Picture of Rachael Heenan, Capstick to illustrate The Lawyer Hot 100 Career Quiz with Rachael Heenan, Capsticks careerName: Rachael Heenan

Firm: Capsticks

Position: Senior partner

Trained at: Littleton Chambers

In Hot 100 for: Repositioning Capticks in the market. Read her full Hot 100 entry.

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

I trained at Littleton Chambers in employment law so was lucky to have superb experience including with John Bowers QC on Smith and Grady v UK which led to a revised sexual orientation free Armed Forces Code of Social Conduct and a change in the Armed Force’s approach to sexual orientation where people had previously been discharged. I also worked on numerous team move injunctions which helped me develop commercial nous early on.

I always say that life at the Bar gave me great training in the law but that being a solicitor helps me apply that in a practical way.

Who has been the most influential person in your career? Why, and how have they helped you?

Too many to single anyone out but I have been really  fortunate to work with great teams at all levels (especially people who make me laugh) which has always been really important for me. If I had to pick one, John Bowers QC for giving me a chance and a pupillage which set me off on the right track.

What was the best career decision you ever made, and why?

To leave the bar and become a solicitor. I certainly wasn’t given enough advice in the early stages about which profession would suit your personality and skills. I like working as a team and having long standing relationships with clients but I have still managed to combine it with interesting work.

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

Work hard and look after the people you work with. Remember you are a role model and need to help the next generation of lawyers through which means behaving in a certain way and expecting high standards. Be honest and open which sometimes people won’t like. 

What work or career-related project or activity would you really like to do, but don’t have time for?

I am a very keen cyclist so would love to work with British Cycling or Team Sky; it appears there would be a few issues to keep me busy at the moment.