Andrew Hearn, Dechert training partner


Andrew Hearn
Andrew Hearn

Firm: Dechert

Department: Litigation

University: Oxford

Degree subject: Jurisprudence

Hobbies: My family, theatre, playing tennis, skiing, travelling to interesting new places and watching the finest football team in London play the game (beautifully)

How long have you been a partner? (Frighteningly) 25 years.

Who/what inspired you to be a lawyer? Some great lawyers with whom I was fortunate enough to obtain early work experience, particularly my dear colleague Charles Corman and Sir Geoffrey Bindman to both of whom I remain very grateful.

What things did you wish you knew before embarking on a legal career? That the BlackBerry would be invented.

What does your typical day involve? (Often) traveling, (usually) a mixture of meetings, phone calls, emails and considering and advising on challenging issues and (always) a great deal of interaction and communication with people.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job? Keeping abreast of changes in the areas of law in which I practice and also in the areas which I have to keep on top of when sitting as a Recorder.

What has been the highlight of your legal career so far? I would have to pick as highlights becoming a partner in a terrific law firm 25 years ago and being appointed a Recorder.

What are the best aspects of your job? The best of many very satisfying aspects of my job is best summed up as the professional colleagues and clients with whom I interact on a regular basis.

What are the worst aspects of your job? Easy – completing timesheets!

What tips would you give to students who want to break into the legal profession? Only do it if you are really passionate about wanting to be a lawyer. It is in many respects a very satisfying and rewarding profession but it is tough.

What are the most common mistakes you’ve seen candidates making? Not first deciding why (or sometimes even whether) they want to become a commercial lawyer.

How has the legal market changed since the days you were a trainee? The practice of law has become infinitely more specialised than it was and a great deal more is now expected of lawyers. Being intelligent and able to analyse difficult legal issues are pre-requisites but many other qualities are required if you are going to be to be successful.

What impact has the recession had on your firm? I think we have coped very well with what was the toughest recession I have experienced and are coming out of it as a vibrant and flourishing international law firm.

What three words best describe your firm? Dynamic, meritocratic and collegiate.

Where did you go for your last holiday? Argentina and Chile.

What gadget/gizmo would you be lost without? My Blackberry – sad choice perhaps but it was very good to have instant emails available when I was caught up in the tsunami in Sri Lanka with no other form of communication possible.