Lynn Knight, Shoosmiths partner

Name: Lynn Knight

Firm: Shoosmiths

Position: Partner

Degree: Law

University: Aberdeen

Hobbies: Sailing, and spending as much time as I can with family and friends, just enjoying life.

Area of practice: Corporate

Lynn Knight, Shoosmiths
Lynn Knight, Shoosmiths

When and why did you decide to train as a solicitor?

At university – when I dropped out of medicine because it turns out that I can’t stand the sight of blood in copious quantities! My best mates at the time were studying law and having a great time learning about the more sensational aspects of criminal law so I thought – why not give law a go?

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

The people I work with – fantastic colleagues and a vast array of clients who are generally very commercial, very driven in what they do and interesting people to get to know.

What are the worst aspects of your job?

The long hours in the run-up to closing a transaction can be hard. (They’re getting harder the older I get!)

What’s the main issue that lawyers in your field are thinking about at the moment?

We have no real feel yet for the likely longer-term impact of Brexit on the corporate world. Watch this space…

If you weren’t in your current field, what other area of law would you like to work in?

There isn’t another area of law which I would consider. Life as a corporate lawyer is my thing – a wide variety of work and clients and a predominantly commercial rather than legal environment in which everyone’s priority is to get a good deal done. This means we need to find pragmatic, commercial solutions to any legal issues encountered during the deal process.

What’s the biggest misconception that students have about life as a lawyer?

If students think life as a lawyer is glamorous, think again. A lot of what we do involves painstaking attention to detail, top class drafting skills and a lot of reading of lengthy legal documents – day in, day out.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).

  • I have a lucky charm which I take to all deal completion meetings.
  • I qualified into corporate having never done a day of corporate work during my training contract. I didn’t even understand the first instruction I was given by my new boss.
  • At the end of a particularly tricky deal, to celebrate closing, I danced on the board room table with my client.

In one sentence, what’s the one key thing that students should understand about your firm?

We live our firm values – they’re not just there for show – so we have a unique culture which our clients and our staff really love.

What was the oddest thing you were asked to do as a trainee?

We were articled clerks back then – I’m showing my age. I was required to learn how to tie a bow-tie well. When the male partners went off to black tie dos in the evening, they found it easier to ask a trainee to ensure that their bow-ties were tied correctly and neatly than to wrestle with their neck attire using a mirror!

What’s your best friend from law school doing now?

What she said she would when we left law school. After a successful career as a criminal lawyer, she retired at 40 and now follows her passion – raising, training and caring for horses.