Graeme Downs is a partner here at Punch Robson as well as the head of our family and mental health departments.
He’s been with the firm for twenty years and he’s a member of the Law Society’s Specialist Panels for both family law and mental health as well being a member of the family law group, Resolution.
So, let’s find out a bit more about Graeme.
What attracted you to a career in the legal profession?
There was nothing in particular that inspired it; I simply announced at the age of seven that I wanted to be judge! This was despite the fact that none of my family had ever been to university.
I graduated from University of Hull with LLB (Hons) Law degree before I went on to gain a training contract with Punch Robson in 1998 and subsequently qualified as a lawyer in 2000.
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
I’m lucky to have had a number of career highlights, including in 1999 when I won a law prize for the highest results on my legal practice course of any trainee in the Teesside/Sunderland area.
Being made a partner for Punch Robson in 2006 is also something I’m immensely proud of. However I feel that the highlight of my career so far was definitely being made a judge in 2014 for the Mental Health Tribunal – something I was intent on doing since being that seven-year-old boy!
What do you enjoy the most about your role at Punch Robson?
I get so much satisfaction from my role at Punch Robson, but I think the thing which is most important to me is helping clients at very difficult times in their lives.
Are you a member of any professional societies? If so, which ones?
I’m a proud member of a number of professional societies including Resolution, whose 6,500 members are family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes.
I’m also a member of The Law Society’s Family Law Panel and Mental Health Panel.
What do you do in your spare time?
Outside of work I’m a keen camper in the Summer months – except when it starts to rain!
I compete in triathlons quite regularly – all distances from super sprint to half iron – and I’m currently training for a marathon.
I also enjoy a good walk and I also love the fact that we are a Tees Valley-based company as the surrounding countryside is stunning.