Page 0035

"Appetite for life, depth of

curiosity and sense of energy..."

If you take just one thing from the

phrase "a world of difference", then

I'd suggest it should be the sheer

diversity of the people here. This

gives rise to everything else, because

it's about how minds work.

Steve Cooke, our Senior Partner

We have a fantastically wide range of

individuals. There is never a boring

conversation; hardly a day goes

by when I don't learn something

surprising about one individual or

another. We've elected a partner who

was a rifle shooting world champion.

We have a UK chess champion and

a UK bowls champion. One of my

interests is music; I played in the

firm's 16-piece jazz band for many

years. The building is full of life,

there are so many different interests,

and this depth of engagement, not

only with work but also with the

world around us, is one of the most

refreshing things about the place.

If we have a USP it is that we come

up with ideas and think in ways

that others don't. The diversity of

people and thought processes is

the key to that. It is the difference

between being another 'straight off

the production line' lawyer who does

it the same as everyone else... and

being a trusted adviser to some of

the most important people in some

massive institutions, which is what

we are. But you have to earn that

trust. At the level we're operating,

pure legal advice is not enough.

We have to understand the business

element, see the way ahead for them,

and express complex issues simply.

The ability to be unconventional or

creative when the moment demands,

not only with big ideas but also in

small details - where enormous

transactions can stand or fall -

is probably what sets us apart.

There's more, however, because it's

a profession where relationships can

define your career. The ability to add

a touch of seasoning into the dish

- humour, personality, humanity -

is completely integral to it. It's only

a small example, but I can think of

various occasions where we have

entertained extremely senior people

in the unlikeliest of places because it

was the appropriate thing to do for

those individuals.

There's no formula for getting on

here, but if you recognise this

appetite for life, depth of curiosity

and sense of energy in yourself,

then I am quite sure that you

would enjoy it here, and you will

most certainly feel like you belong.

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