This month we ‘Take a Minute’ with Karin Walker, active County Club member, Founder of KGW Family Law, and fierce supporter of the arts.
On the face of it, turning down an opportunity to read English at Cambridge in favour of studying Law at Nottingham, might appear to be a very bold strategy, but not for Karin, who in opting to pursue a career as a lawyer, was fulfilling a childhood ambition.
‘From the age of eleven, all I wanted to be was a lawyer. I loved English, and I was proud to be offered an opportunity to study at Cambridge, but it was always the law for me, and I have never regretted my decision.’
Having practised family law since 1988, and after more than ten-years at TWM Solicitors in Guildford as Partner, Karin set up KGW Family Law in January 2012. A much sought after speaker and commentator on all aspects of family law, in 2016 Karin became a member of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators and a Freeman of the City of London.
However, notwithstanding an exceptional legal career, Karin has never lost the enthusiasm for English that first led to that offer from Cambridge University.
‘I am a very proud patron of Guildford Shakespeare Company, and I never cease to be amazed by their achievements, not just in staging remarkable productions, but also with the community programmes, and education initiatives that help them to reach tens of thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds, every year.
This year is the 18th birthday of Guildford Shakespeare Company, and there are lots of very special events planned, starting with a run of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice in February, followed by a summer production of Romeo and Juliet that by all accounts, will have to be seen to be believed.
The play will move around iconic locations in Guildford, and I don’t think I am letting any secrets out by saying that we can all probably guess where the balcony scene will be set.
There are of course some easy parallels to be drawn between my work in mediation and my love and appreciation of language. The central Shakespearian themes of love, betrayal, loss, deceit, and avarice are all there, along with humour, compassion, devotion, and empathy.
Human behaviour does not change.
As a family lawyer, I see people at their best, and sadly sometimes, at their worst, and part of my job is to help them to communicate effectively at a time when emotions can run very high indeed. I am privileged to be in a position to help people that might not be able to do it alone, and I am grateful for all of the opportunities that my law work has offered me.
I am sure that there is some desperately clever and witty line from Shakespeare that I could quote to finish up our little chat, but I can’t think of one right now…but I know that I will on my way back to the office!