Role Models - Amanda Norton

Amanda Norton, Compliance Manager

I am the Compliance Manager at Beale & Co. My role involves ensuring the firm is compliant with regulatory and statutory obligations. This includes advising the firm on SRA requirements, anti-money laundering regulations and data protection rules.

I grew up in the West Midlands with my parents, sister and brother. My father was a dentist and my mother was a trained secretary. My parents got married in 1965 and this is when my mother stopped working in order raise the family.

I attended a local state school up to O-Levels (now GCSEs). When it came to choosing my A-level subjects, I did not really know what career I wanted to pursue. So, instead, I focused on choosing subjects which interested me and these were English, History and Mathematics. I studied these A-Levels at my local 6th form college.

After A-levels I went to Hull University to study a degree in American Studies. This combined literature, history, politics and involved a year studying abroad at an American University. I was lucky enough to go to the University of California which was a really valuable experience, albeit a bit of a culture shock! It felt like a different world as there was no internet or email back then and there were also time delays on the phone lines whenever I called home.

After university, I still did not know what I wanted to do, so I decided to train as a Chartered Accountant at PKF, qualifying in 1996. In 1997, I joined the Law Society as an Investigation Accountant. The team I worked with eventually became part of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”).

After a number of years, and by now a mother of two, I moved to the Regulatory Management team within the SRA, which conducts regulatory oversight of the largest firms. As well as my regulatory work, I wanted to expand my personal development by training in coaching. During my spare time, I completed a training course at Warwick University and qualified in 2016. I found that coaching is a valuable way for me to help others in achieving their goals and reaching their potential.

After 20 years as a Regulator, I decided that it was time for me to move on to a different role. I then applied for the role of Compliance Manager at Beale & Co, joining the firm in June 2018. I wanted to use the regulatory and compliance knowledge I had gained throughout my career and apply it to a private practice law firm.

One of the main reasons why I enjoy working at Beale & Co is because there is a very supportive environment, which is largely due to the people at the firm. Additionally, I really enjoy the international aspect as it creates a whole new dimension to my role. I have had to learn how other jurisdictions operate in order to advise our Dubai and Dublin offices on compliance. Further, the firm has supported my flexible working arrangement with a 4-day working week, and has been hugely supportive as I am now also a carer after my husband suffered an acquired brain injury.

The area of legal compliance is increasingly becoming a specialism in its own right, and I would say to anyone considering a compliance role in a private practice law firm that, no day is ever the same. There are a steady stream of new regulations being introduced which require law firms to constantly adapt. This makes it an incredibly varied, interesting and diverse role.