Sort Legal Manager Wins Regional Apprenticeship Award

A director at a pioneering Derby law firm has been named Mentor of the Year at this year’s Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Apprenticeship awards.

Janet Quinlan-Jones, who is also line manager for the remortgage team at Derby-based Sort Legal, was presented with the award for her work supervising the company’s team of apprentices at the award ceremony, which took place at the Village Hotel in Nottinghamshire.

The Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Apprenticeship awards seek to identify organisations and individuals who have made a significant impact on the development of apprentices.

Janet joined Sort Legal in January 2021 and is responsible for a team of apprentices, including those who have recently completed their apprenticeships and have been promoted. She provides a broad range of coaching and development support, ranging from quick catchups and on-the-job coaching to more formal one-to-one meetings and annual development plans.

She also participates in regular review meetings with the apprentices’ college tutors and works with HR and management to help the apprentice achieve their long-term goals.

In addition, a large part of her role involves instilling confidence and empowering each individual by keeping enthusiasm high and boosting morale and confidence within the team.

Sort Legal employed its first apprentice in August 2017. Since then, it has become a shining example of a business that understands the value of nurturing young talent. 

The company currently has an impressive cohort of apprentices, with three trainee legal cashiers, alongside two apprentices in the remortgage department studying towards their Level 3 in business administration with Derby College. Four Apprentices have recently passed their exams and have been promoted to Remortgage Paralegal.

The company was recently ranked 24th in this year’s Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employer awards, which recognise the nation’s top apprenticeship employers.

Commenting on the award, Janet Quinlan-Jones said:

“It is a real honour to be named Mentor of the Year award at this year’s Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Apprenticeship awards. Mentoring is about guiding and seeing the potential within every apprentice, and it’s a privilege to be a part of the journey of all the fantastic apprentices we have at Sort Legal.

“This recognition reaffirms the importance of mentorship in shaping our workforce as they become the future leaders of the industry.”

Kevin Tunnicliffe, CEO of the SORT Group, added:

“I couldn’t be prouder of Janet and would like to congratulate her on winning Mentor of the Year. Her dedication to nurturing talent within our organisation demonstrates Sort Legal’s committed commitment to excellence and growth.

“Apprentices are a key part of what we do at Sort Legal, and it’s great that our apprentices are mentored by someone as great as Janet.”

Faiza Saghir said:

“Janet always supported me throughout my apprenticeship and has always believed in me. She has given me support where needed and encouraged me not to give up and told me ‘you can do this’ and ‘don’t give up because I’m not giving up on you’ and ‘keep going’.”

Apprentice Mackenzie Myers added:

“Janet is an extremely inspirational manager; she is kind, thoughtful and understanding, and always ensures her team is happy and motivated. She helped me develop my conveyancing skills and is one of the main reasons why I am now a qualified Paralegal.”