Get to know Clare Burnard, Secerna Executive Assistant/Office Manager

November 2020

Get to know Clare Burnard, Secerna Executive Assistant/Office Manager

What led you to a career in IP law at Secerna?

Over my working life, I’ve worked in a variety of different industries. I started with a career in travel (spending 12 years with a local firm) before moving to York and working in retail. I then moved to London and worked for a financial company dealing in Unit Trusts and ISAs before moving back to York. It was this point that I began working for a solicitor in the Wills and Trusts department. Following this I then worked for a different company in York firstly in Conveyancing, then in Wills and then for the Charities department. From there, I moved to Secerna.

What brought you to Secerna?

I was led, more than anything else. Someone I know contacted me and invited me for a coffee. It was there that they described Secerna to me. The company was relatively young at the time, but it sounded interesting so I met with the Partners, Jason and Charlotte. They really impressed me with their enthusiasm, how down to earth they are and their vision for the company. The rest is history, I have been with Secerna for 7 years now and I really feel that I’ve found my forever job here.

What is the role of the Executive Team at Secerna?

The four of us are a close-knit team and we’re here to support the Trainees, Formalities Group, Senior Associates and Partners with anything that they need, be it booking travel and accommodation, typing letters, completing forms, or dealing with finance. I probably draw the line at doing their food shopping though!

What is the best thing about your job?

The variety. Every day is different and you never know what jobs are going to come in that day. I cannot wait to get to my desk in the morning and start the day.

What does a typical day look like?

It starts by heading to the kitchen to turn the kettle on, swiftly followed by giving my plant, “Dave”, a water. Once he has had a drink, I’ll check for any phone messages that have come in overnight and look through the diary for who to expect in the office that day, who is on holiday, and for any work that I can expect to come across my desk that day. Whilst having a drink, I reconcile the banking, check emails and make a list of tasks that I want to get done before the end of the day.

Once the day is up and running, I’ll type draft letters for the attorneys/trainees and, once approved, get them ready for posting out. I’ll also make time to help deal with any HR related tasks that need my attention.

I also assist our marketing and PR teams with any tasks that they may have, such as co-ordinating posting articles on the website or ensuring that mailing lists are up-to-date.

What advice would you give someone considering a career in IP?

Go for it! It’s such an interesting area to work in and it really is fantastic to follow someone’s journey through the life of their patent.

What interests you outside work?

Reading is my passion, I love getting lost in a book. I love an adventure, so enjoy exploring cities, visiting exhibitions and going to the ballet. I’m one of seven children, so – when we can - we all try to meet up and spend time together as much as possible, often exploring a National Trust property.

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