What’s the biggest development you’ve seen in the legal world during your career?
The huge growth in electronic communication and media. Although the internet and e-mail were already well established when I began my career, the wealth in know how available on-line now is astounding. The days of looking up statutes, case law and document precedents in books are over now that up to date information is readily accessible at the touch of a button. Recent advances, such as social media and cloud computing, also pose interesting challenges for the legal world.
What law would you like to see changed?
Although the Human Rights Act 1998 is an essential piece of legislation, I believe the courts need to give greater thought as to how it is interpreted and applied to prevent it from benefitting the perpetrators of crime over their victims. Admittedly, this is perhaps easier said than done.
What is the most exciting work you’ve ever done?
A secondment to a FTSE 250 client operating in the aviation sector, which involved living and working in some exclusive areas in central London. Highlights included negotiating important commercial agreement against the likes of BP, Shell, British Airways and Exxon, and also attending the Farnborough Airshow as a guest. This experience provided me with a greater sense of commercial awareness and a valuable insight into how clients operate.
Who in the legal world do you most admire?
While at university I always admired the consistently incisive, straightforward and pragmatic judgments of Lord Hoffmann of Chedworth who, although now retired, was a senior law lord.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Begin building your network of business contacts as soon as possible and work hard to keep in touch regularly. The earlier you start, the greater your network will become and you will reap the benefits from this as your career progresses. It is not necessarily what you know but who you know which gets you ahead.