My seat with the Senior Partner
When I announced to my fellow peers that my next seat was to be supervised by the Senior Partner, I was greeted with looks of shock and disbelief. The looks were accompanied by the usual generic horror stories (of which I am informed are standard rumours, told UK firm wide, whenever a trainee is to be supervised by a senior member of management) of long hours, strict rules and slavery, the stories of which amalgamated within my mind to depict the man at the centre of all the tales… an almost mythical creature… a caricature of a Dickensian Mr. Jaggers, or a bullish Miss Trunchbull.
When I arrived at my desk, I couldn’t help but glance into the looming mahogany office behind me and to the shadowy figure behind the computer. Instead of the image of the man I had created in my mind, the first thing I saw was a friendly smiling face which turned to me and said in a soft and well-spoken voice “Hello Rose, welcome to the team” and ushered me into his office. As I approached, I felt a great sense of ease as we sat down at the round table situated in the centre of the room. We spoke about my university, my previous legal experience but mainly our great love for the theatre, words and art. I quickly found out that the portrayal of the man of whom I was meant to be afraid was wrong; this was a family man, a talented man with an intelligent mind.
Michael has involved me on a wide variety of transactions. From a site visit to a derelict Church House in East London, having day to day contact with one of the firm’s biggest clients, to trudging around a Village Green plotting benches and communal bins on a map. But, what I find most compelling about being supervised by Michael is that he invites you to ask questions, challenge opinions and present your own thoughts. Michael is not only a good lawyer, but he is also an excellent teacher.
Michael encourages his trainee to hone their business development skills. From observing Michael interact with clients, I have been inspired to improve my own interpersonal skills and I have been at the forefront of a project which has identified and researched prospective clients whom we, as Cripps Pemberton Greenish, may want to approach in the future.
In life we have many teachers of all different kinds, and with Michael’s experience and reputation within the Real Estate sector, Michael has definitely been a notable teacher in my life. I have thoroughly enjoyed my second seat with Michael and I am honoured to have been his last trainee.
Sadly for Cripps Pemberton Greenish, Michael retired at the end of April 2016 but he leaves the firm in fine form and in excellent hands; besides which, he will remain as a business development consultant, and assist the firm in growing it’s already booming client base. Michael’s forward thinking and commercial expertise will be welcomed in this area, his skills meeting the demands of a modern day law firm.
And, for any prospective trainees out there reading this blog, don’t listen to generic rumours. After all, the senior management are probably more scared of us than we are of them!