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Kim Wedral-Rooke - Mishcon de Reya

Cambridge Spotlight: Kim Wedral-Rooke

Posted on 1 May 2024

This article is part of our Cambridge Spotlight series, profiling our lawyers based in our Cambridge office. In the series, we find out about their backgrounds, their journey through law and hear why Cambridge is important to them.

Kim is a partner in the Employment department and heads up our Innovate Employment practice. Kim collaborates with emerging and fast growth, scaling companies, and the investors who support them, to manage their global talent strategy and employment legal risks, in a pragmatic and cost effective way.

I knew I wanted to get into law when… I found myself enjoying debates from a young age and I've always been drawn to challenges. The right career for me was one that would test my abilities and provide opportunities for debate. Reinforcing this decision were the legal TV shows I admired – I actually aspired to be like Judge Judy!

I came to be in Cambridge because… Originally from Croatia, my family moved to London during the war, and we eventually settled in Norfolk. I recognised Cambridge as a hub of technological innovation and an exciting place to be. After applying to various firms in the area, including Taylor Vinters, I was drawn to the firm's direction and the people there during my interview process, which led me to settle here.

I chose Employment law because… I was intent on practicing in a field that was more personal and client-focused. I enjoy face-to-face interactions and assisting individuals in navigating their issues. Employment law is diverse, encompassing both individual and corporate clients, which adds to the variety of work I encounter.

The thing that motivates me most is… Making a positive impact and adding value. I am most motivated when I achieve successful outcomes for my clients and they are satisfied with the results. It's about helping people and making a difference if I can.

The work achievement I'm most proud of is… While I cannot pinpoint a single specific matter, my resilience and dedication stand out. Having been with Taylor Vinters for an extended period and now at Mishcon, I take pride in my commitment. This is underpinned by a passion for my work, focusing on areas that drive me and collaborating with entrepreneurially minded individuals, both colleagues and clients, who are leaders in their fields and involved in cutting-edge projects.

The thing that makes Cambridge such a hub of innovation is… Cambridge is a melting pot of innovation, with some of the most exciting technologies and sciences being researched, developed and commercialised here. Coupled with that is a supportive ecosystem of entrepreneurs, enablers and collaborators. It's an exhilarating place to be, at the forefront of new technologies and insights, and playing a crucial role in scaling these innovations.

One opportunity from the merger is… The merger has expanded the breadth of expertise available to our innovation clients. For instance, our regulatory capabilities in healthcare have been a significant advantage. I've worked closely with Future, the Competition team, reputation and risk team and other aligned areas of the firm, which has enabled us to support clients holistically, throughout their entire lifecycle.

Somebody that has inspired me during my career is… Choosing one person is difficult as I've had several sources of inspiration, including professional mentors like Christine Berry and Roger James. However, my family is my cliché yet genuine answer. They have been an incredible support network, having supported me throughout my life's journey after moving to this country and their drive to try new things has inspired me to challenge myself throughout my career.

One thing I wish I knew when I started my career is… The importance of discerning what to prioritise and what to let go of. Starting out, it's easy to worry about everything, but over time, you learn to identify what truly matters. This discernment has made me a better advisor to my clients, allowing me to be pragmatic and focus on the issues of significance.

One future trend in my practice area is… The deepening talent challenge is becoming an even greater motivator to provide the right support. Talent today is driven by different factors, presenting an opportunity for businesses to rethink how they attract, incentivise, and retain the best people. With good talent being scarcer than ever, it's crucial for emerging and fast growth scaling businesses to consider the most effective strategies for leveraging the best talent.

The one thing you don't know about me is... One of my all-time favourite experiences is skydiving. As a bit of joke, my husband gifted me a skydive for my birthday, and despite my initial – huge – reluctance to indulge, it turned out to be one of the best experiences I've ever had!

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