If you are looking for a summary of my education and career to date, this is here: Career at a Glance
More detail is available here:
What is the story of my career so far and how I got there?
I originally studied French and Spanish - then reality took hold and I switched to law. I qualified as a solicitor specialising in employment law and practised for 16 years, mostly advising employers. I was a partner at Pinsent Masons LLP for six years but found managing other people working for clients less interesting than working for the clients myself.
In recent years, there has been increasing client demand for management training and development in how to manage and avoid employment law risk - rather than dealing with situations after they had gone wrong. I am a strong advocate of this more positive approach and over the last 12 years have trained managers and HR teams to approach workplace issues with confidence. This is not just about what the law says - it is about what it means in practice in your context.
Selwyn...really knows his stuff and has an engaging, amusing style that he can tailor to any audience.
Why do I do the work that I do?
For years as a lawyer, I often dealt with situations after they had gone wrong. By this time, the relationship between a manager and employee is likely to be strained or broken. It was difficult to achieve much value for a client in these situations because a legal focus is rarely a satisfactory way of resolving an issue.
With this in mind, since 2004 I have developed a training practice with the aim of helping managers, HR and in-house lawyers avoid the mistakes which can result in disputes. I now no longer practise as a solicitor so that I can focus exclusively on training and complementary consultancy services such as workplace investigations and facilitation. There is still an employment law basis to most of what I do but I focus on what the law requires in practice.
Selwyn is a fantastic designer and deliverer of training in the Employment Law space.
The practical suggestions are drawn from years of talking with clients about their approach to relevant issues - and personal experience managing a team myself. I find it very motivating to help clients proactively with their employment issues and believe there is real value to be added in this way. Even if an employer wants to end a person's employment, the right tactical and practical approach makes it more likely you can strike an acceptable deal.
What clients have I worked with and at what level of the organisation?
I have worked with line managers, senior managers, HR professionals and in-house lawyers at clients in the following sectors:
- financial services;
- professional services;
- further and higher education; and
Selwyn delivered a programme of training to members of our Management Team. Feedback was unanimous that this was the best training programme in a long time.
What is my training and facilitation style?
I promote discussion with a purpose; there is always a practical point to make. My aim is to raise awareness and build confidence to enable people to make better decisions.
What is my most memorable learning experience?
When I was seven years old at primary school, I was in a class of more than 40 children. We had a teacher who even now I can remember did an amazing job of finding time for each of us individually - it felt as if she was encouraging you personally and made you want to learn.
What is my favourite business book?
"Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman
What random fact about myself do I reveal in ice-breakers?
My specialist subject in quizzes is 80s pop music - I seem to have spent the entire decade listening to the radio.