After studying at the University of Strathclyde and graduating with a 2:1 honours in June 2013, Colette worked briefly in a local authority Housing Department as a graduate for a team tasked with co-ordinating a discretionary fund. In this role she gained knowledge of housing legislation and developed a keen interest in welfare rights. From there, she was employed by a local authority as a Welfare Rights Officer and was based in the Appeals Team. It was here she developed experience of representing people at both First Tier and Upper Social Security Appeal Tribunals. Acting as a welfare rights officer, Colette became familiar with Social Security legislation and further enhanced her knowledge of Industrial Injuries Benefits, before going on to work for a cancer charity where she nurtured an interest in asbestos related conditions such as mesothelioma.
In 2016, Colette made the decision to return to the University of Strathclyde to study for a Diploma in Legal Practice with a view to becoming a solicitor and fighting for the causes that are close to her.
Thompsons’ Lung and Industrial Injuries Team has proved a great fit for Colette. Its contribution to the development of the law regarding pleural plaques and its work with Clydeside Action on Asbestos has proved inspirational to Colette, who was delighted when she was offered a traineeship. Much of the firm’s ethos has strongly resonated with her own personal beliefs, particularly its practice of never representing Defenders in asbestos-related claims.
While working part-time with Thompsons in preparation for the beginning of her traineeship, Colette worked also part-time at a local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, running an advice clinic for prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families. On finishing her studies in April 2017, Colette went full-time with Thompsons and says that she loves every minute of her time with the firm.
Colette is a Trainee Solicitor who specialises in lung and industrial injury claims. She currently works within the pre-litigation team, where she helps to prepare cases for litigation. From the moment a case is put in, she commences investigations. This involves requesting information from the client relevant to their potential compensation claim, preparing statements, and sending out client mandates to sign; it also involves recovering records from various parties, including HMRC, occupational health, defenders, the DWP, and GPs and/or hospitals.
Colette’s skills extend to helping eligible clients apply for Industrial Injuries Benefits and to assessing potential limitation dates, where necessary seeking advice from the Solicitor Advocate. She is also responsible for sending letters of claim to defenders. Once investigations are complete, she instructs the Solicitor Advocate to prepare the initial writ.
As a member of Thompsons Charities Committee, Colette helps to co-ordinate fundraising events for our chosen charities: to both raise funds and awareness of their cause.
Diploma in Legal Practice, University of Strathclyde
Bachelor of Laws (LLB) 2:1, University of Strathclyde
Telephone number:0141 221 8840