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Kate Rayner Share your story

Kate Rayner, English 1991


After achieving my English degree from the University of Reading, I went on to work in the legal industry at a firm of solicitors and decided to retrain and study Law.  I qualified in 1997 and was made Partner in 2000.  Now working for Stowe Family Law, the UK’s largest specialist family law firm, I am the Managing Partner of the firm’s Hale team of expert family lawyers.

As a family lawyer in Cheshire, I specialise in all areas relating to family law including, divorce settlements, cohabitation agreements and matter involving children. However, I have a particular interest in medium to high net worth financial cases, including many clients with a net worth in excess of £5 million. 

I decided to retrain to become a solicitor as I wanted to help people going through difficult situations. My career has allowed me to experience a very varied caseload as each client has different needs.

I am very passionate about being a family lawyer and thoroughly enjoy the challenges that the role presents and I am keen to contribute towards the expansion of the firm.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

Although I went to Reading to read German, it gave me the opportunity to study 3 different subjects before deciding on my degree course. I ended up choosing to study for an English degree which provided me with some fundamental tools for completing a conversion course into law.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

I thoroughly enjoyed the years that I spent at the university and I chose a campus based university which felt supportive and familiar, far enough away from home but close to London to enjoy the cultural and social opportunities it offered.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Enjoy your studies and make the most of the opportunities it offers. The time goes very quickly so always think about your future and where it will lead you. You will make some great friends at university so enjoy your time there as the years will go quickly.

Try to get as much work experience with law firms as possible as it will definitely work in your favour when it comes to applying for your training contract.

How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path?

Although I completed a conversion course into law, studying for my degree in English at the University of Reading helped as studying for a degree trains you to plan your time and work effectively to deadlines, which is essential in my job. My time at the university also taught me independent thinking and research skills, something that I feel has been essential throughout my career as a family lawyer.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?  

I will always look back on my university days with fondness as it is the only time you get to immerse yourself in something you really enjoy.