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Linklaters finance veteran David Ereira on making partner three times and backing a cinematic stinker

 

Why did you become a lawyer? Because it’s the most interesting and challenging job I can think of – though perhaps my imagination is too limited.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career? I try to learn something from every other lawyer I come across. Professor Harry Street was the person who first taught me to think like a lawyer. Colin Bamford from Herbert Oppenheimer (now defunct) developed my analytic approach. Adrian Miles from Wilde Sapte (sadly now also defunct – is there a pattern emerging?) taught me how a lawyer should look after clients, and I still hope that I am open to new influences.

What’s your proudest professional moment? Making partner for the third time, at Linklaters.

… and worst day on the job? Doing a residential mortgage repossession in Southgate and having to help the family pack.

What’s your strongest characteristic… and worst trait? My ability to reach speedy decisions. On the negative side, my failure to listen to people telling me why I should wait.

What advice would you give to young deal lawyers starting out? Never be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand it, it may be because it really does not make sense.

What’s the best part of your job?  Seeing lawyers you have trained achieve success in their own careers.

What most annoys you about the legal profession? An astonishing lack of self doubt.

What’s your strongest card – technical wizardry or smooth client skills (you can only pick one)? I will go for technical wizardry – coupled with an ability to leave firms before they disappear.

What’s the toughest ethical/moral dilemma your job has ever presented you with? There is the odd occasion when you have to decide if you are going to tell the other side that you have spotted a defect in their documents. You always should.

What’s the worst corporate event you’ve ever attended? A preview of a terrible film that I had been involved in financing. Everyone concerned swiftly realised what a ghastly mistake we had given birth to.

Most memorable deal you ever have worked on, and why? The administration of Lehman Brothers has got to take the biscuit.

What will be the most significant market trend for UK top 10 law firms the next 12 months? A flight to quality.

What is the daftest bit of corporate jargon you’ve heard (and did you smirk)? There is lots of Newspeak in law firms but the most odd one to my ears is the name ‘Dispute Resolution’ for the legal equivalent of the SAS.

Do you see yourself having a career outside law? I could always be a student. Does that count as a career?

What’s your favourite item of clothing? I have a rather smart Richard James tie which has avoided ketchup stains for quite a long time now.

What’s your favourite cheese? A really ripe camembert making a run for it.

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