Fisher Meredith LLP (solicitors)
I am Louise Barretto, 42, mother to Keegan (10) and Sebastian (5) and a family law solicitor.I am a partner at Fisher Meredith and now run our Richmond branch which we opened on 1st February 2010. I deal with financial matters and matters concerning children arising on relationship breakdown. I am also a family law mediator and a trained Collaborative Lawyer. My profile can be viewed on our website www.fishermeredith.co.uk
I live in Hampton with my boys and my husband George. As George works in a high pressure job in the City, all the childcare arrangements fall to me.
It can sometimes be very difficult to juggle things so that I am able to make it to all the sports days, orchestra performances and swimming galas, and all the other important events that form an important part of my little boy’s lives, but so far I have managed to make it to the important ones.
I am lucky because most of my clients are mothers themselves and are very understanding when I disappear at five o’clock to collect my boys and spend a great two to three hours with them before I tuck them into bed. I then reappear with my Blackberry and check that nothing urgent has happened in the meantime. I should also mention that I disappear on Friday afternoons so that I can meet up with the other school mums at the gate and chat to the teacher (in the awful event that they have indicated to me during the week that they need to speak to me).
My clients have my mobile number and are able to communicate with me by email. My fantastic team also make it possible for me to have this flexibility.
Because I am passionate about my work I am able to make the career/mother balance work for my family. It does mean that my house is not spotless, but is kept simple and organised.
Since opening our office in Richmond I have had numerous enquiries from other solicitor mums asking whether we are recruiting – as they are eager to join a good local firm and achieve a good work/life balance.
There are of course always going to be difficult days, such as when one of my boys is poorly, or when I have been dealing with a particularly difficult case, but I believe that I have a great balance and I know that I am very lucky indeed.