Finalist Interview: Daniel Winterfeldt
Introducing the Solicitor of the Year – Private Practice Shortlist: Q & A with Daniel K. Winterfeldt, Partner at Reed Smith LLP
What is your professional background?
I am a dual-qualified lawyer admitted to the Bar in the State of New York and a qualified solicitor in England & Wales. I am also admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. I went to law school at Fordham University in New York City, graduating in 1998, and have been practising in London since 2000.
I am a global capital markets partner and an expert in US securities law. My clients include a range of investment banks, issuers and intermediaries, including the London Stock Exchange.
What is your ultimate goal for the successful outcome of a transaction?
As a transactional lawyer, my capital markets practice involves helping issuers and their financial advisors in successfully raising funds to support their businesses. A successful outcome of a transaction is when an initial public offering (IPO) or secondary offering comes to fruition and the necessary capital is raised.
I also do advisory work helping clients with a range of issues from broker-dealer exemptions to settlement and trading of restricted securities. This advisory work helps my clients conduct the necessary transactions to service their shareholders or clients.
What is your biggest achievement in your career?
My biggest achievement has been founding and running two highly successful inter-organisational networks.
The Forum for US Securities Lawyers in London (http://tffuslil.com/) (the “Forum”) is a trade association representing US-qualified lawyers and participants in the London capital markets. Membership is over 1,500 people and includes US-qualified lawyers practicing at law firms and financial institutions in the London capital markets, as well as market participants including securities exchanges, settlement systems and registrars. The Forum is an independent, self-funded organisation dedicated to addressing issues of the application of and compliance with US securities laws in London and international capital markets.
The InterLaw Diversity Forum (www.interlawdiversityforum.org) works to foster inclusion for diverse talent working in the legal sector, and to promote meritocracy in all sectors by working to 'level the playing field' in order to create environments where the best talent can succeed. Since its founding in 2008, the InterLaw Diversity Forum has expanded its scope beyond LGBT+ to encompass all strands of diversity and inclusion, including Race & Ethnicity (BAME), Disability, Gender and social mobility, with a particular focus on cultural change in the workplace and 'multiple identities'/intersectionality.
The InterLaw Diversity Forum currently has more than 6,000 members and supporters from over 300 law firms and chambers, and over 500 corporates and financial institutions.
Making the step from solicitor to partner: what are your top tips for succeeding in this move?
Making the move to partner means ensuring you are both excellent in your field of law, but also work on your leadership skills, exhibit authenticity, develop your personal brand and professional network, build a client basis, and navigate the political landscape at your firm. You also need to ensure that you have a sponsor in your business who is promoting you, securing key work for you, and guiding you through the process, as well as ensuring the you have a network of mentors inside and outside your organisation to support your journey. Don't make the mistake of just keeping your head down and thinking that being a good associate will make you a good partner!
What are your interests outside work?
I am very lucky that my outside interests overlap with my work - I spend much of my free time dedicated to diversity, inclusion and culture both through the InterLaw Diversity Forum and the Apollo Leadership Institute, but also supporting other law firms, employers and organisations to support diverse and socially disadvantaged talent in the legal sector and beyond.