Davinder Rana – Interview with the Chair of the In-house Committee

• Tell me about your career history

My name is Davinder Rana I am a Solicitor with nearly 20 years PQE. First role as a qualified Solicitor was with the Treasury Solicitors Department in London. This was a varied and interesting role which exposed me to contentious public sector work. Following this I worked for several different local authorities as an in house Solicitor as well as for private practices. I also ran several businesses two of which were law firms. In 2015, I won outstanding business woman of the year award this was through the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce. The ABCC is part of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group and specialises in supporting the needs of businesses across the West Midlands arena. To receive such a prestigious award was an amazing accolade which gave me a more solid foundation to continue with my career not only as a lawyer but as a business woman. More recently I joined a mental health NHS Trust as Trust Solicitor before my current role as Head of Legal Services with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust.

• When did you start at SWBH?

Started on 8 April 2019

• What is your role at SWBH and what does it involve?

I am Head of Legal Services. It is a real privilege to be part of such a hardworking team. I manage a legal team of approximately 8 staff including the Overseas Visitors Team. My role to is to provide sound legal advice to the Trust. The legal team handle a variety of legal work including Clinical Negligence, Inquests and Employers and Public Liability work.

• Why did you take on Chair of the Committee

In house lawyers are an integral part of the legal profession but for some reason they get overlooked as perhaps not making enough of a valid contribution. I am currently in an in house role with the NHS. At times it can appear as though the role is unsupported and lonely. I therefore took up the role as Chair so I could meet like-minded lawyers in similar situations and also to help grow a committee that could make a difference. My vision is to raise the profile of in house lawyers and to provide greater connections with the BLS. I want to be able to encourage more networking and the sharing of knowledge between the communities and for young aspiring lawyers to consider a career as an house lawyer.

• What is the committee trying to achieve… what is important to the committee, what is it reflecting on and the reason for the committee

In house lawyers were under represented and did not have a committee solely dedicated to in house lawyers. Since the newly formed in house committee, the committee is working hard to ensure that all in house lawyers feel included and can make a valid contribution to changing any preconceived ideas. There are better platforms and forums for the inclusion of in house lawyers so that the sharing of information can be streamlined. It is envisaged that the committee will raise the profile of in house lawyers and encourage further members to join the BLS. This will be done by providing information to the lawyers of the benefits of joining the BLS.

• What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to keep fit. I enjoy running, swimming and attending the gym. I also like to cook trying out new recipes. I regularly attend networking events forging new relationships. I will shortly qualify as a Corporate Coach. My goal is to expand upon my coaching skills and abilities by growing my knowledge and becoming an NLP Practitioner. Once qualified, I hope to use my skills by giving back to the community by helping young adults to achieve their potential.