I started life in South Africa mainly doing crime and divorce. Knowing something about criminal law, and the cut and thrust of the courtroom, is a good base for anybody who wants to do litigation.
I wanted to go to the Bar but my father was a bank manager in South Africa with a lot of barrister customers who weren’t doing very well so he basically said: ‘You’ll never make it so become a solicitor.’ Both my parents were English, my father was at Dunkirk and was badly wounded and captured so he emigrated to South Africa for health reasons. He was always a pretty strong character and was the sort of man who you couldn’t ignore!
Continue reading “Life during law: Peter Crossley, Squire Patton Boggs”
The lift bank on my floor is the perfect length for a cricket pitch. My son’s old school cricket bat gets used and at 10pm it can be dangerous, as there is quite possibly a golf ball being chipped down the corridor. I have a number of dents outside my office. There is some valuable artwork on that wall, but nobody’s succeeded in hitting it yet.
I trained at Simpson Curtis in Leeds in the early 1980s, because I swore I would never come down to London. I just wasn’t going to come down to this nasty part of the world where it was a case of one-up-over-the-Joneses.
Continue reading “Life during law: Mark Darley, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom”
I’ve always been interested in two things. One is people and that is a key part of the business. I’ve always liked the business of law and I wanted a role in the direction of the firm because I am home-grown. I’ve been here a long time – it means a lot to have some influence.
I did a history degree at Durham and I was looking at film and TV production, journalism and law. My family are pretty much all professionals – they would have been concerned if I went down the journalism or TV route.
Continue reading “Life During Law: Niri Shanmuganathan, Taylor Wessing”
I’m always in the present and think of the now.
You make your own luck. You have to put yourself in harm’s way. You have to be standing by the street when the ambulance goes by or you’re not going to be able to chase it. There’s a degree of intelligent positioning.
I come from a generation who have been very lucky. The role of law firms and lawyers went through a dramatic transformation in the 1980s with the Big Bang, and my generation rode that wave.
Continue reading “Life During Law – David Ereira”
I fell into a career that suits me. I’ve done interesting things that kept me motivated and worked with intelligent, motivated people. I’ve never had a patch I didn’t enjoy.
I was the second person from my South Wales school to go to Oxford or Cambridge. All of the law firms at the time were recruiting heavily – nothing changes – I sent some printed CVs. It was quicker than filling in forms and Clifford Turner was one of them.
Continue reading “Life During Law – Kevin Ingram”
If you wanted to do litigation, there was no better place than Herbert Smith. I have no idea why but it was always going to be litigation. It was all I saw on TV and in books, there were no books written about M&A lawyers.
Suddenly the City just couldn’t get enough lawyers – if you had a pulse you could get a job in those days.
Continue reading “Life During Law – John Reynolds”
I decided I wanted to be a lawyer aged 14. My parents’ friends were looking after me while my parents were away. They didn’t have children and wondered what to do with me – we started playing around with words during a game of Scrabble and after that it turned into a career talk because I was slightly argumentative. It struck a chord.
Titmuss Sainer & Webb was a real estate firm before forming an alliance with Dechert Price & Rhoads. The London property guys were worried because they wondered what a US firm would think of real estate. For me, it was an enormous benefit. It opened my eyes to international clients, the wider world, and not just domestic practice.
Continue reading “Life During Law: Ciaran Carvalho, Nabarro”
Clifford Chance (CC) was a great place to be in the 1990s. Geoffrey Howe deserves a huge amount of credit. He instilled that we were on a journey everyone else was seeking to replicate. The car was travelling fast. The concept of delivering that globalisation was a very powerful thing.
I didn’t have a plan but a lot of fortune. I took a view early on that there were hundreds of great technical lawyers and I would never be able to distinguish on just that.
Continue reading “Life During Law: Jason Glover, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett”
I grew up in a small town where nobody’s dad I knew worked in London. The fast train to London didn’t exist – my parents worked in local government. They’re peace campaigners and not City-type people. They have different values and so I grew up in a very different world to this. There are some benefits in having that background – it gives you a bit of perspective.
Back in those days there was very little daytime TV, so on rainy days during the summer holidays there was a programme we watched called Crown Court. They had actors dramatise a criminal trial with a real jury. It was fascinating to me and, although it’s the other branch of the profession, it really stimulated my interest in being a lawyer.
Continue reading “Life during law: Matthew Cottis”
I always wanted to be an architect. Unfortunately I’m very messy and that’s a bad combination. Building useful things, such as bridges and roads, would be a great job.
My father was a history teacher and my favourite subject was history, but I knew I was never going to be a history teacher as I could see what it was like for him. I did law to keep my options open and was offered a job by Simmons, which felt like a phenomenally well-paid job. It wasn’t my life plan.
Continue reading “Life During Law: Jeremy Hoyland”