Partner | Hogan Lovells
- Insolvency and restructuring lawyer
- State school educated
- First generation graduate
I studied Law at the University of Sheffield and did a vacation scheme at four firms (including Hogan Lovells) longer ago then I now care to remember.
In my training contract I enjoyed seats in Banking (Acquisition Finance), a client secondment, Business Restructuring and Insolvency, and Fraud and Asset Tracing Litigation, before qualifying into Business Restructuring and Insolvency. These days I am the head of that practice in London.
My work in the Business Restructuring and Insolvency team has been for both borrowers and financiers, dealing with everything from businesses with minor and temporary cash flow problems to those that face far more fundamental obstacles. I work mainly with and around investment banks and debt funds. Much of my work these days is in delivering general commercial advice, rather than dealing with technical legal issues, although I like the blend of transactional skills and the more black letter insolvency law.
I was graduate recruitment partner at the firm for a number of years, before stepping away to lead the restructuring practice where I now deal as much in recruiting at associate and partner level as I do with trainees. I spend a lot of time considering what our business really needs from its people and I meet and speak to many potential applicants for training contracts. Sound education is certainly important and helps, but I have found time and time again that it’s no substitute for genuine commercial interest in how transactions work, and the ability to problem solve and find solutions for clients to make deals happen. These are not skills that can really be taught in any classroom. Interest, hunger, and a questioning mind are therefore more valuable to me when deciding who to work with. Polish can be added later – I know it was certainly something I didn’t start out with too much of.
I hope I can share some insights that will help in forming your aims, and achieving them.