I grew up in the Midlands in the ̒80s. It was hard hit by the recession. My dad lost his job as an engineer, working for Smiths Industries, which supplied the car industry. It was the deindustrialisation of large parts of the UK. My father was a businessman and entrepreneurial. He became self-employed, started his own printing business, but it was certainly not stable.
I became a lawyer because I wanted a regular job. There were no lawyers in our family. It wasn’t a profession that was accessible or easy to understand from my background. Growing up in the ethnic community in Birmingham, second generation, the only other options on the table were being a doctor, a dentist or a pharmacist and I definitely didn’t want to be any of those! Continue reading “Life During Law: Tihir Sarkar”
Legal Business: What has the pandemic taught you about leadership?
James Palmer: Everything teaches me. The last 15 months or so have been – and I’ve said this internally – the most extraordinary of my lifetime in most respects. Who would have anticipated this? I like change and challenge, but nothing prepared me for a year at home. Has it taught me things? Oh boy – yes! Continue reading “The management interview – James Palmer”
My maths teacher was married to a criminal barrister, so I did a mini-pupillage at his set. Loved it but decided I didn’t want to do criminal law. Over the years that followed I did more mini-pupillages, including at a commercial set, a common law set, as well as work experiences at law firms, the BBC and Foreign Office. All of which confirmed I wanted to do commercial law.
I really wanted to go down the barrister route, but I was the first person in my family to go into law and I didn’t know any barristers growing up. I had been to Durham rather than Oxbridge and I was a girl. Continue reading “Life During Law: Natasha Harrison”
I was an incredibly good girl and my mother was incredibly opinionated: I basically did whatever she told me to do! For years I wanted to be a doctor but then I realised I absolutely hated chemistry and you couldn’t be one without chemistry. So I had a crisis after my O-Levels where I thought ‘Oh God what am I going to be then?’ So suddenly my mum said: ‘Right, that’s it then, you’re going to be a lawyer.’ She’s of that generation that absolutely idolised professions – she always called our family doctor by his first name. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Claire Shaw”
I’ve always wanted to be a barrister, since before I can remember. There was no particular event or anything, I just always knew. I must have seen something on TV or the news perhaps. It was easy for me, because once you know what you want to do, it’s easy to follow that path.
I’ve never been an outgoing, loud person. Although I have married my complete opposite! I was the youngest of three children, and a girl with two older brothers, so I was always wrapped up in cotton wool. But I’m quietly confident. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Gaby Dosanjh-Pahil”
I’m the youngest of three children. My brother and sister both read law at university, and have become lawyers themselves. My sister is a general counsel, and my brother is a silk. They’re both older than me, and when it came to applying to university, there wasn’t much choice on my part! I benefited a lot from their revision notes…
I briefly contemplated a career in the City, and I did an internship at Goldman Sachs in 2005. It was useful in the sense that it confirmed that I did want to pursue a career in the law. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Tony Singla QC”
I’d like to say becoming a lawyer was a very well-thought-out decision in my teenage years, but it wasn’t. I recall taking a career aptitude test at school, and it was one of the few professions I’d actually heard of. Law sounded interesting, and I’ve always enjoyed the legal wrangling in various TV shows. Showing my age, it included the less esoteric ones at the time, like LA Law in the late 80s and early 90s.
I picked Herbert Smith. I applied to a number of places, but I had heard partner Lawrence Collins, now Lord Collins of Mapesbury, speak at a careers event at university. Herbert Smith was well-known as a preeminent litigation firm and so I thought that was where I wanted to go. I wrote to him directly. I didn’t think it would make any difference, but it did. When I started, I was a trainee in his litigation department. I had an opportunity to work with him first hand, and he supported me in the early stages of my career. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Tracey Dovaston”
I was supposed to study economics and realised I was not a very good economist. Then I went to study law in Israel and almost from the first lecture it all made sense. It explained the rule of law means we’re all treated equally and there’s due process if you get arrested. I come from Africa where in Zimbabwe and in South Africa there was no rule of law for black people.
I was hooked early on, but wasn’t hooked as a litigator. I thought I’d be a corporate lawyer, come to England, get involved in all this big M&A and it would be a fantastic, go-go, rock ‘n’ roll thing. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Craig Pollack”
I wanted a professional career. My father was a doctor but very keen I didn’t do medicine. I had a scientific background and law is a very analytical process. I’d watched a few television programmes about criminal lawyers.
Law was the right career for me. The life of doctors is very tough and there’s effectively one employer, whereas in law it’s easier for you to create a career because it’s constantly changing and there’s always something that can grab your interest. New people coming onto the market and changes in the competition make a massive difference. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Geraldine Elliott”
Becoming a lawyer was suggested to me by other people. I was about 15, and doing a lot of debating and public speaking in school. People started saying to me: ‘You should think about becoming a lawyer.’ The school was supportive, and sent me to conferences and such.
It was also because of watching TV. A lot of people say Crown Court, but I liked the American ones. The media attraction got me thinking about the advocacy side. Continue reading “Disputes perspectives: Paula Hodges QC”