“The values of the firm shine through every day”, 1 year with Madeleine James

November 1, 2023
Madeleine James


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What has been your highlight at gunnercooke so far?

Probably re-uniting with my old colleagues Simon Colledge and Suzanne Eva, both of whom I worked with (ahem) 20+ years ago. It has been really lovely to see them both at social occasions as well as work with Suzanne on corporate matters. It was also a really good day when I received instructions from a client I had worked with 11 years ago at my previous firm.

What do you wish you could tell yourself a year ago?

Be brave! It will all work out!

Have there been any hurdles you’ve had to overcome in your time at gunnercooke?

I am still learning and practising every day how to mix work and the rest of my life as I had 25 years in target-driven traditional law firms so it’s quite a hard habit to break. I’m getting better at thinking before I jump in and agreeing to act on things!

What do you remember about your first day/week/month?

I very deliberately granted myself some time off between jobs and I’m still adjusting, but I will never forget the warm welcome at the 2022 Symposium (to which I was invited even though I hadn’t started). The values of the firm shine through every day which is wonderful and it’s not just talk.

How has your practice changed over the last year?

I am now able to focus on the kind of work and clients I want to work with instead of feeling pressured to take anything that walks through the door.

What would be your advice for people thinking of joining gunnercooke?

 Just do it! Take the leap. It is nothing but friendly and welcoming.

What have you learnt since being at gunnercooke?

I think just a confidence that clients and people who know me will indeed instruct me and recommend me to others, so I must be doing something right. I think this was sometimes hard to believe of myself when smothered by fee targets at my previous firm.

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