Richard Webb

Cobbetts training principal Richard Webb admits that he decided on a career in law in part because of the 70s television series Petrocelli.

Firm: Cobbetts LLP

Department: Banking and Finance Litigation

University: Nottingham University

Degree subject: Law LLB

Hobbies: Watching Manchester United, running , music

How long have you been a partner? 14 years

Who/what inspired you to be a lawyer? It was probably one of the very limited career options that I had given that sciences and accountancy were complete non starters. The 70s television series Petrocelli also had a huge impact on my decision making process.

What things did you wish you knew before embarking on a legal career? That Petrocelli’s lifestyle and career was not quite mirrored on this side of the pond and certainly not during articles in down town Withington, South Manchester.

What does your typical day involve? There is no typical day. Managing 200 people and a number of key clients makes for a varied and rewarding life.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?Balancing competing time pressures.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?Achieving partnership and being elected by my peers to the LLP Board which supervises the management of the firm.

What are the best aspects of your job? I am constantly impressed by the quality and commitment of all in the firm.

What are the worst aspects of your job? The drive on the M62 for my one day a week in the Leeds office.

What tips would you give to students who want to break into the legal profession? Develop your CV to make yourself stand out. Take part in activities that develop the skills we are looking for including work experience (legal and non-legal) or ‘extra curricular’ activities such as charity work or joining societies or clubs – e.g. university societies, sport, music, debating or pro-bono and importantly, be yourself.

What are the most common mistakes you’ve seen candidates making? In application forms some of the most common mistakes include spelling and grammar. In interviews , trying to shoe horn rehearsed answers into questions.

How has the legal market changed since the days you were a trainee? There have been huge changes but , as with those that follow the introduction of the Legal Services Act , they must be viewed as opportunities which the profession must grasp.

What impact has the recession had on your firm?As with any transactional firm , we have experienced challenging times in corporate and property but my own practice area , litigation has continued to enjoy sustained growth.

What three words best describe your firm?Friendly , Inspiring , Driven.

Where did you go for your last holiday? La Caleta , Tenerife

What gadget/gizmo would you be lost without? My Blackberry and Manchester United season ticket.