It was always a bit of a tussle between Devon and London. Teignmouth born Solicitor Advocate Rachel Smith loved her job in London and her ability to support her beloved Chelsea Football club. But she also knew she wanted to return home to her family and her roots in Devon

So she made a decision: instead of the frequent commuting to Devon at weekends to catch up with family and friends, she decided to find the right job in Exeter and travel in reverse to Chelsea matches.

Rachel who’s 29, knew the moment she set foot in Rundlewalker offices on Exeter Quayside, that this was the place to be. She joined the firm earlier this year and already, she says:

“It feels like I’ve been here for absolutely ages. I had a great job in London in an incredibly busy office but I knew I wanted to come back to Devon. It had to be the right job though. I knew the moment I walked in, the atmosphere at Rundlewalker was perfect. It’s small, friendly, and less corporate than so many firms, with the emphasis on retaining clients, by providing the best possible personal service.”

“Of course, in criminal work, you rather hope not to see your clients again, but if you do, well at least you have got to know them and can continue to do your very best for them.”

After graduating in Law from Plymouth University in 2009, Rachel spent eight years at a busy North London Law firm, specialising in criminal defence work as she completed her training. She began as a paralegal, was admitted as a solicitor in 2015 and then quickly obtained her Higher Rights of Audience, which means she can represent her clients both at the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.

Rachel represents clients at police stations for offences ranging from murder to shoplifting with everything in between, appearing regularly at the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts for all types of hearings.

Now she’s back permanently in Devon, the football boot is on the other foot so to speak. In her spare time, she travels back to London and beyond to follow her beloved Chelsea. She’s also a keen runner, joining the Rundlewalker sponsored Straight Eight run from Starcross to her office. She also enjoys a spot of training beside Exeter canal at lunchtimes whenever she can.


Rachel concluded:

“I thought I’d miss the buzz of London, but it’s amazing how Exeter has changed since I moved away. It has so much more to offer now. There’s a really vibrant business community, great shopping, bars and restaurants. It’s great to be back.”

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