What our staff say...

John Liversidge, Office Manager

John Liversidge, Office Manager

Long term, rewarding careers at Wake Smith on the support side are highlighted by John Liversidge who has been in continuous employment for more than 40 years since starting work as an office junior in 1979.

"Through coaching, development and training I gained management and admin skills enabling me to take over the office manager’s role when he retired. As the company has grown, my role evolved and I now manage the central services within the office, and have strong links with the management of the office getting involved with key projects and decisions. 

“I really like working here because of The People! There is a really friendly, supportive atmosphere and ‘I can do’ attitude, throughout the firm. My particular role is always changing and evolving and I am encouraged to develop it. It’s just a feel-good place to work.

“We are proud and true. The company values match my own values, and by following these values you are supported and rewarded within your role and ambitions. The company must be doing something right when you look at how many staff have worked here over 10 years. We do have that family feeling within the firm, everybody has their role to play within the company. I feel I am well respected and an important part of the firm.”

John Liversidge, Office Manager


"I had always wanted to work in Sheffield and be part of a firm with such a great reputation and long history.

"Being a newly qualified solicitor when I joined, I was extremely nervous being somewhere new at such an important milestone in my career. I needn’t have worried though. I felt welcomed and supported from the moment I stepped foot in the building, and I couldn’t have asked to be part of a better team, and firm, at the start of my career.

"There is plethora of experience within the team that I work in, and there is always somebody available to discuss matters with, and help to decide on a plan of action that will help the client the most. We are also actively encouraged to liaise with other departments if needed on the subject matter of the case and this happens often in Litigation/Dispute Resolution. Again, there is so much experience across teams and I feel fully supported, but this also means that we are giving the best advice possible to our clients.

"I am part of our Charity Board and we meet on a monthly basis to discuss how we can raise money for our nominated charity of the year, providing a real sense of teamwork. It is such a lovely, and rewarding thing to be part of.

"I am very excited to see what the future holds with Wake Smith. In our one-to-ones and appraisals we openly discuss career pathways and plans for the future. Current staff members are encouraged to join the ongoing recruitment process at the firm, and I have recently been asked to be involved with the trainee solicitor interviews.

"The culture at Wake Smith is amazing and this resonates through the staff with how friendly everyone is. There is always something going on whether that be a themed bake-off, Christmas wreath making, the yearly quiz, wine tasting… the list goes on!"

Sophie Kerry, Solicitor, Litigation

Tom Weightman, Associate

Tom Weightman, Associate

Tom Weightman came as a trainee and is still enjoying Wake Smith 10 years on as an Associate in the commercial property team.

“I won a work experience raffle with Wake Smith at the University of Sheffield Law Fair in my second year. I joined the firm as a trainee in 2012, qualified into Commercial Property in 2014 and was promoted to an Associate in 2018.

“Wake Smith represented what I wanted from a law firm and what I thought a law firm should be. As a full-service firm, with strong values and a family feel, it is made up of good lawyers to learn from and, ultimately, to help develop. Most importantly, it’s a size where you would never just be a mid-level cog, but you’re an important member of the team. You can make an actual difference to clients, and help build the firm and keep getting better.

“The firm has matched my expectations and what attracted me in the first place, still stands 10 years on. When you are doing well, the firm will keep you pushing forward and when you are having a harder time, it will support you. You cannot ask for much more than that.

“There are not many good independent firms out there and the best thing about working here is that brings great levels of autonomy and responsibility, alongside the usual day-to-day legal work and networking.

“I am also involved in trainee recruitment and marketing – an opportunity that other firms just would not provide, and it’s great to learn more about how the business works.

Tom Weightman, Associate, Commercial Property.


"I initially joined as a Paralegal in the Clinical and Medical Negligence Team assisting with new client enquiries, and progressed to helping senior colleagues on complex and high value case loads with tasks such reviewing medical records, assessing prospects of potential claims, drafting legal correspondence, engaging in case conferences with medical experts and counsel.

"After beginning my Legal Practice Course (LPC) in September 2021, I was also successful in gaining a Training Contract here which will begin in September 2023, when the LPC finishes.

"The firm has also been extremely flexible in allowing me to manage my full-time role workload and complete the part-time LPC with the University of Law in Sheffield, which has been particularly challenging at times.

"The team is highly regarded throughout Sheffield and beyond, and to be able to learn from such experienced, talented and hardworking fee earners, whilst progressing my career in an excellent firm, was certainly something that attracted me to Wake Smith.

"I've had so many opportunities to help me extend my knowledge and role as a paralegal, and received constant support to help me progress to qualifying as a solicitor.

"The team has helped me develop my role to where I am now providing integral assistance to fee earners. I have gained invaluable experience from attending training courses, shadowing Trials, Inquests and high-value joint settlement meetings and networking opportunities."

Dylan Friend, Paralegal, Medical and Clinical Negligence.


“We are constantly implementing new ideas to help improve ways of working, to promote healthy lifestyles and better the work/life balance. These include the GDPR working group, Charity Board and the Communication Working Group, as well as a new initiative to promote wellbeing in the workplace including physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

“I have been involved with the Charity Board for approximately 10 years and have helped raised over £45,000 for local charities. I also sit on the Communication Working Group, implemented after the Covid pandemic (as members of staff worked from home more often) to help people keep updated with developments within the firm.

“Wake Smith actively encourages all staff to get involved - whether you are a junior employee or a more senior, long-standing member. These groups allow employees to be part of the future of the firm, encouraging collaboration and teamwork.”

Kate Lax, Director, Medical & Clinical Negligence.


Stephanie Chung, Solicitor

Stephanie Chung, Solicitor

Read Stephanie Chung's first year at Wake Smith after joining as a solicitor in the private client team.

“I’ve settled into my role well and feel valued and appreciated in the team. Suzanne is a very intuitive and insightful manager, and encourages and inspires the team, leading regular team meetings encouraging us all to participate and contribute. My contributions are appreciated, and there are opportunities for me to gand develop.

As a full service law firm, I love how we can meet clients’ needs without having to refer them elsewhere. In addition, Wake Smith still feels like a family firm despite its size and professionalism.

It is so refreshing to work somewhere where everyone is so helpful, approachable and friendly – the fact that it is open-plan means that there really is an open door policy. I also really like how there is a common area for staff to have their lunch together or catch up briefly – so that colleagues from different departments can mix.

Stephanie Chung, Solicitor, Private Client.


Contact us