Camilla Uppal interviews Matt Gingell, specialist employment lawyer, legal commentator, and founder of Bitesized UK Employment Law, a channel dedicated to summarising different areas of employment law. In this interview, Matt provides insight into his career journey and why he decided to start Bitesized UK Employment Law.
Hi Matt, could you tell us a bit about yourself and why you chose to enter the legal profession?
I have spent my legal career, spanning over 20 years, advising employers and employees on all aspects of employment law. I have worked at a number of law firms, including spending six years at a specialist employment law firm in the City. Recently, I set up my own firm, Lombards www.Lombardslaw.com which was a quite a challenge but exciting, too. I really like the business as well the legal aspect of my work.
Aside from the law, I am a keen traveller with a particular affinity for Brazil (my wife being Brazilian).
When I was 30 I spent a year travelling around South America on my own. When I returned to the U.K. I was still keen to continue in the legal profession, but the trip gave me a broader perspective and I realised that there was a lot more to life than the law.
I am not quite sure why I was attracted to the legal profession. I remember when I was choosing what degree to study a lot of people suggested that I should choose a vocational degree with a clear career path. I wasn’t too good with numbers and so it seemed like a good option! I had fun studying law at UWE Bristol and did my LPC there as well. It was really tough though finding a training contract, afterwards, and eventually I was lucky enough to be taken on by a high street law firm in Mitcham, Surrey. It was there I guess that employment law took a hold. I got a real buzz out of responding to lots of different enquiries and soon had my own employment law caseload. I also liked helping out at a free legal surgery every week.
Being a legal commentator sounds really interesting! What does this involve and how did you get into this line of work?
I think the commentating started when I pitched an article in the Independent on the perils of claiming false expenses at work. I managed to get the article published and then went on to write articles for publications on many different areas of employment law, often tying the law to news stories. I saw that employment law featured heavily in the news, and yet it was hard to find the law being explained in a way that made sense for people. I have really enjoyed the writing and commenting for broadcasters, such as Sky News. I actually find trying to simplify the law quite addictive.
What inspired you to start creating videos?
I wanted to makes employment law more accessible to people, and thought that breaking the law down into bitesized videos would be a good way to do this. Employment law can seem quite complex. However, I believe that making short videos on specific topics, highlighting key points, can make the law clearer.
There is so much information out there, but it is not always easy to find what you are looking for in a digestible format.
What makes your channel different to other employment law channels?
People say that they find my videos engaging and really easy to understand.
I am a big fan of your videos, and I agree with that! Do you think having an online presence is important for all lawyers in 2020?
I think that it is vital. Since the start of the pandemic more and more people have been working remotely, and I believe that when the pandemic is over this way of work will continue for many. With less face-to-face meetings, establishing an online presence will be an essential part of developing new business.
What advice do you have for students who are looking to create a personal brand on social media?
I would say be yourself and don’t get caught up copying exactly what other people are doing.
Put your own personality and style into whatever you do and you can build from there.
And be patient.
You can find Matt’s YouTube Channel here (or by watching the video below) and his website here.