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Michael Pattinson

Global Chair, Interlaw

    Michael Pattinson

I first encountered Interlaw when Trowers & Hamlins, the law firm that has been my ’home’ for more than three decades, joined the global network in 2014.

Since then, it has been a pleasure to work alongside so many talented colleagues from across the world, many of whom have become friends, and I take over the role of global Chair at an exciting time for the network.   

There is something very special about the collegiate nature of Interlaw that is unique to our organization. The strength of the relationships between our founding firms have not been diluted in the many thousands of connections that have been forged over the years. In fact, we even hosted a wedding at our recent AGM!    

We have spent the past 12 months celebrating Interlaw’s 40th anniversary, which has inevitably led us to reflect on the achievements and milestones that have seen us become a network of 8000+ lawyers in now over 150 cities.   

In the past decade, we developed and delivered our Interlaw 2.0 strategy under the stewardship of chairs emeriti, Michael Siebold and Glenn Cunningham, which has seen Interlaw progress and evolve in so many positive ways. In particular, we have established a cohesive digital infrastructure to aid seamless cross-border collaboration, which closely aligns the Interlaw offering with the needs of the modern multinational client.   

In 2024, we will develop our new strategy to take Interlaw to the next level, and for me, the needs of the ‘next generation’ lawyers across our organization are central to this strategy. In fact, a key measure of success for my tenure as chair will be to have increased the engagement and participation of the talented next generation of legal leaders across our network.    

Our established next generation lawyers group is already highly active, which was apparent at the recent NextGen EMEA Retreat, held in Hamburg, Germany.   

These future leaders are inheriting a very different legal services sector, where law firms are increasingly tech-enabled, diverse, and dynamic. I know from my own experience that forming a strong network through Interlaw will help them to navigate this new legal landscape from a more informed and sure-footed perspective.    

It is a truism that you get out of something what you are prepared to put in, and I firmly believe that is the case when it comes to our network. It has certainly expanded the scope of my work and that of my wider firm. But, it is most apparent in the relationships that I have forged with colleagues around the world that have added another dimension to my legal career - a world of experience at my door.    

It’s undoubtedly helped me professionally, but also made my work more enjoyable because I have become firm friends with so many of my Interlaw colleagues. So, if anyone is looking for a New Year’s resolution, then in my experience investing in your working relationships always repays with interest.    

As we head into 2024, Interlaw will continue to expand, with new partner firms and more talented lawyers joining our network. I am looking forward to seeing what this next generation of Interlaw will bring.