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Interview with our London Director – Tara Boyle

November 13, 2020 by in category News with 0 and 1
Home > News > News > Interview with our London Director – Tara Boyle
Tara Boyle Drink Driving Solicitor London

When did you decide you wanted to become a solicitor?

Tara BoyleI was a late bloomer when it came to deciding my career path. I had done well in my GCSE’s but had no idea at that time what I wanted to do. I did various college courses,  at one point thinking teaching may be the path for me and then business studies because it seemed like a “sensible option”. I then decided the police force was my chosen path- maybe I knew law of some sort was in my future,  but not quite as it turned out to be. At the time I was too short to meet the height requirement so plans went on hold and I worked in retail waiting for inspiration. Then a trip to London on a cheap deal found me in a nice hotel I could not usually afford and sat at the bar ( drinking the cheapest wine on the expensive bar menu). The barman pointed out a man at the end of the bar ordering the most expensive whiskey they had that was being paid for on his “ expenses”. I asked who was paying and was told he was a lawyer and his work paid his bill…I had a flash of inspiration – this sounded like just the kind of job I could do, I could stay in nice hotels and run up expenses! So I called my mum and told her my idea, by the time I got home, my very large Irish family had been informed I was going to be a lawyer and well how could I disappoint?! It turns out stays in nice hotels drinking expensive alcohol is not a reality of a criminal lawyer’s life but I wouldn’t change it.

What type of work did you do before you joined Geoffrey Miller Solicitors?

I worked in retail before I went to University at 25, and I loved it. I had a student Saturday job at Sainsbury’s and I stayed there while making my mind up about my future. It was a great experience, it was a great way to learn about customer service, deal with people of all ages and personalities and it gave me confidence to work with people. My training contract was centred around fraud, Crown Court work and prison law and on qualification as a solicitor I moved to motoring law.

What is your career highlight?

Being made a Partner at Geoffrey Miller. It had not been a particular goal of mine but of course we all secretly hope it may happen. I had worked at many firms where I knew even progressing to any senior level would never happen. In other firms it felt like hard work was not what counted when deciding who moved up the ladder. Not so at Geoffrey Millers. I recall telling my parents who were so delighted they just called me The Partner for weeks instead of using my name!

Why do you act for clients in respect of motoring offences?

My background in general crime gave me a sense of feeling strongly that despite what charge someone faced, that a fair process is something everyone is entitled to. I had some brief involvement as a trainee in a very high profile appeal against conviction that was eventually, after many attempts, allowed. The mistakes that had been made in the investigation process could never had led to a fair trial. So when I moved to specialise that sentiment remained, the process has to be fair for the verdict to be in the interests of justice.  The reality about a motoring  offence is that I know that often with no intention people find themselves in what can be life changing trouble,  so to help people keep their life on track with a successful outcome is my way of making my small mark on the world.

What do you find most interesting about defending client’s charged with motor offences?

In 2018 we realised that the most serious cases required a different approach and formed the separate serious prosecutions unit within JS Miller Solicitors. I deal with some of the firm’s most serious cases within this practice and this takes me back to my factual crime days. Of course, some of these cases are very sad for all involved,  but that makes the right outcome all the more important. I have also found working in this area of law that all is not always as it seems,  so there is always something to find, something to learn, something to achieve.

What was the most memorable case you have ever defended and why?

It was an allegation of dangerous driving, a man who had been subject to many burglaries ( of work equipment),  and on return to his home suspected he had come across a further attempt. He followed the person he thought was responsible who was on a bike and while not meaning too, knocked him off his bike. We did suggest to the Crown that a guilty plea would be given if the charge were lowered to one of careless driving but this was refused. This led to a three day trial in the Crown Court and then after lengthy deliberations a hung Jury. The Crown at this stage accepted a plea to careless driving and our client was able to keep his licence and his livelihood which was so important to him it had led to him being before the court in the first place.

Do you prefer to be the driver or the passenger?

The passenger, since I have moved to London where I don’t drive as the transport network is so good, I don’t miss driving at all and so now most definitely a passenger.

If you weren’t a solicitor, what would you be?

I always wondered if I would be a good news reader but I have no idea where that stems from! If I was starting my career again I might try investigative journalism – I think the search for the truth is something that might always have been the focus of my career path.

Do you have a philosophy that you apply to your working life?

Find your inner confidence! I was lucky that I had a job before studying that gave me some real life experience and while at the early stages of my career I made some bad choices due to a lack of confidence in my ability. It was only when I found it that I found the right path and the right firm.

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