5 minutes with...

Jayne Croft, Solicitor at Brabners

Posted by Liverpool and Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Fri 04th, May

Introduce yourself – Who is Jayne Croft; where do you sit in the business, and what does the business do?

I’m Jayne and I’m a solicitor in our Liverpool based corporate team at Brabners.  We are a full service regional commercial law firm specialising in various sectors including the more established construction, manufacturing and logistics sectors; and the developing creative, digital and technology sector, which happily is experiencing a period of growth in the north.

In addition to my day job, I also sit on the board of directors at the Women’s Organisation and the Gateway Centre on London Road.  I also manage events at Liverpool Ladies Network which is now over 30 years old and going from strength to strength; and I am a co-founder of Future Boss Club which is a networking group aiming at assisting females under the age of 30 with personal and professional development to help them to progress in the workplace. 

Where do you see Brabners in 5 years time?

We are starting a new chapter here with our new managing partner, Nik White taking the helm from the 1st May.  As a firm, we are ambitious and outward looking and I think Nik’s own values reflect this, which can only mean growth and good things for us moving forward.  We have lots of development in the pipeline and I am very much looking forward to seeing the outcome of that.

As a firm we have seen consistent growth in the years following the recession and I would expect that this will continue into the next 5 years.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

When I was a teenager, I was told that ‘someone like me’ couldn’t possibly be a lawyer as I come from Knowsley, and that I would be better off training to be a hairdresser or a nail technician.  At one point, I believed that.  So my advice is that it doesn’t matter where you come from and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  If you work hard enough and have the drive to succeed, then you can be anything you want to be.  Life very rarely hands you opportunities on a plate though, so you have to go out and fight for them and earn your place on the ladder. 

Where would we find you on your day off?

Drinking gin or walking/being walked by my Alaskan Malamute puppy, Mylo (photo credit to Joanna Rose Pet Photogrpahy).

What is the best advice you have been given in your career?

To get out and network.  It is so important to build a network of your own contacts and you are never too young, or too junior, or under qualified to do this.  So many people are frightened of networking because that word has all kinds of connotations that come with it, like an expectation that you must come away from an event with a new piece of business or you’ve failed.  Networking is just about building relationships.  You haven’t lost if you go to an event and don’t win work.  These are slow burn processes which done properly, can be very fruitful.

Who is your role model in business?

I am currently a board member at the Women’s Organisation and our CEO Maggie O’Carroll is an absolute force to be reckoned with.  She is fearless and a champion for women in business.

Why choose Liverpool City Region? –possible - personal community side(you could talk about your involvement with local charities, and other networks?)

As a born and bred Scouser, I feel like I can truthfully say that Liverpool is boss!  We are a friendly and talented bunch and I’d like to see more of that talent staying in the city.  We have so much going on at the minute and I love that we have quirky areas like the Baltic Triangle sitting alongside the more established retail offering at Liverpool ONE.  I love that we have so much regeneration happening.  We recently assisted Peel Ports with the new Everton stadium plans and this is just one of the many initiatives which will bring more people to our city. 

We also have the new Knowledge Quarter which is slowly joining the dots between the academic and business areas of the city.

I sit on the board at the Gateway Conference Centre on London Road which is a charitable organisation providing subsidised meeting rooms to other charitable organisations.  In the last quarter, they subsidised over £30,000 worth of room hire.  They are also experiencing regeneration with the announcement of the new Fabric Quarter drawing on London Road’s rich history.

As a firm with our roots in Liverpool, we love seeing and contributing to this continued growth and hope to be a part of it moving forward.

What would you like to see improve or develop in your sector?

There remains a massive equality gap in the legal sector which has historically been male dominated.  Whilst we have hard evidence that more females are completing law degrees, achieving better results and also going on to get training contracts, there is still a drop off point at senior level and this is a gap which I think we are all responsible for helping to close. 

There is a saying that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ so I do my bit by using my governance experience to sit on boards and by putting on events through my networks to encourage women to network more and raise their profile.  There are many unsung heroes that are doing amazing things every day and it is important that we get to hear about them so our young females have role models to inspire them.  Research has clearly shown that more successful boards are those that are more diverse.  Here at Brabners, we are also working to actively close the gender gap and are currently working on an improved equality and diversity strategy, so watch this space!

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