A propensity for hard work, endurance and sparring learned in the corporate department of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has come in handy for senior associate-turned-boxer Laura Saperstein.
“I don’t miss my old job,” admits Saperstein, who worked in corporate partners Chris Bown’s and Ed Braham’s teams while at Freshfields. “I do miss using my brain sometimes. There were some really bright people at Freshfields.”
But even the most overstretched magic circle associate has more of a work-life balance than Saperstein did when she made the decision to leave the law three years ago.
Working at Freshfields netted her enough money to buy a flat, which she renovated and sold, giving her financial independence to pursue her dream of becoming a professional boxer.
She soon got the property bug and now has a portfolio of 12 properties. This is in addition to her boxing career and a sideline of designing sportswear.
Unsurprisingly, Saperstein reports that she was working seven days a week for a year when she first left Freshfields.
Now, she says when she instructs her solicitor: “I give her a hard time! I don’t want pro forma letters”, she laughs. “I want the personal touch.”
No surprise that her solicitor is female. Saperstein has been fighting against sexism within boxing since she first put on her gloves.
But just how equal was Freshfields? “It’s undeniable if you look at the partnership that there is an imbalance,” she says. “But at the lower levels, you could certainly progress whether you were a man or a woman.”
Frankly, we think it would not be a good idea to stand in the way of Saperstein.