your career path, what were the most significant challenges you faced while navigating the sector, and how did you overcome them to reach your current leadership role?
I was one of the first three employees in Morton Fraser's Glasgow office shortly after it opened in December 2004. The Glasgow market was an unknown to what was an Edinburgh firm. As I had not specialised in Family Law, it was understandable that there would be a period for me to demonstrate that I had the skillset required to be recognised as a specialist. Seeking Law Society recognition through specialist accreditation was helpful in signposting that I did indeed have the peer recognition and from then on it was about demonstrating the commercial acumen to make partner.
Looking back on your career journey, is there a specific milestone or achievement that you are particularly proud of?
I was one of the first female partners in a long established "blue chip" firm in Glasgow within five years of qualifying as a solicitor back in 1989. All my then partners were male and quite traditional . It was a brave move then to promote a female to equity partner.
How has the firm's approach to supporting and empowering women in the workplace evolved over the years, and what do you believe has contributed to these positive changes?
I love the culture of transparency and trust that runs through everything that we stand for . It means we can have open conversations and challenge where we think change is needed. Change is embraced here and we evolve constantly.
As a partner, you play a significant role in mentoring junior lawyers. What advice would you give to those starting their legal careers?
To recognise that it's not just about being a great academic. Embracing the need to be commercial in what you are doing and to accept that with progress, comes management responsibilities.
What is your favourite part about working in family law? Or why did you choose to qualify into family law?
My favourite part of family law is knowing that I have been helpful in protecting a client from being taken advantage of. That’s not limited to women. It can be any client.
As partner, you will deal with many complex family law matters, what are the sorts of issues that your clients come to you with?
I regularly drill through paperwork and am able to pick up on assets which have not been properly disclosed or clarifying with a client what is misleading about what their spouse or partner has tried to persuade them to accept. Clients should feel able to agree whatever they want to agree to but doing so, whilst fully informed, is invaluable for their peace in the future when they look back on the process.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to your clients?
Choose your representative based, not on where they sit on a google search, but on your research . Ensure their advice is understood by you and that you have trust in them. There are poor as well as excellent family lawyers out there.
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