Name: Samantha Hutchinson
Firm: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft
Trained at: Hogan Lovells
Year qualified: 2001
What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee?
Walking into the office to close a project finance deal on a Monday and not leaving the office until Thursday afternoon. Clients and advisers were falling asleep during the meetings but no one wanted to be the first to suggest that we take a break. I remember thinking: if commercial law was the path I was going to take, if I ever became I partner, I would do things very differently!
What is the wisest thing anyone ever said to you (and who said it)?
My first great mentor and astoundingly talented lawyer Matthew Cottis told me that in everything you do, use it as a personal marketing opportunity – on calls, in meetings, and not just with your own clients but with everyone around the table. Clients will remember those advisors that want to create solutions and work collaboratively.
Who (for better or worse) has been the most influential person in your career? Why?
Mike Mascia, co-head of Finance at Cadwalader. In the early 2000s I began advising clients on what are now known as fund finance products – subscription lines, GP lines and secondaries deals amongst others. Post-GFC, the fund finance deals I’d done had fared well throughout the crisis and rebounded faster than other types of financings. I saw a huge opportunity and was fascinated by the different facets of fund finance.
You had to be a great fund formation and finance lawyer and know the underlying private markets inside out. I was hooked.
I then discovered in 2011 that there was someone in the market whose career path in the U.S. was identical to mine and who was equally as knowledgeable and driven and had built an incredible business around fund finance. That was Mike.
We finally joined forces in 2018 and, along with our incredible partners and teams in London and the U.S., have established a market-leading global business that has grown exponentially since we first started advising on these deals.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?
You can achieve anything if you work hard at it. And find a good mentor who will help you to succeed (and be sure to remember to do the same when you establish your career and have the opportunity to assist and guide others).
I came from very humble beginnings in Wythenshawe, was only one of two in my school to go university and the first in my family to go on to higher education. It was daunting arriving in the City and feeling very out of place, but my work ethic, determination and commitment to what I do got me to where I am now. I’m also very lucky to have had incredible mentors who believed in me all along the way – Matthew Cottis, Adam Freeman, Paul Holland and Mike Mascia to name but a few.
What’s your best friend from law school doing now?
A yoga teacher. We took very different paths!