What is your background?
My name is Nemone Franks and I’m a London based partner specialising in Intellectual Property.
My career path, I guess, started as a law undergraduate at Cambridge University and then just prior to the beginning of my third year I was offered a training contract at Linklaters, which I accepted and then after graduating from Cambridge, I went to Nottingham Law School for the LPC, that was great fun, as well and then after taking a sufficient time off travelling, happy days, I started as a trainee at Linklaters. I did a number of different things, including a half seat client secondment to De Beers, an overseas secondment to the Brussels office, again, lots of fun, also IP obviously, Intellectual Property, where I am now qualified and also Anti-trust. In 2008 I was elected to the Linklaters partnership.
Life at Linklaters
What differentiates Linklaters?
I think the question of differentiation and what differentiates Linklaters from other firms is a question which is very difficult to answer. It’s also a question that we will frequently ask future trainees in their interviews and so there is a more formal answer which will be about the nature of the work that Linklaters does, as compared to other law firms. But that's not what really differentiates Linklaters for me. When I think about law firms I think each law firm has its own particular personality, and therefore each law firm is naturally differentiated from another by its own personality. I have to ask myself what best sums up Linklaters personality for me, and I would say, that it has the following qualities, starting with: it's ambitious, it's forward thinking, it's innovative, it's not afraid to make difficult decisions, it's diligent and I think, above everything else, it's a very friendly place to be.
What do you like most about working at Linklaters?
If I have to distil it into one thing, it is probably the people that I encounter, both within the firm and outside the firm. Within the firm, I really enjoy the fact that you get new graduates in on a regular basis and new people to interact with. I have always enjoyed the people that I have encountered at Linklaters. They are bright, intelligent, quick thinking, challenging people, which makes a wonderful work environment. Likewise, the clients that you encounter are of a similar nature. You’re operating with people who are at the top of their respective fields, which means that you are constantly challenged and that is something that I very much enjoy about the job.
How do you maintain and develop client relationships?
I feel that the most important thing in growing and maintaining a client relationship is understanding your client by listening to what they have to say, only your client can really tell you what they want, guessing is probably not going to get you anywhere and so I think the most important aspect is listening to your client, staying in regular contact with your client, so that you can better understand your client. The other thing which I think is critical to this, is don’t over promise and under deliver. If you say you’re going to do something, make sure that you do it.
What advice would you give students embarking on a career in law?
I think a trainee needs to have both physical and intellectual stamina, I think they need to be committed and enthusiastic, I think that they need to have a good grounding in application of black letter law and I think that above all, they need to have a diligent attention to detail. I think the best advice to give someone thinking about embarking on a law career, even before thinking about whether or not they take a law degree is really understanding what the jobs, that are potentially available, in law are and how likely you are to meet the criteria for those jobs.
- What is your background?
- Life at Linklaters
- What differentiates Linklaters?
- What do you like most about working at Linklaters?
- How do you maintain and develop client relationships?
- What advice would you give students embarking on a career in law?