Championing Alternative Pathways: The Wilkes Partnership Embraces Newly-Qualified Solicitor with Non-Traditional Route to Qualification
The Wilkes Partnership is pleased to welcome Alexandra Hastings-Smith, a newly-qualified solicitor, to its esteemed Planning, Infrastructure, and Regulatory Team. Alexandra’s unique journey to qualification showcases the diverse pathways to legal excellence, extending beyond the traditional Training Contract (TC) route.
Alexandra embarked on her legal career while pursuing her studies in French and Spanish at the University of Manchester. During this time, she gained invaluable experience as a paralegal at a Boutique International Law Firm in Barcelona, where her passion for the legal field was ignited.
Demonstrating exceptional dedication and aptitude, Alexandra achieved a distinction in her MSc/LPC (Legal Practice Course) studies. Subsequently, she secured a training contract in Local Government, where she provided advice to three district councils. This hands-on, in-house experience equipped Alexandra with a profound understanding of the intricate workings of Local Governments.
Alexandra’s specialisation in planning law matters is a testament to her expertise, encompassing a wide range of areas such as planning obligations, permitted development, development management, and planning enforcement matters. Her keen insight into these areas positions her as a valuable asset to Wilkes’ growing team.
Wilkes has been responding to the increasing demand for services in Planning, Infrastructure, and Regulatory matters, particularly in advising public bodies on securing essential S106 contributions. Additionally, the firm has been skillfully addressing complex enforcement issues.
In July, Alexandra transitioned to Wilkes as a Paralegal and recently achieved a significant milestone by successfully passing the SQE2 exam, solidifying her qualification as a solicitor.
Speaking on this achievement, Alexandra said,
“I’m thrilled to join Wilkes and embark on this exciting journey with a dynamic team. My unconventional path to qualification has given me a unique perspective, and I’m eager to contribute my insights and expertise to Wilkes’ esteemed Planning, Infrastructure, and Regulatory Team. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be a part of a firm that values diverse pathways to legal excellence and is committed to delivering exceptional legal services to our clients.”
Wilkes takes great pride in nurturing legal talent and providing a platform for professionals like Alexandra to thrive. Her addition to the Planning, Infrastructure, and Regulatory Team reaffirms Wilkes’ commitment to delivering outstanding legal services to its clients.
Partner in Wilkes’ Planning Infrastructure & Regulatory team, Leenamari Aantaa-Collier said,
“ I am thrilled to have Alexandra on board; her presence is a valuable and positive addition to our team. With her expertise, we look forward to expanding the services we offer and providing even stronger support to a wider range of organisations and people.”