What I’ve Learnt: Kevin Robertson

May 1, 2019

Kevin Robertson is partner and head of leading law firm Womble Bond Dickinson Newcastle office. He is also head of the firm’s projects and procurement team. Here, he gives his top tips for success, which have helped him through this 25-year legal career

It’s okay to say you don’t know, don’t ever try to blag your way through. Don’t be afraid to seek the advice of others – I got this piece of advice from my first supervisor as a trainee and it’s served me well throughout my career.

My approach to business is the same as my approach to life – treat others as you would have them treat you, whether they be colleagues, clients or competitors.

Never promise you can deliver something you can’t. You’ll soon be found out if you overpromise and under-deliver – that’s how you lose credibility and the trust of clients and colleagues alike.

Be approachable. The partners at Womble Bond Dickinson are an incredibly approachable and supportive group. It doesn’t surprise me at all that we recently won Legal Cheeks’ Partner Approachability Award.

Be straight with the people you work with to get the best out of them, explain what is needed to deliver collectively and help them understand their role within that.

Lead by example and be willing to do everything you would ask your team to do.

Resist temptation to provide speed over quality. In a fast-moving world, we all expect quick responses but you also still need to be able to give projects the time they need to be done properly, and should feel confident to explain that, to provide the best possible service.

Encourage leadership in all around you. Different leaders emerge for different tasks and at different stages of a project – and it’s not always the most senior person. As a projects lawyer, that’s really what I enjoy; working as a team with people at all levels, and each member of the team leading their own particular aspect of the job. It gets the best result for the client and allows all team members to develop their leadership skills.

There will be highs and lows. To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling: treat the two imposters of triumph and disaster just the same. Stick to your course.

Womble Bond Dickinson

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