The legal director at law firm Blake Morgan on how she got started in the property industry, her favourite book, film and TV show, her best and worst purchases and the superpower she wishes she had.

Amardip Healy

Amardip Healy

How did you join the property industry?

I focused on property and planning law during my training contract, which was known as articles at the time. I had an influential mentor for my work in planning, and had the opportunity to get involved in some very interesting projects. It was inevitable that following qualification I pursued a career as a planning lawyer, and the rest is history.

What does your job entail?

I am a legal director in private practice and I focus solely on planning law. Having spent most of my career in the public sector, I now provide advice and guidance to local authorities. It is fascinating to be on the other side. Each authority is so varied in how it approaches planning, which requires tailored guidance from me as a planning lawyer.

What do you like most about the property industry?

I started working in planning because, for me, I felt it was the one thing that shapes how we live, work and play. That has not changed, but now more people understand this and recognise the important role that planning has in everyday life.

And what do you dislike most about it?

The most challenging thing is working with organisations that have less flexibility in their ways of working, and are not as set up to reach pragmatic solutions. Sometimes, local authorities say no to a planning project, when a solution could be found with a more collaborative approach.

What would you change about the property industry?

I would like us to do better as a sector. Planning has always been a fierce battleground, but over the last few years it has become a more threatening environment, where people are made to feel intimidated simply for doing their job.

One of the things that feeds this is the language used – for example painting developers as ‘greedy’ without recognising the benefits of investment being made, and using the term ‘Nimbyism’ to describe residents sharing their views against development.

We should also stop putting the blame on local authority planning officers, who are already stretched.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

When I first qualified, it was a pretty lonely place to be as an Asian female planning solicitor. More than 30 years later, I recently attended a planning update where I was still the only Asian female in the room. This lack of diversity has been a barrier that I have had to overcome in my career.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I have worked alongside some very talented people and have learned a huge amount from them. I have also been able to solve many challenging and longstanding problems that have affected local communities through planning, which has been rewarding.

When a client feeds back that I am a ‘joy to work with’ or when a local resident compliments my ‘get up and go’ and ‘can-do’ attitude, it makes me proud to do what I do.

What do you value in people?


What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?

Love what you do. Accept that there will be highs and lows, and have the resilience to keep going. Find a mentor who can guide you through your career.

Top recommendations

Favourite book:

I love Anna, Amy Odell’s biography of Anna Wintour, because it is a story of one unique woman.

Favourite things to watch:

I love the film The Devil Wears Prada – in another life, I worked in the fashion industry. On TV, I enjoy watching Selling Sunset to see how the Los Angeles planning system works and the properties allowed to be built. 

Least favourite sounds:

I don’t listen to podcasts or radio shows, but I do really dislike the theme tune to The Archers, which I am subjected to every evening.

Best and worse purchases:

As someone who has to iron everything, my best purchase has been a Laurastar iron. You just have to Google it to know why. My worst purchase was a power plate, which has lived very quietly in the corner of a room for more than a decade. 

If I could have any superpower:

The power to read people’s minds – to know if I was right.