Yodel’s Legal Director, Lyndsey Taylor
Yodel’s Legal Director, Lyndsey Taylor trained as a lawyer by working in-house. She talks to Miguel about what attracted her to the parcel carrier business, and outlines some of the things that have influenced and shaped her in-house legal career to date.
Our interview with Lyndsey is the latest in Florit Legal’s In-house Legal Journeys® series.
Tell us more about your company.
UK independent parcel carrier, Yodel, handles over 190 million parcels every year and has a relationship with 85 per cent of the UK’s top retailers.
The company is headquartered in Liverpool and has over 50 locations across the UK, including three central sorts and over 47 customer delivery depots.
What factors drew you to Yodel and why is it a good place to work from your perspective as Legal Director?
Initially I was attracted by the people. I had a few connections at Yodel due to people moving from Yodel’s sister company ‘The Very Group’ to Yodel and I was interested in what they told me about where Yodel was in its journey and its plans for the future, and I was eager to be a part of it.
First and foremost, it’s a great place to work, because of my team. I’ve been fortunate enough to bring on board a new team and they are brilliant! We get through a lot of work but also have a bit of fun on the way.
I have great access to the board who make decisions quickly, which then allows me and my team to get stuff done and progress matters at pace. No two days are ever the same which makes it all very interesting and full of fresh challenges.
Finally, Yodel is very inclusive and I’m proud to work for an organisation that has such a diverse workforce.
How has Yodel developed in your time there so far?
Yodel is on an incredible transformation journey. Since I have joined, it has continued to grow and develop its final mile solutions through technology and operational innovations.
Over the past 18 months, investment in our customer experience has been a key focus and all delivered parcels are now photographed as proof of delivery and we have improved and re-launched the “Yodel Parcel Tracker App”. The upgraded app allows customers to track their deliveries, set default delivery preferences via My Account or choose from one of seven inflight delivery options, including divert to store, should the customer be out of their home.
Now is the perfect time to join Yodel, we’re on an exciting transformational journey and now is the time to make a difference and shape its future.
How have they helped you in your role?
Yodel have been very supportive in terms of setting my legal team up. Across the business it was recognised that we needed more resource and I have been able to grow my team accordingly. We’re still a small team but we are now able to support the business a lot more effectively.
I’ve also had lots of support in terms of understanding the business and being welcomed to the Yodel family. It’s a fast-paced operation, but they have always made the time to talk to me and explain matters, particularly being new to the organisation.
What have been the highlights so far?
Recruiting a dynamic team of lawyers who are eager to move Yodel forward. I was able to pick my team, so it was good to have people who know what we want to achieve and bring about fresh ideas. We’ve got some challenging times ahead in terms of setting ourselves up for success, but I know we can do it. I’m offered the right level of support to do my role the way that I think best suits Yodel and my input as Legal Director is valued.
How did you originally get into the profession yourself?
I always wanted to become a lawyer from an early age. I’ve always enjoyed negotiating and resolving issues, so it felt like the obvious path to take. I started my legal career working in-house and never looked back. I’ve always enjoyed the autonomy I was given even at a junior stage in my career and I really loved getting to grips with a business so that I could offer more than just legal advice. I genuinely enjoy my job and feel like I can make a difference.
Who’s been the biggest influence to you professionally and what’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received along the way?
“Go with your gut instinct’’ said Mike McClenan, my old boss at The Very Group. Mike has and still does support my career development. He gave me lots of career advice during my time there and I’m grateful for the opportunities he gave me.
Looking back, what practical advice would you give to someone looking to join the legal profession?
Get plenty of experience in the different areas that you are eager to work in. The theoretical side of law which you learn during your degree or PGDL is very different to the practicalities of doing the job.
What do you get up to outside work?
I spend most of my spare time running my children around from one activity to the other which I do enjoy watching. Luckily for me they are interested in football and share my love of Manchester United. I also play netball and go to the gym when I can.
How was lockdown for you, and for Yodel?
Lockdown was an extremely busy time for Yodel with the public relying heavily on online deliveries. For me personally, I was surprised that I enjoyed that life (outside of work), slowed down for a period of time and it wasn’t about rushing from one place to the next. I had more time for exercise and I was the fittest I’d been in a long time during the first few lockdowns. My partner was furloughed so he looked after the children whilst I “pretended” to go to work each day and hid upstairs. My children were 4 and 2 at the time so too young to understand that they couldn’t disturb me. It was much easier to pretend to them that I was at work and just make a quick phone call when I wanted a brew or my lunch bringing up.
What song was No1 when you qualified?
Lady Gaga, featuring Beyonce “Telephone”. Two inspirational women – I’ll take that!
What was your first non-legal job?
I was a papergirl in my local area, Clifton in Salford, up until I was about 15 and I then worked on a fruit and veg stall in Ramsbottom
Who would you most like to get stuck in a lift with?
I’d most like to get stuck in a lift with a comedian, maybe Peter Kay, so he could make light of the situation. I’d ask him all about how he created Phoenix Nights, one of my favourite TV shows ever.
Any guilty pleasures?
I love a bit of reality TV. Selling Sunset is one of my favourites as I love looking at all the amazing houses.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve read recently?
The only book I have read this year but nonetheless it was interesting is ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men’ by Caroline Criado-Perez.
Favourite film or book?
Cool Runnings, I loved that film as a child and it still makes me laugh today.
To Kill a Mockingbird was one of the first books I read with real meaning. Despite dealing with very serious issues, it has a real warmth about it which stayed with me for a long time.
I love the Fitbit that my 5 year old son has. I always knew he was active but I’m amazed with how many steps he does in a day. He absolutely puts me to shame.
Favourite holiday destination so far, and where next?
Sri Lanka is my favourite holiday destination. I loved the people, the food and everything about it. I’d love to take my children there one day.
And your default tipple…?
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