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Meet the Team – Emma Oakley

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Our Meet the Team series continues with Emma Oakley, BHP’s Director of Risk and Forensic Services. The nature of Emma’s role means that there’s never a dull day in BHP’s Forensics team! Read on to find out more about Emma’s fascinating work and what she likes to do in her spare time – whether it’s watching a true crime documentary or enjoying good food and company.

How long have you worked at BHP?

I joined BHP in June 2018, so just over four and a half years.

What attracted you to the firm? 

It is a really warm, friendly and welcoming firm with a great entrepreneurial way of working, just like many of our clients. At BHP, there is a real emphasis on looking after and valuing our staff as well as our clients – they genuinely care!  We all take pride in the business, striving to deliver on quality and client service.  For me, BHP is in a unique position and offers the best of all worlds by delivering quality client service at a personal level.

What does a typical day at work look like for you? 

One thing I love about my work is that there’s no such thing as typical day! BHP is great at allowing the freedom of flexible working (although Covid taught me that I much prefer to work in an office environment!). Due to the nature of my work as a Risk and Forensics Director, there’s never a dull day! It often includes:

  • talking and listening to clients and helping to solve their problems;
  • reviewing, scrutinising and critically analysing case documentation;
  • technically thinking, discussing and strategising through the case with colleagues;
  • or writing a report.

How has BHP helped you in your career so far? 

They have supported and invested in my development, both from a technical point of view and on a personal level. One of the reasons why I joined BHP was to broaden my Forensics skillset and, so far, every day has been a school day! Technically, I’ve had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of the legal procedural rules and processes that govern the Expert Witness work we do, and I’ve strengthened my professional network both internally and externally. I’ve also completed a unique in-depth leadership development course, which has been invaluable from both a work and personal perspective.

What are your highlights and key achievements? 

A big achievement for me was getting promoted to Director in April 2021. Some of my biggest highlights looking back were also some of the biggest challenges at the time. Due to the nature of my work, I can work on some challenging and unique projects which naturally bring both highs and lows.  I’ve recently had two complex and longstanding cases reach a favourable conclusion, which produces a great feeling of satisfaction and achievement!

What or who inspires you at work? 

At BHP there are some brilliant women who inspire me in many different ways. Lisa Leighton, our Joint Managing Partner, leads the firm with passion and integrity, and is very open, honest and genuine while being warm, friendly and personable. I’m also inspired by the new wave of “Gen Z” women starting out in the business. They have a refreshing attitude to work and life, and are determined and driven. They are confident in their abilities and know their worth – empowerment at its best!

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for a role at BHP?

In the words of a famous sporting brand – Just do it!  I genuinely believe that it is an amazing place to work, you will not regret it. What do you have to lose?

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like to go out with friends for good food and good company. I also have regular PT sessions, although ‘enjoy’ is probably a stretch…

What do you prefer? A TV series or a film? And which genre do you prefer?

Hmmmm…. This completely depends on my mood! However, I do love a good crime/police drama, true crime documentary, or easy watching cheesy rom com!

If you could host a celebrity dinner, who would you invite? 

Number one has got to be David Attenborough (isn’t he everyone’s no.1 choice?). Then probably Robbie Williams or Ed Sheeran (whoever was free) for some entertainment, the Hairy Bikers to cook, Nadiya Hussain to bake, and… let’s add Jimmy Carr for a laugh.

What is your favourite type of cuisine and why? 

That’s a tough one! I love most foods, but if I had to pick one, it’d be Italian – you can never go wrong with pasta or pizza!

What type of holiday do you prefer? Beach, active or city break? 

Definitely a beach holiday! I think that life can be so hectic at times that it’s nice to just slow down, put the brakes on and put your feet up.

If you weren’t in your current role, what would be your dream job?

That’s another difficult one… When I was growing up I either wanted to be a marine biologist (which in hindsight wasn’t a great idea as I get seasick), or a criminal psychologist! I did A-level Psychology and really enjoy understanding behaviours and what makes people tick, so it would probably be something along those lines. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a Netflix true crime series?!