60 seconds with Barbara Corbett

14th February 2024
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Image: Advocate Barbara Corbett

You can find Barbara Corbett's 60 second interview with Citywealth here: Leaders List interview: 60 seconds with Barbara Corbett (citywealthmag.com) You do need an account to log in to read the interview in full so here are some highlights: 

What does a typical day look like for you?

I swim before work and get to the office around 8.40am in time for the first coffee of the day. Depending on whether I am in court or have appointments with clients my days aren’t really the same two days in a row.

Tell us about some recent, interesting client instructions you have received.

I am involved in several complex cases at present, ranging from a care case where the court need to decide if two children can return home to their parents after being in care for over a year to two very different multi-million pound financial remedy cases. It is interesting to see the similarities and differences across such a wide variety of cases. Some wealthy people can be extremely generous and thoughtful when separating and some can be incredibly mean. In one case where there is around £50 million at stake, the husband refused to allow his wife to use the joint account to pay for Christmas presents and even made her repay £8.35 for a sandwich and coffee she had bought! 

What challenges are your clients facing currently and how are you helping your clients to overcome them?

One of the biggest challenges for couples divorcing and wanting to move on, is the difficulty there is currently in selling property. With houses being on the market for years at a time, it is very hard for people to move on with their lives if they have to carry on living in the same house, because it just isn’t selling. 

What is your proudest professional achievement?

Qualifying as a Jersey advocate, in 2010 is still the stand-out moment of my professional life. As any Jersey lawyer will tell you, the Jersey advocates’ exams are the hardest exams you will ever take…and you take them while working full-time in an extremely demanding job!

What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?

Listening! We have an open plan office and a very friendly and approachable team. We discuss work, the pressures of the job, home life, future plans, challenges we face and the things we enjoy best. Listening to what my colleagues would like to do, what is stressful for them and what would help them fulfil their ambitions means that I and my partner Nick, can ensure that everyone gets the chance to play to their strengths. As a result of listening to what people need to maintain a good work life balance, Nick and I introduced a four-day week for everyone in the firm. We all get one day off each week but salaries have stayed the same. We started it as a pilot last June and it is now our permanent regime. This gives everyone a chance to have time to study, exercise, spend more time with children and grandchildren or simply to chill! We still open the office every day and of course cover all our court hearings.

Who do you most admire and why?

I especially admire people who are successful in their chosen life-plans, whether that means they make money or not, but who are also kind and supportive to those around them. .

Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure?

London. I took my 4 year old granddaughter there for the last few days of the Christmas holidays while her mother returned to work. We visited playgrounds and museums and had adventures!

If you weren’t in this industry, what else might you be doing?

I started my working life as a journalist. I might still be doing that.

How do you relax after a long day?

Dinner with my husband followed by reading a good novel, then an early night.


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