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Lawyer Career Changer Profile

Rob Birkett



Legal Career

Constant & Constant & Constant, Solicitor, Shipping Litigation, London

New Career(s)


Career Change Story

I left private practice shipping litigation to go in-house with a London based shipowner, in their legal and insurance department. I followed the (shipping) industry and national press, legal periodicals, and saw the position advertised in The Times legal section. I also kept in touch with a couple of shipping-specific recruitment consultants along the way, and had at least one in-house interview via word of mouth, through a friend in shipping private practice who had a client looking.

However, I had a nagging feeling that I wanted to try a more entrepreneurial venture at some point. I was also getting much more interested in re-training as a professional coach and developing my own coaching practice at some stage.

In short, it was to have more control over my time, decisions and direction. I also wanted to be able to help individuals make their own changes in their careers/lives through coaching.

Career Change Reflections

I find the absence of billing targets, time sheets, and marketing onus very liberating. These are replaced by scrutiny in other ways however, and a whole new set of pressures exerted by a highly commercial atmosphere. It isn't a soft-option due to the immediacy of issues that arise, and a permanently on-site principal. You are actutely aware of the financial implications of every issue arising. Less law (some arbitrations are conducted in-house, litigation is instructed out), more claims avoidance, in a best practice way, and trouble shooting. More regular hours, until there is breaking news during the night or at weekends. But that's shipping.


Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of posting, the information is intended as guidance only. It should not be considered as professional or legal advice.