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Interview with Nick Sutton, Partner at Fletcher Day

Interview with Nick Sutton, Partner at Fletcher Day

Nick Sutton is a civil and commercial litigator at Fletcher Day Ltd located at 110 Cannon St, EC4N 6EU London, United Kingdom.


Nick Sutton is an accomplished commercial and civil litigator who specialised in the field of insurance law. After having qualified, his accolades include being in the UK Top 20 for 10 years, as well as being a Legal 500 Tier 3 insurance litigation practice.



Part 1: Presentation of Nick Sutton, Partner at Fletcher Day



1. Introduce yourself : 


Nick Sutton; 36 years, 11 years PQE, Partner at Fletcher Day. 



Part 2: Description of the career of Nick Sutton, Partner at Fletcher Day



2. What drove you to become a lawyer?


There are two main factors. I always liked to argue from a young age and play ‘devil’s advocate’ in order to get different perspectives on important issues in life.  I’m also a bit of a stickler for rules and order, so law seemed to be a suitable career for me.  Also, I love the English language in its malleability, flexibility and poetry – so law and the art of ‘word-smithery’ seemed to be a natural route for me.



3. How long have you been working as a lawyer?


12 years altogether – my first paralegal job was back in November 2009; I qualified in July 2011 and became a partner at Fletcher Day in February 2021.



4. How did you get to work for Fletcher Day - what impressed you?


I was actually headhunted on Linkedin and was asked if I'd like to join them.  After undertaking my due diligence on the firm, what struck me was the caliber and quality of the lawyers at Fletcher Day and I really liked the Managing Director's strong ambition and plans for the Dispute Resolution team.



5.  How has your working life changed since being made partner?


At the junior end, there is a lot of paperwork, document production and generation. Since becoming a partner it's a lot more about managing client relationships, making sure things get done and on time. Internally, there is a lot referring of work in other practice areas and collaborating with other partners on different cases and client development projects.



Part 3: Job and daily life when you are a Partner at Fletcher Day



6. Can you talk a little about the firm you work for at the moment? You've started recently, what are your impressions so far?


I'm still learning a lot but upon initial impression, it's a very progressive, new-generation law firm with a heavy digital and entrepreneurial spirit.


Law firms are embracing digital technology to expedite a lot of the administrative work already, but at Fletcher Day it was impressive to see quite how far we've gone already.


As for the general vibe at the company, Fletcher Day has been running for around 10 years and in that time, they've put together a diverse and dynamic workforce with a hugely ambitious and compassionate culture.


In nutshell: I would say Fletcher Day is a City based firm with a West-End boutique feel.



7. What is your role in the company, Fletcher Day?


I'm a partner in the Dispute Resolution team with a focus on commercial and insurance litigation. 



8. What is a typical day like? 


I generally wake up at around 7am, check emails with a coffee and spend the first 2 hours or so of the day going through emails.


I tend to leave the more technical work to mid-morning which will lead me into whatever the day brings. There is so much variety and no two days are the same, so it’s critical to keep on top of my agenda and manage my diary correctly. 


Towards late afternoon, I’ll head to the gym or go for a run for about 30 minutes to an hour (ideally three times a week), get home, have dinner and then finish up with a bit more work before heading to bed.  I think it’s really important to stay physically active and healthy, as this supports mental health as well, which in turn means I’m working more efficiently and doing a better job for clients.



9. What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?


Winning the argument and winning cases for clients has to be the biggest thrill in my job. If my client is happy then this always has the same effect on me and I find it hugely satisfying.


The little things count too though: I like keeping on top of my work and keeping my inbox clean.


Last but not least: I am constantly learning as the job requires it and no two cases or client problems are the same.  So I think that you could say that the mental stimulation you get definitely keeps you on your feet and alert, which I find rewarding and helps me grow and develop as a person and as a professional.



10. What are the main difficulties in your job?


Managing expectations can be difficult and being realistic when needed can be tough.  It’s a trap to tell your client what they want to hear as it is just postponing a potentially difficult situation. 



Keeping on top of the to-do list is also sometimes pretty tricky from time to time because of the sheer volume of work. However, I find that if you stick to your main objectives, you’ll get by fine. 

Part 4: Qualities & Skills for a lawyer and a Partner at Fletcher Day



11. When you began working as a lawyer, what were the main challenges?


Understanding what a client expects of you can take a while when you begin as a lawyer.

Also assimilating a lot of information regarding the rules of law does take a while but you do get there in the end!



12. What do you think clients expect from you?


In short, I think that they expect frankness, responsiveness, impartiality and clear communication.

Highlighting the pros and cons of pursuing or defending a legal action to a client is really important in gaining their trust and whatever you do, don’t sugarcoat coat difficult aspects of your case!



13. How do you describe yourself at work in the shortest possible terms? 


Approachable, Organised, Tenacious.



14. What advice would you give to someone starting in the field of law? 


There are a string of questions that I think every law student should ask themselves: Do you like arguments? Do you like lots of reading? Do you like problem-solving? Do you want to work in contentious or non-contentious situations? Would you prefer your cases to be dispute or traction-based? And finally, are you prepared to work with a hugely eclectic client base with a plethora of different needs?

Part 5: Developments for Fletcher Day



15. How do you see the legal industry changing in the next few years? 


I think that digitisation will be one of the biggest changes in the future of the legal industry. From case and file management to smart contracts and A.I - law firms are looking more and more towards digital automation to facilitate what matters most: Winning cases for our clients. 


Furthermore, there have been considerable changes to the industry's regulations. More and more people can qualify to practice some form of the law so I think that competition will become more and more fierce as the sector becomes more democratic. 


I think that there is also an increased focus on professional development. At firms like Fletcher Day, there is a culture of always learning and going further and further in your professional evolution. This was perhaps not such a feature of the industry in previous years.

I expect in years to come, AI and automated systems with do some of the more routine aspects of legal practice, which is why strong client relationships and technical excellence will remain key to any successful lawyer.



16. How do you keep up to date with important industry news?


I subscribe to a few trade magazines such as Legal Week and The Lawyer but I also attend a lot of webinars and networking events almost every week.


I shall be at the Commercial Litigation Summit 2021 in November to help keep my finger on the pulse of industry news. 



Part 6: Other


  • Hobbies: I have a strong interest in cosmology. Virgin Galactic has just sent its first spaceship into orbit and I’m prepared to put up a decent part of my pension to buy a ticket to get up there too!


  • Music: just now I was listening to soft jazz and this morning a bit of classical.  Having said that, I'm also an avid consumer of Chicago house and vocal trance music when the moment is right. 


  • Food: I like a good restaurant as much as the next person; but last for my last supper? It would probably have to be Steak and Chips with Peppercorn Sauce (simple, but so good!). 


  • Any hidden skills?  I find local dialects and regional accents in England to be really interesting and endlessly fun and think I have quite a knack for impersonating most English accents if the moment calls for it. 


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Nick Sutton

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