“Remember you are still learning every single day and that it is a small world!”

Published on 13th March 2018

Our latest WISH Lister Melanie Dirom is a Partner and Head of Housing Management at specialist housing and regeneration law firm, Croftons Solicitors. She works closely with social housing providers, supporting them with a range of contentious housing and tenancy enforcement issues and disputes such as anti-social behaviour, disrepair, and rent arrears. She also proactively support clients to develop tenancy agreements and housing management strategy and policy in order to improve services and reduce their exposure to legal challenge.

After studying Law at Sheffield University Melanie completed her training at Scott Duff and Co, and then worked at BLM and Brabners before joining Croftons to set up their new housing and leasehold management department in 2012.

“I’m really proud to have built a high-performing team of specialist housing lawyers who are genuinely passionate about our clients in the sector”.


If you weren’t in your current role what would you be doing?

I often think I should have been a social worker but then I get a reality check and think I should have been a florist.


What was your first ever job?

Working in a bakery shop in my village every Saturday morning earning £1.60 per hour. Started at 7am and finished at 12.45pm


How did you end up working in housing/construction?

The firm where I did my Training Contract had a housing legal aid franchise so I fell into it.


What’s on your list of things still to achieve in your life/career?

I’ve never had a case go to the Court of Appeal so for a lawyer, that would be something good to do, but from a client point, they will obviously want to keep out of the Court of Appeal.


Which 3 people living or dead have influenced you most in your life?

The cast of “This Life”. The show was screened whilst I was studying for my Law degree and I loved them all. Of course, life in the legal world is nothing like that but I was beyond impressed with all of them.


What’s the superpower you would most like to have?

Instant travel. No need to commute to work or travel anywhere. Press a button and simply appear at the required destination.


What are the qualities that you most admire in others?

Those who work full time and have family commitments. How they manage, I do not know!


What’s on your desk at the moment?

Empty cup, empty water bottle, hand cream, stapler and highlighter pen.


What would be your perfect day away from work?

Morning of hot yoga, lunch with friends followed by a manicure.


What’s the best thing about your job?

Working closely with RPs and getting to know their organisation and how it works. I love building up a rapport with my clients so they have the confidence to ask anything and know they are in safe hands


What was your worst mistake and what did you learn from it?

As a Trainee I filed a Notice of Discontinuance on instruction from a client a few days before trial. I had failed to appreciate the costs consequence. We were able to negotiate it and all was good in the end but I learnt very quickly from my mistake and never filed a Notice of Discontinuance again!


What single thing would make your life easier?

Instant travel super power.


Which 3 celebrities/politicians would you not want to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Ronan Keating – I hear him on the radio most mornings and he annoys the life out of me.

Phillip Schofield – his laugh makes me shudder.

Diane Abbott MP – I don’t believe a word she says. She would be giving false updates about the lift repair.


What tips do you have for being successful?

Remember you are still learning every single day and that it is a small world! Never fall out with anyone professionally as it will come back around eventually.

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