Charlie Fletcher is a Partner in Corporate, whose practice is focused on a broad range of transactional work, including M&A, corporate advisory, equity and debt fundraising and international investment across a wide range of industries.
I wanted to get into law because… the law appealed to me because I always enjoyed learning and I wanted to do something that required constant curiosity, learning and a growth mindset.
I came to be in Cambridge because… I was an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge – I knew the city that way, met my wife in Cambridge and we chose to live and build our careers here.
I chose Corporate law because… I love a challenge and the sense of achievement of crossing a finish line. It's like running, which I do a lot of. It's not always fun but when you reach the finish it's always a great feeling – and even more so when you're doing it with people you like and respect a lot.
The thing that motivates me most is… working with smart and inspiring people, whether it's clients or colleagues. One realisation I've had through my career working in legal services in Cambridge since 2001 is that your contacts and network become a function of your experience. Working with people you have a good rapport with helps to motivate you.
The work achievement I'm most proud of is… the work we did to assemble the great lawyers we had on the Taylor Vinters side, who have now joined the Mishcon team. We were able to recruit highly motivated, highly talented individuals who are emerging together as a generation of outstanding lawyers.
The thing that makes Cambridge such a hub of innovation is… that it has always been a magnet for smart, creative yet sometimes quirky individuals. Even since 2001, much has changed – new businesses and industries have sprung up and it's more globalised. Cambridge is now the research HQ of choice for some of the most renowned, IP rich, multinationals. But it is still the boffins and the changemakers at the heart of the city that make it a special place to do business.
One opportunity from the merger is… for our combined corporate offering to be recognised as the leading place to go for a next generational approach to M&A and other corporate transactions. With the additional headcount and strength in depth and deal-doing firepower that we've got as a result of the merger, we have a chance to take ourselves to a whole new position in the market.
Somebody that has inspired me during my career is… my wife. The reason she's inspired me is that she has been able to make a big impact in what can be a generally patriarchal, male dominated, unreformed industry – construction. There should never be any barriers that stop us from bringing our best selves to work: no-one should have to fight against prejudice to be included, valued and recognised fully for what they can bring to the table.
One thing I wish I knew when I started my career is… not to be too perturbed by problems of all shapes and sizes because, fundamentally, a lawyer's job is to resolve them. It is amazing how seemingly insurmountable issues can be resolved once you have the mindset of embracing them positively and turning head on into the challenge. Once you have the mindset of running towards problems rather than away from them, you can really mark yourself out as a lawyer that delivers results for clients. The other advice is that it's very worthwhile investing time and effort into your network and profile from Day 1 of your professional life, because it will repay you many times over in the long run.
One future trend in my practice area is… that, as advisors, we will all become more strategic and less task driven. AI and robots will help with back-end processes, documents and tasks that took up a lot of time in the past, while we can create a strategy, a tone and way of thinking that homes in on client objectives and delivers "so here's what we do next" strategic advice.
One thing you didn’t know about me is… prior to working as a lawyer, I had an extremely diverse range of student jobs working amongst other things in a hospital kitchen, in shops, in a tyre factory, chicken-catching, tractor driving, marquee erection, as a punt chauffeur and, slightly less prosaically, as an economic researcher. The experiences I had then, the broad range of people I got to deal with and the tasks I had to knuckle down to help me every day, with being the best lawyer I can be.