Victoria Armstrong, partner in commercial property at Sintons, has made a big impact on David Naughten’s career ever since they shared an office five years ago at another law firm, while David was training to become a solicitor. Now they are both at Newcastle-based Sintons, they reflect on the benefits of having a mentor in the extremely competitive legal sector.
Solicitor, commercial property
I have been at Sintons for just over a year but I first met my mentor, Victoria, five years ago when I shared an office with her for six months during my training contract at our previous firm. I qualified into the same sub-team as Victoria at our previous firm and I work increasingly under her supervision as we both predominantly work for healthcare clients. When I joined Sintons, it was specifically to work for Victoria and she has a day-to-day input on my workload. I think over time, we have developed a good understanding of each other’s working styles (and personalities), which is beneficial to us and to Sintons.
Victoria has been instrumental in my career, especially in my decision to specialise in property. She has taught me a sense of perspective and how to stay calm when working to tight deadlines.
Victoria has always given me opportunities to take on greater responsibility within the team and is willing to listen to any ideas I have. I hope this will help in my short-term aim to become an associate at the firm.
Partner, commercial property
I have been at Sintons since November 2014 but first met David when we shared an office five years ago at a previous firm. David stood out from his peer group as being driven, conscientious and extremely reliable. From sharing an office and working closely with him during his training contract, it was obvious that David was capable of being commercial with a great technical ability. I became his mentor organically, having worked closely with him.
He has assisted me on a number of matters and I have tried to provide guidance both technically and also in terms of other work issues and career progression wherever needed. David has looked to me for advice and I have always given my honest opinion on all matters. I try to encourage any young lawyer working with me to deal with issues in a pragmatic way.
I hope that I have helped David over the years to keep any problems in proportion by taking an objective viewpoint when looking for a solution.
David has a very bright legal career ahead of him and I expect to see him glide up the career ladder over the coming years.