Hello and welcome to the Career Success Podcast in Jason Connelly. If you’re a regular list that it’s great to have you back, but if you knew, welcome to the show in this series. Everywhere we speak to the biggest names in business all across the globe, we talk about career stories, the lessons learned, how they overcome challenges, and what success habits they practice. Practical advice to help you in your career if you have a passion for business, then this is forecast for you.
In this episode I’m joined by Razi Mireskandari from London. & Burton took over as the managing partner. West End law firm Simmons Muirhead and Burton in 2010. Since then, the firm has more than doubled in size with a pre covid turnover of about 17 million. It’s well known for its media work. It’s most high profile, recent case being the successful defence of Johnny Depp’s libel claim against The Sun newspaper Rusty, Thank you for joining me on this episode. Absolute pleasure Jason. So you run. And absolutely successful law firm. I know who you are. I’m sure lots of people in the legal industry do. But for those who don’t know, you don’t know the law firm. Let let’s talk a bit about the law firm on who you are, what you do and the work that you do. And I know you’re a very entrepreneurial law firm. I’ll say that from the start, the firm generally, or me which one to affirm? Brief introduction to the firm and who you are and what you do. Talk you in your background. The firm were about 140 people, all in as you said about 9200 lawyers. We are particularly well known for our media work, but I guess our biggest Department is the company commercial who do who really want only media as well. But they do a whole breadth of stuff in tech start-ups, media Work etc. And they’re probably the biggest Department. Followed by the litigation Department, which includes the Media division. And then we’ve got not in any particular size, but employment, family, music, property, and that’s the guts of the firm. Really fantastic. So tell us about you and your story. How did it all kind of get started for you in the early days and kind of take us on this journey of how you’ve got to where you are today? So Mom and Dad, Iranian father leaves first wife and marries my mum who and then leaves his previous family in for kids and leaves. Iran comes to England in 1960 when I was three, and that’s my particular story. So I was growing up. Oddly enough, you know my father was pretty wealthy when he left Iran, but then by the time that I went to University or the money had gone and the family was pretty skin, so it was in this odd situation where I’d seen money as a young kid. But ended up going to working class grammar school in Baksi, then went to school in Sussex in international relations. The original plan was to go back to Iran and be a diplomat for the Iranian.
This is pre revolution stuff so the show was this is prior to 79 revolution so that was the plan so I was at University and then I decided to do a Masters in international relations. Laura see again with the plans going back and as I was doing the Masters the Revolution happened and then the then the war happens which was the longest war in the in the 20th century with Iraqi Ron, Ron Walker. If I had gone back I would have had to do national Service which meant I would have been in the war and I although my Iranian isn’t in my first season bad I don’t think it’s good enough. Battle conditions certainly wasn’t there, so so that was it. I didn’t know what to do. Did loads of different jobs drove a van for the Council under Ken Livingstone building? Worked on, uh, just anything you wanna name ’cause I didn’t have any money really and then thought I’d give a crack at the lawyer. I was actually. There was a possibility that I could have a pass the internal recruitment exam for blue collar workers ’cause I was driving a van for the Council to become a higher executive officer. At the London County Council, the Greater London Council as it was then, but then got an opportunity? Yeah, the last minute got this. I think it was a telegram in those days I’ve got a place in the last Friday finals and I got a telegram saying if you’re at Birmingham on Monday, you can start the conversion course. So it was. It was an interesting weekend to decide whether I should take this much higher paid job as a higher executive officer in Council, or whether I should go to the law. And in those days there was. I think there was a 60 percent 70% failure rate for the law site exam so. Big deal, you didn’t know if you would pass in those days. It was harder to pass the exams, but easier to get traineeships. It’s altered was the deciding factor for you between the two what? Why did you decide to go down the lore route? I don’t know it, it just sounded interesting. Actually. At the time I just. I just think it had more potential. To be honest, I probably didn’t know enough about the Council.
It knows driving around I didn’t know where a higher executive officer would have let you. I didn’t. I didn’t have much idea, but the law is obviously. You know, it’s like being a fireman or a train driver. You use or more or less know what the job entails or think you do. And I guess it sounded more interesting that was it really bigger risk. So yeah, you went for it, yeah, so how? How did you go from kind of there? What was kind of your experience of you know your early days in in talking to us? Yeah, my original plan was to be a criminal barrister. And when I when I asked around, people said to me, you know your dad’s not a judge and you haven’t got double first Fox Ridge so it’s never going to happen. So my plan was to qualify. Then as a solicitor do crime as a solicitor. Impress everybody with how brilliant I was and then transfer to the bar and then they’d instruct me and I soon found out that other people were more committed to defending criminals who facing criminal charges than I was. I think probably 70% of the time I was totally committed for 30% of the time. For some clients I took a different view. Why was that? Well, I think you know what, and I’ll never forget a single mother coming in serious in flip flops in freezing cold winter. Being done for nicking something like 15 quid’s worth of meat feed her kid and I would have I would have you know fought to the end of the world to get her off. Even though she didn’t steal the meat. But then you get other guys who know what they’re doing. Like you know, a great example would be growing dope, or whenever it’s a business right they know the risks. They know what happened, they know, you know, and I don’t mind them playing the game, but it’s things like when they don’t turn up for this is the old days, but they won’t turn up for interviews and you say you’re late and they say you’re on Lucas aid, which used to be the. The acronym for being on Legal Aid and you just. I just didn’t. I didn’t sit comfortably with all that sort of stuff. The other big thing was going. I remember still also prostitutes being fined and I remember being in court, looking around and going. This is just wrong. In those days things have changed a lot, but the only woman in the core being there woman in the doc and then getting fined for that when everybody just did it. Did you know what are the thing the great thing about civil? I mean? That’s why I want to be there. And then I realized you know what? That’s not. I don’t still comfortably. I wouldn’t be happy being a judge. For instance, I don’t. I don’t particularly like judging people, and that’s how it feels to me. The law is as good as any other way of resolving conflicts, but it’s not perfect, it it’s not. It hasn’t got a, you know, it can’t ascertain the truth, truth. It’s just a way of dealing with the problem and moving on, and I’m very much more comfortable in the civil context where essentially is about money or rights. It’s not about a court state telling you how to act. Yeah, I can relate to as a police officer for many years, and I left for a multitude of reasons, but one of those was because I wasn’t comfortable with a lot of the things I was expected to do. You know, so that that was the end of it for me, and it’s difficult. It’s difficult. I mean, I think I am a firm believer that you know if you’re going to play, you gotta play by the rules. Yeah, and if you don’t believe in the rules in that sense, it doesn’t mean you’re going to break him. It just means you know it’s maybe it’s not the sphere for you, so that’s what moved me away from wanting to be a criminal lawyer, or if it was very weird. So I actually got. I never had massive ambitions. I have to say, you know, I’m not. I’m not a sort of massively ambitious guy, it’s just that when I when I get a job, I just feel like I have to do my very best set it, not because of an your My career is just feel when you get a job you gotta do your best. Start playing football team or whatever it might be. So I remember coming to that conclusion pretty quickly. I transferred my articles to this firm, so I’m ahead and Burton, who was so well known for human rights and crime, etc. In those days, and I transferred ’cause I wanted to get into the into the interesting crime, the buzz that central London, you know, not the High Street stuff even before the end of my article. Actually strange thing happened. The Civil litigation partner in the firm. In those days, it just got divorced and was going to go to divide to do construction work. And the firm turned around to me. Before my articles have finished and said, would I be interested in in sort of staying on and sort of taking on the civil? I mean we were tiny. Let’s not let’s not get carried away this but to take on the Civil Department. But I mean on the one hand it was incredibly flattering ’cause my articles haven’t finished yet, but I was three or four years older than most people in in that in that time. But nevertheless, I yeah, it was a baptism of absolute fire ’cause I started doing civil and learned every single thing from the floor up. It’s really interesting, so I’m guessing you went into this Department and it was you was effectively managing people, but who got more experience than you. I think managing would be would be a look. We were tiny then. If I remember correctly, I thought it’s Chris Davey. I think her name was this wonderful woman who was who’s a year before me as a trainee, but much older than me. Not much. About a few years older than me. And you know, few years means a lot in those days when you’re that age, so she was actually older than me. But less experience as a trainee. And I remember being heard trying to sort of work together. I mean, yeah, I’m not sure if I was managing anyone. It was just all hands on the deck to learn things as we went out there and she said she actually I remember once while we were working together. I remember being upset ’cause I thought she done something. She should have done something that I thought we were clear on and she taught me a great lesson in management. ’cause about by 11:00 o’clock of that date she turned around to me. She was not with you guys. What you doing you look like you’re sulking. And I said, well, it’s really solid, Chris. I was a bit upset by this and she said for as you’ve got to say, things immediately and that’s a big management lesson. I’ve learned, you know, if it’s something that happens, good management, you just deal with it there and then and only open. Yeah, yeah I completely agree with you. I’m all about that. If there’s a problem, you tackle it head on and you deal with it and then it gets resolved. You move on so you say you’re not ambitious, but you’re the managing partner of a law firm. You know that it almost sounds like kind of. You know polar opposites in a way. How have you? How have you became the managing partner? Why do you think that is? Why do you think that people you know want to be led by you? Look individually to do with this firm. There’s lots of things that happen that would vary this firm specific, which would probably not appropriate in the wider term. I think. Listen, I’ve been around a long enough and I’ve seen different firms managed in different ways, and I’m not one to knock how another firm does it because. I am a firm believer in in the people who in that firm are really dedicated to the firm and care most for the firm would probably come to the right conclusion. Cesta had to run the run the firm the best way. I mean, this is if you’re running. If you’re running a commencing firm that does essentially compete for bucket shop conveyances, you’re going to have to rub it. Running a very different way to the way we run this for this firm is what our work is essentially a complicated issues where what we want. Is really bright good people to apply their minds? There’s nothing. There’s no sort of repeat president. It’s not as if we’re churning out stuff where every single thing is going to be the same. We do know let low value, high turnover work. Hardly any two cases at the same. So we actually need really bright people to apply their intelligence to every individual circumstance. An and it seems to me in order to get the best out of bright people, you need them to fill the best they can. How do you empower people will look about. So what you do you need to you need to make people feel good at work and my mantra is what is it is about. I think probably 10 to 15% overheads are taken up with the actual building right? So fine, spend money. I mean you know, but in my experience you could be in Mayfair in the precious offices in the world and hate it.
Or you could be, you know, in in offices that are not great but really like it. So what’s the difference? I mean obviously nice officers make a difference, but the real difference is the people you work with. So yeah, I’ve been in a nice office. Rather than, I’ve absolutely hated it. I mean, yeah, you know. But when I started my business, we was in Fawlty Towers and we absolutely loved it. So yeah, I agree. So you know what you need to do it? If not need? But and then and then for us, you know things like. I mean, we, genuinely we don’t, we don’t. We don’t, you know, we believe in diversity not because it’s sort of trending. I mean I, I genuinely believe that diverse bodies. And maybe I would say this, ’cause my background. But I think diverse bodies make better decisions and certainly they, if we, as a diverse firm we reflect our clients, which I think is really important as well. I, I think diversity brings out the best in an organization being fully inclusive so but I think people underestimate you, know what diverse means? What do you think diversity means? Diverse to me and I see it in my firm and I absolutely adore it. I have to say diverse means seeing a passing Muslim sitting next to a gay guy sitting next to somebody who you know is not religious at all, right? And occasionally not. Nobody tries to talk, convert anybody else but having a. Being able to have the conversations that don’t wind each other up and make each other smile. You know that to me sums it up. That’s just what it’s all about and I think and I’m so proud I love London I’m so I just think it’s fantastic place. I think it’s the most diverse place on the planet. Truly diverse Ann, and I think that’s what gives London its strength. And when you see that sort of interaction, you know I did better me thinks that’s what it’s all about. Forget, forget the law, forget this, forget that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. We’re part of society and a business. Like anything else, you know in our little way we can create an environment where that sort of thing can happen, and it’s so difficult to do that in so many places in the world. Yeah, I agree, and I I’ve always said that I think everything can be copied in a business apart from the culture. You can’t. You can’t copy a culture you can’t, you know. Copy the, you know what a culture is, a culture. But you know I’m a gay guy. I agree. I think you know if you’ve got a diverse workforce, it brings out the best and you know it’s going to appeal to every client if you’re fully. Represented in every single way. So yeah, I agree. So you run this law firm everyday and I imagine that you know with any business it comes with a lot of challenges. How do you kind of you know what’s your leadership with star? How do you deal with challenges? How do you kind of you know, go about dealing with things head on. You mentioned that you get the problem tackled straight away, but do you have a certain way that you tackle challenges? I’ve just trying to be honest. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know how I should do this. Yeah, people nowadays, I mean are people anyway. They’re so bright, I mean that you know everything you know they’re bright, right? I mean, you know there, there have been people that have done brilliantly schooled on bringing in the University domino there bright people. They see what’s going on. I genuinely think that people that buy into a false narrative or try and promote a false narrative get caught out, get seen, right? So you gotta live it, walk it, and believe it genuinely. And if you don’t, it’s like if you’re trying to sell a false narrative. You having a drink with colleagues and stuff. They’ll find you out in social things you know. Like, let’s say you wanna say, Oh yeah, we’re real diverse, firm, right? Fine, fine, fine with your website. You do this. You do that. And you having a drink and then somebody says something I don’t know because they are in a minority group or whatever it might be. And then you’re. It’s like you can see it in somebody’s eyes you can see it in the way they react. You can’t manufacture that stuff you can’t make it. You can’t pretend your diapers when you’re not it’s the very core of you. So you know, I don’t know. I mean, I had was a good example. I didn’t get somebody from another country to run a law firm. Even though English might be perfect, their attitudes will come through straight away. If they’re not buying into all the things that we care about, you come across it. You know extremely positive, extremely optimistic. It sounds like you’ve got a really transparent culture in the firm, and you know, transparency. I guess is great, and people know where they stand. But you know, I, I’m feeling this real sense of optimism. You don’t, you know, you don’t necessarily. Fast strike me as your everyday managing partner, which is not a bad thing at all. But you know, I think maybe your background and stuff like that. You seem very real and I think that’s you know a great quality for clients is that kind of you know, inherent throughout the firm is that kind of a real part of your culture. It sounds like you know you come across to me. Yeah, it’s not. I hope you don’t take it as an insult, but you know you come across as a real person said no Jason look, I’m one of many first of all, so people see that and there’s other. But you know, I’ve got. I’ve got great Equity Partners as seven of us now. You know people can see we’re all different and you know you know, I know I’m the managing partner, but I’m genuinely want one amongst many Ann and we and we discuss everything you know in in his Democratic ways. We can. It’s not as if we can do everything by unanimous vote, but that’s but, but that’s how it is. But listen, listen Jason, there’s a battle of there’s a battle of if you like competing cultures and maybe I would be the worst managing partner if I was running a firm where I had. I don’t know 30 paralegals having churns. Stuff out, I think I’d be the worst managing partner for that. ’cause I think that you want you need for that is you need somebody who keeps on top of the metrics ’cause people in says you’ve done that. I’m recording today. I mean, you know it’s that sort of stuff. It’s like working in a factory and you haven’t done your hours. You haven’t you haven’t. You haven’t produced enough widgets or enough quality widgets, OK, I mean, but I think you know my world, and I guess that’s why I’ve ended up here. ’cause I guess you end up where you’re going to be most productive or efficient and stuff. That’s why I ended up here. And I get you will find out in the long run I, I genuinely believe the world’s problems today and I’m not going to be solved by an individual. I know Einstein did. The theory of relativity and he was a one off genius. But you get these for quantum. For quantum physics you need you needed everybody loads of different people and I guess that’s the that’s the joy of life. You know. Once the two things get combined will have a theory of everything maybe. But there’s different ways, right? So you know, I don’t regard myself as a genius. I think of. I think every single real important issue that we have to deal with nowadays is will only be solved by people cooperating with each other and the issues that we now have to face going forward. I don’t, I don’t know if you did you ever read Homosapien’s and Homer Deus by Harari. You know those two books. I know them, I haven’t read them, their incredible ’cause but the one incredible thing about it is and I believe this, you know. They say you know, for someone who’s in, who’s sort of fervent agnostic like me. You had my theory before. My thoughts before was very much that religion is the opiate of the masses. That’s my own personal view, but what her eyes her, I said this was what we can’t help ourselves doing this humans because we’re so successful as it is cooperating, bigger and bigger groups. And in order to do that we need to create artificial languages or environments and the two classic ones of that is the law and religion. And money is another one actually. But if you think about it like a company doesn’t exist in nature, but now it’s second nature to us all. We just. We just know that it exists as it is real to us as anything else, especially for lawyers. So it’s Corporation in bigger and bigger groups. How do you effectively Corporation bigger and bigger groups by being able to gel and find things in common? And I think we’re gonna have to do that as a race or more if we’re going to deal with some of the massive problems like global warming and stuff, there’s not going to be. It’s not going to be solved by an individual nation or an individual person with no need to get together on a massive scale. I think you make some very valid points though, and I agree with you and you know, I think this conversation has got to another level of depth.
Edit. We’re tackling the world’s problems, weather edit that fits big time. No, I think it’s real raw, and it definitely, you know, I think you make some really valid points there, but we do need to come together. And you know, I think you know we are more connected than ever. But you know, I do think about ways. We also more disconnected. I think you know it’s a funny old world that we live in. So you obviously you. You’re part of an LLP is I’ve spoken to lots of different lawyers. And managing partners and people who heads up big teams on this podcast. And there’s a lot of people that think the LLP model is broken. It doesn’t work anymore. It’s you know what. What’s your kind of thoughts about that? Being an LLP? My own personal view, given the amount of indemnity insurance we had as a partnership, and all the rest of it is that we didn’t need to come in there LLP. But you know what it was one of those things where they are with the younger guys coming up. I mean, they’re fully bought into this whole modern LLP reflects a modern firm and all the rest of it. And if you look around so many people are now allowed, please no problem. I mean that in itself, to my mind is fine. Being LP partnership company. It doesn’t really matter to me. What really matters is how you run your firm. Yeah, if you write your firm like an old style partnership, right? Like some of those horror stories one heard from days gone past with the old guys just hanging on, you know, to grim death to the money and all the rest of it. And that’s a different thing. One of the first things I did as managing partner and I say this. You could use circumspect. I’m now I’m now 60 three. I took over his magic. Father in and one of the first things I did was put at retirement age from the equity, not from the firm, but from the equity. Why? Because I feel that by the time you’re, let’s say, well, the age, our age is 66 by the time you get 66, you ought to be given up for the other guys. What happens if someone wants to stay on in the very the? All of our sites, all of our guys stay on. So far everybody stayed on it. That’s not the issue, it’s just you have to give up. I think what happens with people when they get to the end of their career. They’re effectively largely cashing in on stuff they’ve done. They’ve done in the past or not, everybody but some, and I think I think I think our attitude should be as a firm when you reach 66, what we should be doing is planning for succession, well before somebody reaches 66. So by the time that happens, obviously we want that person to be as comfortable as they can be in their aspirations. I mean, obviously we want alright X equities etc. to have lovely lives. But we also think it’s important for that. Person to be focused and concentrated on essentially handing over their Contacts and business to younger guys before they actually get to that age. OK, that’s interesting. What would you say? You know there’s a lot of people out there that want to get to partnership. It’s not easy to get to partnership or you know me. Personally, I’m a big fan of West End firms. I love the entrepreneurial spirit I’ve always recruited into the West ends. I’ve never been a city recruiter, I just love. I just love the buzz of the West end and you know people who build up client bases and get their hands dirty. I love all of that. But you know what advice would you give to someone who wants to become a partner? ’cause it’s not easy, you know, but let’s aim this at people in the West End and people who work for smaller regional firms. Let’s steer clear of the city. But you know what advice would you maybe give to it? Or maybe you want to address the city? I don’t know what. What advice would you give to people on how to get to partnership? What would be your top tip or top tips? I actually think that the legal market is very, very different. So when you talk about the city firms it’s about the firm right there, you know, and I’m not knocking this. I’m not saying this pejoratively, but in a city firm. They sweat you because of the firm’s name and the quality of the work they’ve got. They get there, they pay top dollar, they get the absolute best people. You know that you know, but their definition of. I mean they can. There’s a lot of really brilliant people, and we’re fortunate enough to get most of them who don’t want to top dollar. But anyway, yeah, they, they go there, you sweat. I mean, you know this, you sweat. I don’t know from the age of. Let’s say 28 to 48. You make so much money for the firm and if you fit in, if your face fit in, if you fit in with what the firm does, you get to stay. You make a lot of money and frankly you leave after a certain event. Having made a lot of money in them. And then I stopped by the is the firm’s name. I think when you come to the West End firm, it’s a lot to do with in individual following. Obviously the firms name adds to that, but there’s a lot more about the individual. What the individual does and the connections the individual makes both within and. Within and outside in the context of all that, there’s lots of granular stuff we can talk about, but there’s I would say one thing. Love what you do. If you like doing what you’re doing. If you wake up in the morning and you’re happy to go into work and you’re a bright guy, you will take the opportunities that come. You will be able to identify the opportunities and you will take them. You will learn how to get work in. You will learn how to market, whether it’s online, LinkedIn, whatever. It is in all the different phases of life. Weather. It’s a different environment. environment. 20 years ago would be a different 1, five years, 10 years from now we will talk about the new normal but bright people who are committed to what they’re doing will do well. I say that because if you have two people, one of whom actually likes what they’re doing and the other one doesn’t, I would always put my money on the guy who likes who likes what he’s doing because you’re going to apply yourself. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels like your life and you like doing it. And I think once you get that into place, everything else happens. How do you think you find that, though? Because it’s not? Easy to find something that you love. How do you even begin to focus and listen? Let’s not, let’s not be naive about this. Will all this right? We’re not. We’re not rock stars and football is or whatever it might be whatever your passion might be and if you know all these passions, I said to you, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to an interview where I said I’ve had a passion for the Lord the way my life is worked out the way you do it is by creating an environment where you come in as close as you can. And I don’t want to be too naive and banks, but where you genuinely? Like your colleague. I mean if I had if you had to write down on a piece of paper, what would be your ideal firm to work? I would put the ideal if you could create this the most successful firm. If you could create a firm where everybody wants to work for other people rather than themselves so genuinely wishes, do you know to help other people in the firm? I think you then you have a fantastically successful formula is really difficult to achieve. Yeah, I agree with you, I you know it’s interesting to hear you talk, you know. The work I’ve done in the last decade has been recruiting partners, so I’m asking you these questions. I think I know some of the officers myself, but it’s interesting to hear you articulate and say them. But no, I think you know loving what you do is really important. I think the challenge of people sometimes is actually trying to workout for an interview process. You know, do you love the people that you work with? ’cause it’s quite an alien than a rabbit in headlights scenario when you interview with someone? But again, I guess if it feels unnatural and it doesn’t feel right and you know it and you’re not maybe dealing with the people, then you need to be asking questions and. Yeah, I was encouraged. People, you know, just trying out for a lunch with people trying to get to actually know the people rather than, you know, just sitting there listing of the roles and responsibilities of what you do. You’re absolutely right. I mean, by the time, Fortunately, by the time, generally speaking, by the time I get to see anyone they’ve been seen by other people. So basically there at stage where other people have made the decision about competency and how good they are at their work and all of that. And basically when I walk in, my primary thing is do I want to spend time with this guy. Yeah it is. Is this man or woman? Somebody who you know if I was meeting clients, if I was going out, I’d like you know, I’d like spend an evening with just a chapter. You I get the sense of your firm. I think I would like working there. I think I’d probably get on very well. I don’t know why I think that I just do. Have me I don’t know. I only sounds great, but I mean at the end of the day all the boring stuff. Once Alaska hit the targets, you know, yeah, but that that’s just standard, isn’t it? You’re gonna have a target in any job. That’s what I think. It’s so. The other thing for us, I mean, I guess you know we have 1300 hours, you know, as chargeable time, mean that I’ve heard some city funds at 1800 hours, 2400 hours.
Stop me if this takes up too much time. Jason, but this reminds me of a conversation. I had this here. Go ahead for many years. This is many years ago. Actually. I remember how this conversation started ’cause it really did one. Yeah, we were at a barristers drink stone and there was a couple of American lawyers and me and another English lawyer and Anna sort of barrister there with the five little chatting and we got into this thing about hourly rates and the Americans were going English lawyers. You just ridiculously early rates are so high. And I started guffawing ’cause I said in our business and I remember this so well because I remember the barrister got really upset by me saying in our business profession and that was that was I mean the SRA 10 guidelines now uses the word business three times? Yeah, that’s how the how much the world is changed anyway, saying that one aside, so we got into this thing. Don’t match with these American boys and they’re going on at that time. They were saying our hourly rates are high and we’re going, but we’ve yet to see an American firm that does. Anything that we do on an equivalent basis and not charged twice is twice as much, so it doesn’t matter what the hourly rate is because you put so much time down for doing anything. And I can’t for the I said to this guy, I can’t for the life of me understand how you could possibly live a normal life and do the hours meet, meet the targets that you’ve got to me, you know, he said. He said I units of 15 minutes. I get into work at 8:30 and I put in four calls to four clients who I know are not going to be in so. Within about 10 minutes I’ve gone hour down. There’s something morally but doesn’t sit quite right there. I’m just sitting there, flabbergasted. From 2 perspectives and aside the moral **** if it goes down there. I mean, I, I’m actually looking at it and I’m going and I’m thinking frankly, no client of this firm would wear that. I don’t imagine your clients words, and I can’t imagine I just I don’t see as soon as you’re heading Burton client swallowing that somehow. So and this. The counterpoint to that. Is when I left University one of my best mates got into the mobile phone business in those very early years and I’m old enough to tell you that’s when phones were bricks. But anyway, the world was expanding that that world was just so lucrative and he got to a quite senior position. And I kept saying to him. Frank, right? OK don’t forget mate, you know work this way and to be faded we did refer bid work but never the you know the Heights that I would have aspired to any and we sat down with a drink one day he’s a lovely guy and I said. He said you can’t understand this look this. I’m in a board meeting. We’ve got a problem an we’re told we have to settle it for three 4-5 million. Whatever you know, in those days and big figures and as night follows day, the discussion will go something like this. We’ve been advised we’ve got to settle at this figure and the guy who’s Department it is or who the fingers being pointed at him will turn around and go. Well, who the hell is advising us of that? And if I were to say, Simons Muirhead and Burton, he would the next question? But who? And then I’d have to say, Oh yes, it made mine. There are great firm brother. No, won’t wash, went back and said Clifford Chance at the end of it like that. Like what was the guy gonna say?
You just gotta get back our people. Our people come to us because they take a view about quality and value for money and contact with partner and all the rest of it and there. And I’m not saying there’s some of our clients that are very, very corporate and you know really well known make a lot of money but for one reason or another, the people who’ve got their hands on the legal post re or very experienced I mean a great example of that would be, you know the teams that newsgroup or the mirror. Or you know, all the all the major broadcasters. They’re very sophisticated legal, you know, purchases of legal services and they and they look out for who they think is the best phone. They don’t need the biggest firms to do it, but mind you, having said that, I think the amounts of money that available in those areas probably wouldn’t attract city firms anyway. Well, it indeed order closing that briefly. What advice would you give to a look law graduates, people who’ve got a real interesting? Or maybe they’re going through the LPC. Maybe they are in University at the moment. It’s extremely difficult, as we all know to get training contract extremely difficult to get your foot on the ladder. What advice would you give to people? Briefly one, either if you’re good enough, just get the best, go to the best possible University you can and get the best possible degree. Don’t do a law degree if you’re not. If you don’t. If you’re not actually interested in the law degree, not the law, but the law degree. So do it. Agree that you really like doing and go to the best possible University and get the best possible grade. If that is not open to you, do something that makes you CV stand out and right. Just commercial that can come to in so many different ways. You know. I think any sophisticated firm nowadays really has to look at. I think it’s incumbent on us to actually try and look at the individual stories. And, you know, in the time of Covid when you hear on the news how little access, for instance people have to online learning and all the rest of it, you just see the difference so you know you can. You can see that somebody who doesn’t go to. So a great University and doesn’t get fantastic degree. But if you look at their background there probably achieved the same as somebody else would have done. Who gotta? First off. I mean you know it just depends on the back. So you have to be that the real difficulty Jason is there just isn’t enough time in the day to look at all the I think. I think we get something like 200 applications for each training you know. I mean, I don’t. Fortunately I have to do. I don’t have to do that anymore, but you know, one of my partners to sift through that he has to take a view and I know he’s really conscientious. Lovely guy, but yeah, but he’s not gonna be 200 CVS from cover to cover. Is you looking to spend you’re not going to want to spend a week on this to do justice? So every so let’s take the learning point as. Make sure that you stand out, market yourself properly and you know have a killer CV. Go to a good University if you can and you know, make sure that you sell yourself well and stands out. I’ve done an absolute multitude of videos on this, so if he wants to look go onto YouTube listen our Time, Raz, our time has come to an end. It’s been so nice talking to you & your stories and your anecdotes are absolutely beautiful to hear. People want to find out more about you. I’m assuming they can go to your website. And if they want to connect with you, are you on LinkedIn? I am and we’ve got a new website launching tomorrow. So yeah, listen to this. It will already be live there we go. Yes, listen. Thank you so much for your time. I’m Jason Connolly, Until next time goodbye.