Profile: 10 questions in 10 minutes with Ian Ratcliff

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Profile: 10 questions in 10 minutes with Ian Ratcliff


What do you do at SRL and in what circumstances would I come to you for something?

I’m a Senior Solicitor at SRL.  I work mainly in the area of environmental, planning and local government law. If you need advice about problems such as the powers of a local council, the lawfulness of works on your (or your neighbour’s) land, or how to protect the biodiversity on your land, you might make contact with me. Sometimes disputes have already reached the stage where a Court hearing is necessary and I have plenty of experience in helping clients through that process.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

If I need to focus, then what works for me is a cup of tea (English stereotype), classical music in the background and turning off the email!

What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on?

Alternative Dispute Resolution is an important step in most legal processes. I’m currently working on improving my skills and experience in the process of mediation.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had, and what did you learn from it? 

Back up important documents! In my first law firm, there were 3 types of documents. Anything other than precedents disappeared from the system after a period of time. To my horror, I realised on holiday that a large project had been saved as the wrong type of document … one day too late.  A lot of weekend work followed. I have not made a similar mistake again.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I tend towards the Early Bird, although I, like most lawyers, sometimes just have to get those documents completed the wrong side of midnight.

How do you prefer to end your day? 

It’s great when I can end my professional day by ticking off the day’s tasks as complete. If I have excess time, it’s good to catch up on the latest key judgments or what is happening on LinkedIn.

What’s your favourite sport to watch and which team do you root for?

Football (Soccer) and West Ham United. I’ve been following them since the 1980 FA Cup Final – which is pretty much the last time they won anything, but there’s always hope.

What’s one of your favorite memories from the past year?

I’ve recently been to Lord Howe Island.  It’s an incredible place in so many ways. Climbing Mt Gower in the rain and the mud was actually an amazing experience

What’s something—big or small—that you’re really bad at?

Dancing. I love music, I’ve sung in choirs for years. But when it comes to dancing … it’s just not my skill set.

What’s something—big or small—that you’re really good at?

Reading aloud. I think I could have an alternative career, narrating audiobooks. Of course, this does help with the advocacy skills too.

Need help with a development, property, local government, environment or planning legal issue? Get in touch today.