Q&A with Stephen Hewitt of Fisher Meredith
9th April 2015
Qualifying as a solicitor back in 1980, Stephen Hewitt is now a Managing Partner at London-based law firm Fisher Meredith, where he is responsible for overseeing the firm’s strategic business objectives.
Here, Stephen Hewitt tells us how solicitor job candidates would impress him and gives an insight into some of the high-profile cases he has worked on, as well as what challenges currently face today’s lawyers.
Over the course of his career he has worked on many high-profile cases and his success has led to him being named as one of London’s leading criminal lawyers by the Legal 500 and Chambers law firm directories, as well as playing a part in Fisher Meredith picking up a number of industry awards.
1. What sector of law do you specialise in?
I have an MBA in Law Firm Management and I have a full-time management and leadership role, but until about ten years ago I concentrated on criminal and civil litigation.
2. What does your role as managing partner involve?
Business strategy and keeping pace with market innovations, finance, people, technology, marketing and operations.
3. What is the most high-profile case you have ever worked on?
No one case springs to mind, but as a criminal lawyer I was involved in a substantial number of major drug smuggling cases involving collecting evidence across continents. I also worked on about 30 homicide cases and a number of large scale fraud trials, all of which were different and challenging.
4. What is the best professional success you have experienced in your career to date?
There have been many really good days and no one moment stands out, but I always enjoyed taking part in talks to aspiring lawyers at the College of Law and being involved in talks arranged by the Law Society to foreign lawyers about the English legal system.
5. What has been the greatest success in your firm?
Too many to mention
6. What is life like as a lawyer working in London?
Fast paced and interesting.
Starting out and advice
7. What motivated you to become a solicitor?
Practising law seemed to satisfy my interest in practical problem solving within an intellectually stimulating context.
8. What advice would you give to a younger Stephen Hewitt just starting out in his career?
Try not to specialise too soon if this can be avoided and learn to be resilient.
9. What is the best advice that you were given?
Concentrate every day on being the best you can. Aim for the gold standard.
10. What is the best piece of advice that you could give a lawyer in today’s environment?
Flexibility and agility are paramount in a fast-changing environment.
11. What would you say are the main challenges that up and coming lawyers face today?
Too many lawyers and too little “lawyer work” to sustain them all, principally because of cheaper processes through the use of technology.
12. How would someone introduce themselves well?
Be realistic about how much you know. Humility and self-knowledge are important.
13. What is the biggest thing that would leave you with a negative impression?
Negative impressions follow from overstating your knowledge or experience or giving an impression of low energy and little intellectual curiosity.
14. What traits do you look for in a lawyer who has applied for a job at Fisher Meredith?
Intellectual rigour and clarity, articulacy, self-knowledge, conscientiousness, resilience and flair.
These answers demonstrate some of the skills and qualities law firms in London are looking for in candidates; if you need help finding a job that suits you or would like more honest interview advice then get in touch with LAW Absolute.