Danielle studied lawat university because it seemed like a natural route, combining her enjoyment of problem-solving and her flair for the humanities. She took the decision to develop her interest in ideas of justice, particularly overseas justice, by undertaking amaster’s in criminal lawand international human rights. “It was a fantastic opportunity to explore the academic side of the aspects of lawwhich really interestedme, without any kind of restriction and under the guidance of experts,” she says, describing the direct link between her studies and current practice. “I did a lot of research on the evolving evidential burdens in sexual offence trials and international and comparative law. I have been able to put that into practice because of my current work in extradition cases, which frequently raise arguments as to the ability of countries to guarantee or safeguard a requested person’s fundamental human rights.” No two cases are the same Fraud, general crime and extradition are Danielle’s specialisms, which reflect the niche expertiseCorker Binning is known for. Her work involves not only complex issues surrounding often politicallymotivated extradition and INTERPOL cases, but also rape trials andwork with young people accused of possessing indecent images, or sexting. “It’s the variety of myworkwhichmakes it exciting,” saysDanielle, citing a specific case fromher time as a trainee that stands out as a particular career highlight: “I worked on a large bribery and corruption trial involving aUKcompany and its executives accused of paying bribes in order to obtain contracts overseas. We represented one of the company’s directors and I was lucky to be able to assist in preparing the case aswell as attending court every day during trial. It was so valuable to get involved in such a complex case at an early stage inmy career. Best of all, our client was acquitted.” Danielle’s advice to trainees is to challenge themselves in theway shewas challenged during her period of training at Corker Binning:
Criminal solicitors advise and appear in court on behalf of both accused persons and the prosecution, handling the full spectrum of offences, fromminor motoring misdemeanours to more serious crimes, including murder. They deal with all aspects of the criminal justice system, from the initial police interview to trial before the court. “Being a criminal solicitor can feel a bit like being a doctor,” says Danielle Reece- Greenhalgh, senior associate at criminal firm Corker Binning. “We spend a lot of time working to fix people’s problems, which is hugely rewarding, but sometimes our most important role is to guide individuals through a series of often unpalatable choices. There’s no doubting that it’s a fundamentally difficult job – if it was easy, there would be something wrong.” Danielle goes on to explain how criminal solicitors engage with clients at often the most difficult time of their lives: “You have to be realistic. Sometimes it is possible to find a route through the situation, but at other times we have to help a client come to terms with a prison sentence or other kind of life- changing consequence.” Thinking on your feet For Danielle, the choice of barrister or solicitor was a tempting but ultimately clear decision. As she explains: “There’s undoubtedly something extremely attractive about the opportunity to be involved in the advocacy and the excitement of a trial environment as a barrister, but I’ve always been attracted to getting to know a case fully and building relationships. I really enjoy that initial contact with a client, often when they are at – or about to go to – a police station. You have very little information at this point and need to think on your feet, providing advice which can have serious strategic implications further down the line.” It is this ability to connect with people and think tactically in a short amount of time that Danielle refers to as a source of real satisfaction.
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