Personal and professional growth at gunnercooke

December 16, 2022
Emma Peliza

Senior Associate

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Emma Peliza is a Senior Associate within the Real Estate team with seven years’ experience.

She acts on a wide range of transactions from retail lettings through to investment forward fund sales, and has particular expertise in commercial development sites.

After working at two traditional law firms, Emma decided to become a consultant solicitor to enjoy a greater ‘work-life flow’ and protect her mental health.

Emma is also an advocate for women in law and mentors legal professionals in several law firms.

Here she explains the opportunities joining gunnercooke has provided for her to flourish and help others do the same.

Lockdown realisations

Like many lawyers and working professionals, Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns meant trying different ways of working and reflecting more deeply on career choices.

Emma discusses how during this time she came to realise that she wanted something different for her life.

“Prior to joining gunnercooke I was an Associate in a large Real Estate team at a traditional law firm and my background was acting on commercial developments, real estate finance and retail lettings.

“I was a lockdown cliché as, like a lot of people during the pandemic, I thought ‘this can’t be it, this can’t be what I’ve worked for, there’s got to be another way to do law?’

“I started looking at other options and discovered gunnercooke. Safe to say it’s been a really good move, and I’m extremely happy.

“It’s enabled me to work on my own terms and enjoy the work-life balance I wanted, which has been fantastic for my mental health.”

Becoming your own boss

gunnercooke is unique, providing a supportive environment for professionals at various stages of their careers to achieve their ambitions.

Whilst some gunnercooke Associates join a Partner’s team full time, others are consultants who support several Partners across the firm. Emma explains.

“As a Senior Associate within the Real Estate team I’m not tied to a particular Partner, so I’m a self-employed Consultant and work with whoever needs assistance. I have my own external clients as well.

“Compared to working at a traditional law firm my role is very different, if not unrecognisable. I’m now self-employed and the main advantages are that I can pick my own work, choose who I work with and the type of work I do. I also set my own fee scale.”

An advocate for change

Emma’s experience at gunnercooke has made her passionate about raising awareness of the different career options available to lawyers entering the profession.

It’s Emma’s drive and determination that has established her as role model for those in the legal industry who may be struggling with an abundance of archaic attitudes and ways of working.

“I’m generally much happier in myself and feel like I’ve got much more control now.

“I hate the term work-life balance, but I feel like I’ve achieved more of a ‘work-life flow’ at gunnercooke.

“My ambition is to be a fine example to others in the legal industry and highlight that you can be a successful lawyer without burning out.

“I hope to demonstrate to more junior solicitors that consultancy is an option whilst also building my internal and external client base and getting more exposure to work on great real estate projects.”