31 July 2023

I have been at Burges Salmon for just over five months, and I remember that initial trepidation of starting at a firm. This is a feeling that I have experienced several times over the last few years. You wonder whether a company will accept the person you are. As someone on the autistic spectrum, this is especially important to me. There have been plenty of times where I have been in a company, and I have felt uncomfortable working there, because of the feeling that employers were unable to understand how I work.

When I accepted the offer from Burges Salmon, there was that initial doubt in my mind again, thinking that it would be another company that would not be able to support me, or it would be my own failings that would hold me back.

I was fortunate to be invited to view One Glass Wharf before I started, to meet with my manager, and to see the kind of environment I would be working in. The first time I went into One Glass Wharf, the general feelings of anxiety came over me. The tight knot in my stomach, increased breathing, sweaty hands, knees buckling etc. However, the very early impression I got was that I finally had a supervisor that empathised with the struggles I have and seemed to understand the kind of support I needed. I also saw the supportive environment the office provided to all its employees. I then got to meet the most kind, generous, and warm-hearted team you are ever likely to meet, who respect the person I am, and are willing to help any of their fellow colleagues through any struggle they may have.

After five months, I can safely say that Burges Salmon is by far the best company I have ever worked for. And earlier this month, I was proud to take part in the events surrounding Disability Pride Week.

The theme of the week was to encourage and empower conversation, and the first main event of the week was the ‘Let’s Talk Disability’ talk by Esi Hardy from Celebrating Disability. Her talk covered the diversity of disability, the importance of language and how people can be empowered talking about disability when asked the appropriate questions, and how disability can be so unique even when people have the same conditions. I learned a lot myself during this talk about how to make people feel more inclusive no matter who you are or where you come from.

The other major event that took place was a panel discussion Jemma Ellis (Paralegal), Ben Tambling (Solicitor), Amy Davies (Senior Associate), and I. This was to discuss what effect disability has on our personal and professional life. I was touched to hear stories from my fellow panel members, and proud to see how well Burges Salmon had supported each of them. The one theme that was picked up from this conversation was the importance of carers to people with severe disabilities and illnesses, which is something that some members of the firm experience on a day-to-day basis.

The BEnabled coffee morning also took place during the week; a monthly event to get everyone from the group together to socialise. Overall, I think Pride Week was a great success for everyone involved – I especially continued to see the great work the business does to make their employees feel welcome. I hope events like these continue in the future, because equality for everyone can only be achieved by celebrating all individuals, no matter how different we all are.

Thank you, Burges Salmon, for everything you have done for me so far. You have no idea how much it means to me.


For further information on BEnabled and the firm’s other diversity and inclusion networks, please visit our careers pages here.

For more information on the firm’s approach to inclusion, please visit our career pages here.

Written by Adam Barker.


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Amy Davies

Amy Davies Senior Associate

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