Name: Lindsay Hingston
Firm: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Trained at: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Year qualified: 2012
What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee?
As a first seat trainee, all of two months into the job, I was involved in a litigation matter where we obtained a series of freezing orders against certain individuals. One morning, the matter partner emailed all trainees to ask if someone could help secure a defendant’s Aston Martin which was located in the south of France and needed to be driven back to London. I was very tempted but then spotted the date was 1 April …an attention to detail that unfortunately some of my fellow trainees were lacking!
What is the wisest thing anyone ever said to you (and who said it)?
As a junior associate I questioned whether it was possible for me to stay the course at Freshfields and also have the family life I wanted. Two things made me realise I was at risk of compromising my career for an anticipated problem which might never arise.
First, I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which convinced me not to “lean out” when I didn’t have to.
And second, a conversation with my Freshfields mentor at the time, who cautioned against making assumptions about what could and couldn’t work for me at home and in the office. He told me “figure out what you need when you need it, try it, and if it doesn’t work out at least you won’t leave wondering what could have been”.
Who (for better or worse) has been the most influential person in your career? Why?
My grandad Ed has always been a huge source of inspiration and influence for me. In 1943 he left school at 14 years old and the next day became a telegram boy, delivering the news to family members that their loved ones were missing or killed. He went on to spend 50 years with the Birkenhead post office. He worked incredibly hard – 15 hours a day, six days a week, with little flexibility – but he loved his job, took great pride in it, and used it to buy his house, support his family and enjoy a 25+ year retirement.
The world has changed a great deal since my grandad’s youth (he tells me about the cow in the basement of his local corner shop where he bought milk as a boy), but I am not sure my aspirations are any different.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?
Commit, believe in yourself, build relationships, push yourself out of your comfort zone and try to grab every opportunity that comes your way – to work on a new deal, to take on a new role, to meet a new client, to give a presentation, or whatever else it may be.
What’s your best friend from law school doing now?
My best friend from law school spent several years at Freshfields before moving into a senior legal role for a leading institutional investor. She is currently on maternity leave – I can’t say I am envious of the lockdown experience with a two-month-old (bad enough with a one-year-old!