The Hot 100 career quiz: Mofo European chief Paul Friedman – The Lawyer

“Don’t rush critical strategy decisions. Better to take some time to consider; as time passes, more information, and further consideration and consultation usually help get to the right judgment call.”
Name: Paul Friedman
Organisation: Morrison & Foerster
Role: European Managing Partner; Executive Committee
Based: London
Trained at: Morrison & Foerster
Year qualified:  1982
Read his Hot 100 profile
What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee?
How much there was to learn; listening, observing, asking questions. Taking it all in.
What is the thing in your professional career that has terrified you or taken you out of your comfort zone the most?
Appellate arguments in the States, in front of three very smart, very prepared federal appellate judges, asking non-stop questions. The anticipation was always nerve-wracking but the actual experiences were thrilling and professional high points. Of course, winning the appeal made it all even better!
What is the wisest thing anyone ever said to you (and who said it)?
Don’t rush critical strategy decisions. Better to take some time to consider; as time passes, more information, and further consideration and consultation usually help get to the right judgment call.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?
Client first, always. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. What are their priorities and concerns? Understand their business, read the trade press that they read. Consider the pressure they face, and always try to make them look good in their organization. Help them avoid surprises. Don’t sugar coat advice, but also don’t exaggerate risks and downsides. Be commercial.
What’s your best friend from law school doing now?
A very successful property developer. He left law firm life to go into business with a client and never looked back.
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