Elaine McLaine-Wood is managing partner here at Punch Robson and has more than 15 years of experience in the North East.
As head of corporate and commercial property, she has specialist expertise in all aspects of business law, both transactional and non-transactional. Elaine’s technical expertise and high standard of client care has led to her inclusion in The Legal 500 during her career, the leading guide to law firms in the UK.
So, let’s find out a little more about Elaine.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I originally wanted to enter the world of politics, having been appointed women’s officer at the end of my first year and Vice President at the end of my second year while studying politics and economics at Sunderland University. I was subsequently involved with the NUS committee, where I served as an elected officer.
I graduated in 1998, completed a Diploma in Law at York College of Law in 2000, completed the Legal Practice Course in 2002 and then qualified as a solicitor in 2006. I worked as a paralegal for five years during my part time studies at what was then Dickinson Dees prior to commencing my training contract.
Who inspired you to enter the legal profession?
Jonathan Blair, who is now the managing partner of Womble Bond Dickinson, who recruited me as a paralegal in 2000 for his insolvency litigation department. He has always inspired me to become a good and well respected solicitor.
When did you start working at Punch Robson?
I started as a Partner August 2013, was promoted to head of the Commercial Department in 2014 and became Managing Partner September 2016.
Have you always lived in the Tees Valley?
Yes, and I still do, living in a village on the outskirts of Darlington.
What do like most about the Tees Valley?
I like the close-knit community that we live and work in. It is a small community and, given that I have worked in the Tees Valley for 13 years, I have friends in the business community and have mutual respect with my contacts, peers and clients.
Are you a member of any networking groups?
I attend NECC events and also Young Guns events. I am also a keen charity supporter, and regularly attend Butterwick Hospice events, as well as being a trustee of Daisy Chain, the Stockton-based charity for children with autism.
What have been your professional and personal highlights?
The highlight of my professional life was becoming Managing Partner at Punch Robson, where it is an honour to work alongside John Wilkin, Graeme Downs and Katherine Eaton, who are so knowledgeable and we work very well focusing on leadership and growth of the firm.
One personal highlight of my career was attending my admission ceremony with my two children who were nine and four at the time at the Law Society, in Chancery Lane, London. My daughter was busy taking photographs and the President of the Law Society told me that my daughter was the most important photographer on the day!