Susan Monty reflects on relaunching her career after time out.

Becoming a partner and head of department at 54 was definitely not part of my career plan, even five years ago.

Tennis lessons, dabbling in garden design, and a part-time job in a small London law firm, which rarely encroached on my ‘real life’ outside of the office, had been my lifestyle since I returned to work after having my family.

I followed the fairly conventional path of the ambitious female lawyer who qualified in the 1980s, when larger City firms were opening their doors to women in increasing numbers. After a few years at magic circle firms as a commercial litigator, specialising in high-value fraud work, I was tripping my way up the career ladder to make partnership: but three babies in four years scuppered those plans, at least temporarily.