This is Allens

Karla Drinkwater

Karla is a new partner specialising in energy. She is also a new first-time mum, welcoming her daughter just weeks before her official appointment to the partnership on 1 July.


I was one of those nerdy overachievers at school who didn't love science and maths and was drawn to languages and the humanities – so you might say I was destined for the law.

As a young graduate at Allens, my first rotation was to the energy and resources team. I absolutely fell in love with the energy sector. Electricity is so ubiquitous and critical to everything people do, but few people have an appreciation of what goes into producing and delivering it. The simple act of turning on a light is actually the end result of a series of highly complex processes, regulatory controls, and distribution and supply arrangements. Navigating that complexity has held my interest ever since.

The energy sector has undergone immense transformation over my career. From coal-fired power stations and gas, to wind and solar, and to, today, exploring battery technology and hydrogen, I've been a part of our nation's transition to a lower-emissions economy – a transition that's ongoing and that I'm excited to help my clients continue to navigate. 

I learned of my appointment to the partnership when I was six months pregnant with my first child. She was born just a couple of weeks before this story was published. Allens has always fully supported my career aspirations, and the partners I've worked with have openly encouraged me to pursue my personal goals alongside my career. The clear message to me has always been not to put anything off – to go for what I want and then figure out together how it will work. So far, that's going pretty well.  

As a leader at Allens, I see it as my role to continue that legacy of support and empowerment – to create an environment where people can freely pursue their professional interests and grow their careers alongside their personal aspirations.

Karla's time capsule


The year 2021 has been a big one. In addition to me becoming a partner, we have had our first child, have renovated the house and embraced hybrid working (though working from home doesn't necessarily guarantee fewer interruptions, as my golden retriever, Huntley, demonstrates).

HAMMER, PAINTBRUSH, EARMUFFS Items we have had to become very familiar with during the course of our house renovations, which will (definitely) be finished this year.

BESPOKE BRICK Our house must have originally been built by a brickmaker – the house came with an original brick pathway and each brick had a heart stamp on it. We have kept them all and will be using the bricks in one of the pathways in our yard.

BABY BLANKET, BOOTIES, RATTLE Items we are becoming very familiar with, due to the recent arrival of our first child, Charlotte. (The earmuffs may continue to come in handy for this part of our lives too!)

BOOK Recommended to me by former Allens partner Anna Collyer earlier in my pregnancy (and before Anna departed Allens) as a light-hearted perspective on the adventure I was embarking on.

BEE DOOR KNOCKER What else would an amateur apiarist (beekeeper) have? I find my beehive and its occupants fascinating, and I'm very grateful for all the honey they produce!