Name: Deborah Robinson

Firm: SOAS University of London

Role: Director of Legal and Governance

Trained at: Macfarlanes

Year qualified: 1990

Read her Hot 100 profile

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

Negotiating to get urgent documents higher on the word processing pool’s list! On a less mundane note, working alongside the lead partner defending the hostile takeover of a large advertising agency.

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

Be generous with your time, knowledge and connections. This was best exemplified for me by the late Stephen Lloyd of Bates Wells, who was so generous to me when I first moved into the charity sector. His thoughtfulness smoothed the transition to the sector and gave me a fascinating insight into the breadth and complexity of the not for profit world.

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

There have been many mentors and role models along the way, from when I was a trainee through to peers in my network today.  It would be unfair to single anyone out – they have all been hugely influential.

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

Take every opportunity to learn about the world around you – and don’t assume that life in the not for profit sector is easy!

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

I still have many close friends from law school, but the one I would highlight is Jane Raca. Following a successful career as a commercial litigator, she is now using her skills to campaign for children with disabilities and was recognised for her work last year through the award of an MBE.