Leaving the Locker Room

This will be my last Lawslot Redux post as a practising lawyer.

In less than a week I change roles, leaving the world of corporate transactions – a world I have known for some 36 years – to focus on client relationships and client development. I will still keep my practicing certificate (and I have been assured that I will remain insured) so technically I will still be a lawyer – but without transactions it will not be the same.

Not surprisingly this change has led me to reflect on my career – far too much reflection, according to my children, who believe they should have a monopoly on introspection. But don’t worry, I am not going to go there in this post. But what has struck me is that notwithstanding how the legal profession has changed in my professional lifetime – and is still changing – the same cannot be said for the actual day job. This has changed very little in 36 years. There is no doubt that that the means of doing is different: back in the day we had no email, no fax, no PCs. Everything was typed (and then copy typed), drafts travelled (marked, and occasionally butchered, in precise colour order, with riders stapled, or stuck on with Sellotape), calls were landline, and you still dialled a number. Even if there wasn’t, there seemed a great deal more time.

But transactions, and our role in them as lawyers, have remained pretty well unchanged: same documents, same issues, same arguments (just a different generation of lawyer doing the arguing), same tensions . . . and same excitement. Each transaction the same in its essentials, each different in its particulars.

And it is the excitement that has kept me working – this is what I know that I will miss, but, as my last post, the time comes for us all.

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