Laurie Trounce is a solicitor in the commercial team at Cornwall Council who, despite only qualifying in September last year, won the Solicitors in Local Government’s Young Solicitor of the Year award for 2010.
1. When and why did you decide to become a lawyer?I was interested in becoming a solicitor from about the age of 15 having completed work experience placements at local firms of solicitors and the CPS. I then went on to study Law with German Law which nearly put me off but I persevered!
2. Have you always worked in local government?
Yes, I was very fortunate to get a training contract with Cornwall Council Legal Services and I qualified in September 2009 I joined the Commercial Team.
3. What has been your proudest moment so far in your local government career?
My proudest moment was being awarded the SLG Young Solicitor of the Year Award 2010.
4. What one piece of legislation affecting local government would you change and why?
The rules on state aid as they are fraught with confusion and difficulty. It's never clear when and how the rules apply as they as so fragmented which constantly frustrates clients.
5. What major changes do you see affecting local government legal practice in years to come?
Due to substantial cuts in public spending and the increased use of shared services as a method of enhancing the efficiency of local authorities' corporate support functions, I do not doubt that the delivery of legal services in local government will undergo significant change in the months ahead. How legal departments engage and adapt to these changes to demonstrate their value will undoubtedly influence how legal services in local government are delivered in the future.
6. What advice would you give to lawyers who are just about to start a career in local government?
Being a trainee in local government has been a fantastic experience and I encourage anyone looking for a training contract to seriously consider working for a local authority. I was given the opportunity to get involved in interesting projects and manage my own case load from an early stage. The work is rewarding, challenging and unbelievably varied so you need to be ready to advise on just about anything!
7. If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what would you have done?
I would have liked to have worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or been a translator.
8. If you had to recommend one place/attraction to visit in the authority you’ve most recently worked at, where would it be and why?
I would recommend visiting the beautiful fishing village of Portloe because I live there and can thoroughly recommend the cream teas!
9. Yes, Minister or The West Wing?
The West Wing
10. What was the last good book you read?
Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns.