When did you join CMS Cameron McKenna and were you a trainee at the firm? 1995 and yes
How long have you been a partner for? 6 years
Why did you decide to become a lawyer? I’ve always been interested in problem solving, getting stuck into detail and commercial issues so it seemed to fit the bill. I also thought I’d meet women like Susan Dey from LA Law, the 80’s US TV series. (warning: don’t ever make a similar comment in an interview with me though.)
What was your worst job as a trainee? A partner used to make me go out and buy his cigarettes. He’s no longer with the firm and thankfully we don’t ask our current trainees to do this!
What do you look for in an ideal candidate? All the usual competencies but also someone with personality and bags of enthusiasm.
What top tip would you give to students who want to train as commercial lawyers? Remember that clients have no interest in the law they just want to make their businesses more successful. The more you understand commercial issues, the better commercial lawyer you’ll be.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the legal sector? The credit crunch, recession or whatever it’s currently called is going to make it an interesting couple of years for us all.
Describe your firm’s USP in a single sentence. Great training, great clients, great people and a great place to work.
What measures has your firm taken to cope with the recession? Do you think your firm is well-placed to survive the downturn? Our business, with its diverse practice areas, is pretty well hedged so whilst the next year or so may be challenging we’ll come out stronger the other side.
Why is your firm looking for a merger with a corporate boutique given the current economic climate? Our strategy involves us making long term decisions and this is one of a number of opportunities we’re looking at to grow our business.
How long do you think the recession will last? Too long
What’s the biggest mistake someone has made during a job interview? Not preparing.
How has the legal market changed since you were a trainee? I think it’s as tough now as it always was. The expectations that firms place on trainees are greater but so are the expectations that trainees place on firms.
Do you take your Blackberry on holiday (be honest)? Yes.
Who is your legal role model? Diplomatically, I’ll say my colleagues.
What do you do to relax? Anyone that knows me will confirm that I’m always relaxed!
What are you listening to on you ipod? Kings of Leon, Badly Drawn Boy and Split Enz
Who is your favourite author? That’s tough. Thomas Hardy, with several others a close second.
Where did you go for your last holiday? Paris in July was memorable, seeing the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysees. Barcelona was great fun as well.