Associate Kate Evans isn’t afraid to take chances. Here, Kate talks about the importance of vision, innovation, and problem-solving in her career.
Where did you grow up?
I spent a little bit of time in Cheltenham and Gloucester when I was younger, but I was born and predominantly grew up in Caerphilly.
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
No, I wanted to be a vet when I was younger. I loved to watch vet programmes and everything related to animals (David Attenborough was and still is my hero). I was also interested in design and technology and had my A-level D&T project showcased around Wales. I had to choose between a design and technology degree and a law degree. Due to the recession and uncertainty with a design career, law just edged it.
How did your career develop?
I’m not afraid to take chances. I studied Law at Cardiff University. After a year working in the legal department of the NHS, I moved to Taunton and completed my LPC at the College of Law in Bristol. I then worked in Irwin Mitchell as a paralegal for a year working in the Court of Protection on mostly legal aid claims. These cases predominantly involved deprivation of liberty cases. It was a challenging job, in which I was quite frequently threatened by my own clients and relatives. You must have nerves of steel to be a legal aid lawyer and they have my total admiration.
I then moved to Exeter and started at Stephens Scown to undertake my training contract. I qualified into the Energy department. Unfortunately, the Brexit result and Donald Trump being elected as President of the United States happened just as I qualified, and that sent shockwaves through the Energy sector. I was given the opportunity to cross-qualify into Construction. I took that chance having never practiced it previously.
I stayed in Devon for four years but was missing my family and friends here in Wales. So, when I learned about the opportunity to join the Construction, Energy and Projects team at Capital, I applied, met with Stuart Pearson and Leanne O’Brien, and the rest they say is history! I specifically chose Capital Law as I was impressed with the vision of the firm, and the ability to take an ambition (in my case, energy) and run with it. It is a dynamic place to work, but at the same time has heavy hitting clients and a well-respected name.
I specifically chose Capital Law as I was impressed with the vision of the firm, and the ability to take an ambition (in my case, energy) and run with it
What do you enjoy most about your job?
How fast paced it is. As a specialist in energy law, I’m responsible for drafting, reviewing and negotiating construction documents in relation to energy projects, such as solar farms and wind turbines.
My role means that I get to be involved in exciting largescale decarbonisation projects. It’s really political and full of ever-changing policy. You’re working on a topic at the forefront of government agendas which is also ever increasingly at the forefront of people’s minds.
This sector requires a lot of problem solving, tight deadlines and lateral thinking. For example, I am currently working with heavy industry companies in South Wales to harness and reduce emissions. Quite often contractual documents are bespoke, as there are no precedents, because of the innovative nature of the project. But that is what I absolutely love most about it!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be fearless. You don’t get anywhere in life without taking chances, and it’s okay to live outside your comfort zone. Things have a funny way of working out and even though things may not go as you planned at times, you will end up where you are supposed to be!
What would you say to someone who is thinking about a career at Capital Law?
I would say to definitely go for it. When I joined I was (and still am) genuinely impressed with the level of responsibility you are given to take ideas and run with them, alongside the level of exposure you get to innovative legal work.