After gaining a degree in English Literature at a not-very-prestigious university, I worked as a barmaid, legal secretary and note-taking clerk before completing a law conversion course. Thanks to a scholarship from Gray's Inn Of Court I was able to go on and take my Bar Vocational Course and qualified as a barrister in 2005.
For nearly a decade I practiced criminal and family law both in London and around the country before taking parental leave to have my two children. During this time I wrote about my time as a barrister through a collection of stories of the cases that changed me as I grew up within the legal system. In Your Defence: Stories of Life and Law is part memoir, part narrative non-fiction account of 11 cases I was involved in over the course of a decade.
In Your Defence was published by Transworld (Penguin Random House) in 2018 and is available in hardback, paperback, ebook and audiobook. It has been published in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong and has been translated into Tawainese. It received widespread critical reviews, was serialised in The Sunday Times and the Guardian and became a Sunday Times Bestseller.
In 2017 I found myself unexpectedly moving from London to a cottage in rural Suffolk for two years. We took on the running and regeneration of some land: replanting hedgerows and planning a conversation to organic farming. This experience, together with the stories of the farmers I spoke to, brought back memories of my own childhood as a farmer's granddaughter. My second book, For a Love of The Land, is part-memoir, part narrative non-fiction account of a selection of farmers over the course of a year, as they grapple with a global pandemic and huge changes to their public funding in a post-Brexit, free-trade world. It is a book about farming by a city-dweller, and an attempt to bridge the gap between these two increasingly separate worlds.
For a Love of the Land will be published by Viking (Penguin Random House) in Spring 2022.
My husband and I and our two small boys are based between London and Suffolk.