Name: Arty Rajendra

Organisation: Osborne Clarke

Role: Partner and UK Head of IP disputes

Trained at: Rouse

Year qualified: 1997

Read her Hot 100 profile

What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee? 

I had the dream training contract. I basically did 18 months of IP litigation, so lots of trips to court, cons with counsel and interviewing witnesses (well, carrying the bundles and making notes).  It was also fun – there were several Fridays when the whole team would go out for lunch and not go back to the office until Monday.

I was 22, London was buzzing, and I was having the time of my life.

What is the wisest thing anyone ever said to you (and who said it)? 

Adrian Speck QC: “Keep your job in perspective”.  My job is often all-consuming, and this was said to me at a time when I had lost sight of the important things in life.

Looking back at that time, I think I did miss out on quite a bit of my daughter’s early childhood. Obviously the pandemic has meant that nowadays there is increased working from home, and while that has its downsides, I am glad of the chance to spend more time with my family.

Who (for better or worse) has been the most influential person in your career? Why? 

Tony Willoughby.  I could not ask for a better mentor; he is wise, generous, fun and remains a close friend. Tony was a highly respected IP litigator (now retired) and persuaded Sir Hugh Laddie to join the firm, who I shared an office with and was another important influence on me.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do? 

When you discover the role or aspects of the job that you enjoy, say to your boss “this is what I love and this is what I want to focus on”.  Grab every opportunity – I did, including being asked at 5 years PQE to run a trial on my own, while also being one of the witnesses being cross-examined!  We won, by the way.

I love my job, but that’s not surprising as I’m comfortable around conflict. However, being a robust litigator doesn’t mean you can’t also be likable and courteous – which has many advantages.

What’s your best friend from law school doing now?

I have two close friends from law school. They both became partners at their respective City firms, but then gave it up; one to be a primary school teacher and the other to be a stay-at-home-mum.  We have been successful on our own terms.