Recruitment by professionals, for professionals

Finalist Interview: David Jackson

Introducing the Solicitor of the Year – Private Practice Shortlist: Q&A with David Jackson, Partner at Shoosmiths

What do you enjoy most about working in technology and outsourcing matters?

The world is changing rapidly and we’re in the midst of a digital revolution. The impact of technology and data on our lives is profound. But this means that it’s a really exciting time to be a tech lawyer. I’m privileged to be working with clients on some really innovative stuff that is having a meaningful impact. I think we’re fortunate to be practising as lawyers at this time as the deals we’re doing today will shape the world for many years to come.

Why have you chosen to work at Shoosmiths?

I joined Shoosmiths in 2006 as a fresh faced 5 1/2 year qualified commercial lawyer. The firm took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to build something new and exciting in an incredibly competitive legal market. Few firms are so bold as to empower their people to go out and succeed. I love that Shoosmiths is entrepreneurial and willing to give people the space and support to make a difference. We’re sometimes seen as a challenger brand in the legal market, but that fits perfectly with my personality and desire to be a part of something that is seeking to shake things up a little.

What is your ultimate goal for the successful outcome of a case?

The measure of success is subjective but since I work in a non-contentious area, I’m fortunate that success usually means that both parties to a transaction come away with a great deal, feeling positive about the experience!

What is the most rewarding work you have undertaken in your career?

I was recruited in 2006 to establish the firm’s commercial practice in Birmingham from a standing start. We have since gone on to develop the largest commercial team in the city as well as one of the most dynamic and well-respected commercial teams in the UK and the best part of that has been helping to develop the amazing talent we have within the team. It’s been a real privilege to have witnessed so many talented lawyers develop their careers with us and beyond.

Making the step from solicitor to partner: what are your top tips for succeeding in this move?

Someone once told me that I shouldn’t be afraid to fail. I think that if you work in a supportive environment where you are encouraged to go out and try without fear of embarrassment if things don’t quite go to plan, it’s incredibly powerful and empowering and promotes innovation and thinking differently. Since we’re living in unprecedented times and the impact technology is having on the legal sector is seismic, I would encourage any lawyer making the move into partnership to embrace the opportunities that change brings and to challenge convention and not be afraid to seek to do things differently.