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Practice director achieves impressive GDL distinction

We’re delighted to announce that our Practice Director, Frances Di Pierri, has completed a career progression milestone – and with flying colours. Frances, who is the 4th generation of the Adcock family to work for the company, took a two year sabbatical to complete her Graduate Diploma in Law, or GDL, and she not only passed, but achieved an impressive distinction as well. The 36-year-old, who is the daughter of our senior director Mark Adcock, decided to make the leap to become a semi-mature student following 10 years of working at our Lichfield practice.

Increased knowledge of leasehold reform

As well as progressing her career, the GDL also allowed Frances to further advance her knowledge in one of our specialist areas of Leasehold Reform, as her second year project focused on the proposed changes to Leasehold Reform law to help to balance the rights of both freeholders and leaseholders, and to make the law more coherent and fairer.

But completing her studies wasn’t without its challenges and distractions.

For Frances had to juggle life as mum to four-year-old daughter Elena, moving into and converting a new family home, dealing with the added complications of a pandemic and lockdown, as well as weekly deadlines for tutorial work, written coursework, and completing several exams.

Proud to have achieved a distinction

A keen runner, Frances said: “The GDL was very demanding and incredibly challenging.

“Keeping up with a regular exercise routine certainly helped me to stay focused and on track. But it was an excellent course and I feel much better for doing it.

“I didn’t find it particularly difficult learning new law, in fact I found it both incredibly interesting and insightful.

“But I did have masses of reading to do every week, with hundreds of cases to examine and memorise for the exams, which was particularly difficult and demanding, especially whilst juggling home life too!

“So, I’m very pleased and very proud to have gotten through it all. I enjoyed all the time I was able to spend learning about the law in different areas.

“Law is in my blood, and is most definitely my raison d’etre!”

But will it be a case of like mother like daughter?

As well as wanting to progress her career, Frances, whose husband Dario is our accounts manager, had another reason for completing the course – to inspire her daughter.

“Aside from my desire to progress my legal career, and getting the best grade possible, my other reason for embarking on the course was to inspire my daughter,” added Frances. “She’s super smart for her age and understands what I’ve been studying.

“I’m keen for her to learn that it is possible to be a mummy and progress in your career, and so as she gets older, I’m also keen for her to know that the effort we put in, pays off in the end, and may  inspire her to do the same.

“Perhaps one day she will also follow in the family tradition of law – she certainly likes to stick to the rules of the house – like always making sure we wash hands when we arrive home!

“She is showing other good prospects of being an excellent lawyer too – provided she is prepared to give up her dreams of becoming Santa’s little helper!”

Frances, who also achieved a first class honours degree in contemporary applied arts and previously taught at Birmingham’s Matthew Boulton College, passed her GDL modules of Public law, Tort, EU Law, Land, Equity and Trusts with a distinction and Contract and Criminal law with a merit.

She is now enjoying being back as part of the Lichfield team again on a daily basis and is planning to pursue her fee earning work further and to train alongside the practice solicitors.




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