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Focus on… Bal Manak

20 Jul 17
Bal promotion
Associate Solicitor in the Construction team

  • Describe your role at Watson Burton

I specialise in non-contentious construction advice, such as reviewing, drafting and negotiating a wide variety of construction contracts, to ensure clients are entering into agreements which are not onerous or leaving them open to litigation.

  • What do you find the most exciting aspect of your job? 

Quite often, I get involved in the early stages of a project, when the parties first come together and, ideally, before ground has been broken.  For me, it is really rewarding to be involved in a project from the outset and watch it come to life. Working to achieve the best outcome for my client is where I get my job satisfaction.

  • What trends are you noticing in the construction industry?

The industry is for-ever changing. I am seeing an increase in the use of design & build contracts, as employers seek to shift more risk onto contractors. Also there is a greater use of Framework Agreements and a movement towards embracing BIM in projects. There is also a greater emphasis on competitive pricing and recognition of the need to embrace information technology to improve productivity and communication streams.  Although collaboration appears to be the buzz word at the moment and a number of contracts emphasise the importance of collaboration or partnering, I have yet to see the real impact of this, particularly in the private sector, but I imagine this will change in the coming months.

  • What has been your career highlight so far (at Watson Burton)?

I would definitely say that my career highlight so far was my promotion to Associate.  The promotion has allowed me to develop my own client base, make decisions on the management of these accounts and allowed me to develop services which respond to the needs of our clients and is supportive of their goals.  For example, we have implemented a contract review service which provides clients with financial certainty over their annual legal spend and provides a comprehensive and ready-friendly report on onerous terms that pose a risk to their business.

  • What would have been your second career choice?

When I was deciding which subject to study for my degree, I was initially really keen to study psychology.  But the lack of a science A-level meant it was difficult to secure a place in one of the top 5 universities.  It was at that point that I had to have a bit of a re-think and decided that I would pursue a degree in law. I have never looked back!

  • How do you spend your leisure time (e.g. hobbies, volunteer work, sports etc.)?

I am a committee member for the National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC) so I quite often organise regional events and attend meetings in that capacity.  I try to squeeze in regular gym sessions around my work and home commitments, although like most people, I am more committed to this in the run up to a holiday!  The rest of my free time is spent relaxing with my family. If you can relax with two children under the age of 8!



Bal Manak | Associate

0345 901 0929