Staff proﬁles: Legal eye on Sarah Walkden
Name: Sarah Walkden
Position: Assistant Solicitor
Main responsibilities and daily duties?
I assist the Head of Department and Firm’s Chairman as well as other Assistant Solicitors in the Commercial Property department on various different transactions and matters such as the sale / purchase of a property at auction, assignments of leases, preparation of Deeds of Easements / Covenants, transfers of properties between trustees, reports on title, and applications for adverse possession. My responsibilities and duties are varied and differ from day to day.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in law?
I originally wanted to be a PE teacher / outdoor pursuits instructor but unfortunately I was not able to study the required course at college to pursue that career. At the college Open Day my future law lecturer suggested that I study A-level Law which I reluctantly agreed to at the time. However, I have not looked back since!
If you were not in this job, what would you be doing?
I would be up a mountain or down a stream somewhere leading the public on outdoor expeditions.
What changes would you like to see happen in the law in the next 10-20 years?
The law in relation to easements, covenants and Profit a Prendre (rights and obligations that govern the relationships between plots of land in different ownership) is complex and the need for comprehensive reform is long overdue.
On 8 June 2011 the Law Commission published its Report “Making Land Work: Easements, Covenants and Profits a Prendre which suggests modernising and simplifying the law by removing anomalies, inconsistencies and unnecessary complications where they exist. The reforms will make it easier for landowners to know what rights and obligations attach to the land and make it easier to create, modify and extinguish those rights and obligations.
On 7 February 2017 Government announced in the Housing White Paper that: “The Government also intends to simplify the current restrictive covenant regime by implementing the Law Commission’s recommendations for reform and will publish a draft Bill for consultation as announced in the Queens Speech“.
This supplemented the earlier announcement on 18 May 2016 that Government intended to bring forward proposals in a draft Law of Property Bill to respond to the Commission’s recommendations.
The Law Commission is assisting Government with the preparation
of the draft bill.
Hobbies / what do you like doing in your spare time?
I love hiking across the Great British countryside with my partner or jumping in our kayaks for the day stopping off for a picnic, whilst taking in all the beautiful views our country has to offer.