When I meet new recruits to Sackers who are often just completing their training, I’m struck by how many of them feedback a passionate dislike for some of the legal practice areas they’ve spent time in. That wasn’t my experience and sometimes I reflect on how I could just have easily ended up as a corporate or banking lawyer, as opposed to advising pension schemes and employers. (That said, six months in Frankfurt putting together securitisations was definitely not a highlight of my own training.)
In the end, the human aspect of pensions is the single biggest thing that drew me and so many others to it – from the perspective of the pension scheme members impacted by your advice to the clients receiving it. Building long term relationships with my clients has been the greatest pleasure of my career and I have met some of the kindest, inspirational and positively motivated people. The pensions industry is a force for good, so it’s no surprise to me that we are now taking up the baton of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and climate change with such gusto.
I’m incredibly honoured to be elected to succeed Ian Pittaway as Senior Partner of Sackers. Sackers is a truly special firm with a uniquely supportive and inclusive culture. I am confident that choosing an openly gay man to head up the firm wasn’t even a consideration for my fellow partners. We value every member of our staff and every client of the firm as part of a Sackers family. I take over at the helm with the firm in rude health and a reputation second to none in our field. It’s a huge privilege to build on the foundations
of the past as a platform to seek out exciting opportunities in the future, and I hope that my new role will give me the chance to meet even more of those kind and inspirational figures in our industry. I have always practised ‘open door’ for real, not just in words, and that will remain my style as I get my feet under the senior partner’s desk.
My advice for anyone starting out in their career is to have high expectations from those who are employing and training you and don’t accept anything less. The early days can feel daunting and overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to look to the senior lawyers around you for reassurance, close supervision and support to help you grow and develop in your own way.
This article was featured in Pensions Aspects magazine September edition.
Last update: 15 September 2021