Personal Injury Partner, Robert Gair, reflects on his 30-year career and offers some words of wisdom for those starting their career in law.
Brief intro to your career and time with Ellisons
I have been in practice since before the dawn of time (87). I joined Ellisons on the highly significant day of 1st April 14, to set up a new Claimant PI team. It is more than a little ironic, that following some recent structural changes at the firm, my team is now seconded to someone who is even older (Robert Jones).
I have always specialised in Claimant PI, and have been doing that exclusively since about 91, by which time I had been admitted to the roll for a couple of years. Before Ellisons I was only at one other firm, but it changed hugely during my time there as a result of two mergers. The first one was between my firm, Graham & Oldham, and Bankes Ashton, to create Ashton Graham. The second was with KFC to create Ashtons KCJ. They have rebranded to Ashtons since I left.
Those changes are a constant reminder of just how vital good management is, and also that there can be a seemingly small margin between getting it right, and veering off course into the badlands.
What attracted you to a career in law?
Having just finished my O levels (an exceedingly difficult version of GCSEs), I was unsure where to go with A levels. My mother suggested the arts, and from there law. I’ve never looked back since….
Have you ever faced any career challenges? How did you overcome these challenges?
There have been challenges, too many to mention. By sticking to my principles, and maintaining self belief, I have managed to survive these, just about. I am, at least, still standing.
Do you have any words of wisdom for people starting their law career?
In addition to the above, try and listen carefully to what is being said, including your opponents. That way, you will be best placed to respond, and meet the challenges you face, head on. Also, if you can maintain a sense of humour it works wonders in keeping a proper perspective on life’s inevitable set backs.
Find out more about a career at Ellisons here.