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Fee Earner Focus: Q&A – Melanie Morris (Property)

Melanie Morris

Melanie Morris

Melanie Morris joined Bermans in January 2015 as a Trainee Solicitor and qualified as a Solicitor in January 2017, becoming a Senior Associate in the Property team in January 2021.

1. Can you give us a brief summary of your career so far?

After graduating with a Law degree from Lancaster University, I studied part-time at Chester Law School whilst working as a Paralegal in the public sector and volunteering at Citizens Advice Bureau. Shortly after I completed Law School, I joined Bermans – the rest is history.

2. What area of the law do you specialise in and why?

I specialise in Property, with a focus on property and development finance. I decided to qualify into the Property team due to the broad range of work that I could become involved in; on a day to day basis, I can deal with a commercial property acquisition, the granting of a new lease or assisting clients with funding for property developments. I enjoy the transactional nature of the work, as well as the rewarding feeling of achieving a completion after having worked hard to get it across the finish line.

3. Is there a case or a particular piece of work you were proud to be involved with, if so why?

I collaborate closely with a prominent North-West development funder, and we often work tirelessly to meet really tight deadlines and achieve great results for their clients, which I am proud to be involved in. Not long before Christmas 2021 we completed a fairly complex, urgent development loan to a company based in North Wales, proceeding from instruction to completion in 10 days. It is also gratifying watching a development progress from start to finish, knowing that I helped in some way to get it off the ground.

4. Away from the law what are your interests and passions?

I really enjoy going to concerts, shows and getting away for as many mini-breaks as possible. A weekend away with my husband or friends involving a concert, some good food and some sight-seeing would be my favourite way to spend time. Some of the best shows I have ever been to are Beyonce & Jay Z’s joint tour in 2019 (the performances were phenomenal), Franz Ferdinand and Kings of Leon in a festival in 2019 and Ludovico Einaudi’s 2015 – so entertaining for very different reasons. Phil Collins also puts on a great show! In terms of day to day interests, I love reading crime fiction, doing HIIT workouts and going out for dinner with my husband.

Bullet Round

Sports & Teams Supported (if any):

I don’t follow any professional sport, which makes me very outnumbered working in Liverpool! I actively try to dodge watching it. I like to play badminton with my husband, although this has to be on a fairly sporadic basis, as we are both (a) very competitive and (b) sore losers.

Films (Top 3):

This changes all of the time, but probably ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘Bridesmaids’. I was so blown away by ‘The Dark Knight’ that I saw it in the cinema 4 times! I still watch this whenever it’s on TV and it is the same with ‘Shawshank Redemption’. ‘Bridesmaids’ is still hilarious to me each time I see it. A close fourth is ‘Avengers: Endgame’ – I am not at all interested in comic books, but I think that the action and entertainment value of these films is unrivalled. Avengers was brilliant to see in the cinema.

Music (3 tracks/albums to take on Desert Island):

This is very tough, so I am going to choose three albums which I love, but also think I wouldn’t get bored of. This would be ‘Lemonade’ by Beyonce, as every song is so different, ‘Reputation’ by Taylor Swift for the same reason, and John Williams ‘The Best Of’. It was a toss-up between John Williams and Hans Zimmer, who I have seen perform live twice, but I think John Williams has a broader range to get me through the inevitable boredom of being alone on an island.

Boxsets:

One of my favourite series is ‘Breaking Bad’, I loved it. It was so clever and engaging, I re-watch it every couple of years. The others have to be ‘The Office (UK)’, with ‘Extras’ closely behind, both equally witty – although I can’t watch ‘Extras’ too frequently, as it makes me cringe with second-hand embarrassment!

In terms of something I love and can easily watch all the time, it has to be ‘Friends’ – the best comfort TV.

Podcasts you listen to:

I listen to podcasts every day, I love them. I really like getting into episodic true crime specials. On a daily basis it’s usually a mix between ‘My Favourite Murder’, ‘Morbid’, ‘Smartless’ and the Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington ‘XFM Series’ from the early 2000s. ‘My Favourite Murder’ and ‘Morbid’ are true crime podcasts, whereas the latter two choices are both comedy and are really good to listen to after a long day. ‘Smartless’ is hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes and is always hilarious.

Favourite book:

‘Lethal White’ by Robert Galbraith, part of the ‘Cormoran Strike’ crime series. It’s completely engrossing; I love books like this. I haven’t watched the television adaption, although I think that they crammed nearly 700 pages into 4 episodes, so I don’t have high hopes for it.

Meal:

I should probably pretend that it is something sophisticated, but it’s not, it’s pizza. I also love cheese in all its forms.

Holiday destination:

This is a tough one to narrow down, but I think Lake Como. I have been to Italy a number of times and have always loved it, but never Lake Como and I am keen to go. I love the slow pace and sunshine of Italian holidays.

If you could do anything other than being a Lawyer, what would you be and why?

Likely something in Publishing; I was an Editor of a magazine in University and enjoyed it very much. I think it would be quite similar to being a Lawyer; fast-paced, lots of critical thinking and working against tight deadlines to deliver a finished product. I imagine that it would be very rewarding.

Alternatively, a food and travel Journalist – being paid to eat whilst on holiday would be the dream!

3 people for a dinner party and why?

J.K Rowling, Michelle Obama and Nadiya Hussein. J.K Rowling is the author of my favourite book series (under a Pseudonym) and I would love to know how she formulates such intricate storylines, often planning several years ahead to the series’ end. Michelle Obama is a former lawyer, which I would love to speak with her about, but having read her autobiography I know that she would also have some incredible stories and would just be brilliant company. Finally, Nadiya Hussain. I loved her during the Great British Bake Off and now on her cooking shows; she could create some delicious dishes for everybody but she’s also extremely witty and warm. I think that the combination of these guests would lead to a great party.

To get in touch with Mel

e: melanie.morris@bermans.co.uk

t: 0151 224 0548

w: https://www.bermans.co.uk/melanie-morris

 

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