Graduate team insights: an interview with Benn Richards

Graduate team insights: an interview with Benn Richards

Welcome back to our Graduate Team Insights series, where we sit down with members of the Graduate Recruitment team and ask them about their background and experiences through their respective careers.

This week, we speak to Benn Richards, a Partner in the Restructuring & Insolvency team who specialises in both contentious and non-contentious insolvency.

Where did you train?

A small commercial firm in the City which has been swallowed up by a larger national firm.

Do you have a law or a non-law background?

Non-law. My undergrad degree was in Sociology (with a strong hint of Philosophy).

What do you like most about being a lawyer?

The mixture of technical arguments with commercial/lateral thinking. It is always rewarding to find a solution to a problem.

What do you like least about the legal profession?

I find some of the older styles of litigation frustrating, with overly aggressive/emotive approaches. Thankfully those approaches are now less common.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you be?

Either a Calvin Klein model, a comedian, or (most likely) an academic.

What is your proudest career moment?

I have been fortunate enough to act on a number of high-profile and reported cases. I also obtained my higher rights of audience in 2005 and exercising those rights for the first time, when I was still quite junior, was a proud moment.

What was the biggest mistake you made as a trainee? What did you learn from it?

Nothing too significant, which was more luck that judgment! Mistakes do happen and the most important thing is to speak up, as 99% of the time, nothing really turns on it.

If you could describe your leadership style in three words, what would they be?

Approachable, supportive, collaborative

What is your favourite thing to do in your free time?

Walk my dogs, ride bikes and spend time with my family.

Given what you know now, what advice would you give to your trainee self?

Listen and learn as much as you can. You will work with different people with different skills, so pick up as much as you can.