Passionate about all things tech-related, things began to fall into place when Leo secured a secondment at an internet powerhouse in his second seat during his training contract: “I absolutely always wanted to work in technology and I love learning about technology,” and in a market that is constantly shifting and developing, this desire for knowledge has proven to be invaluable, particularly as Cooley is well-established in Silicon Valley and the venture market, serving clients “who are trying to do new things in new ways, or old things in new ways.” Building client relationships Leo obviously made a great impression during his secondment and that client still calls on him directly for a selection of commercial contract work. It is this aspect of the job that Leo enjoys most; building a relationship with a client who then seeks out his input and uses him as a sounding board for new ideas and ventures. As a tech law specialist Leo also relishes collaborating with companies and watching as they grow from a nascent brand tapping into a niche in the technology market, to an established and successful name. The fact that the world of technology is continuously shifting and evolving means that the expertise of technology lawyers is in constant demand; whether that be for a US company looking to launch a new product in the United Kingdom or for a global household Theremust be some point where a self-driving car has to make a decision between injuring the driver of the car or injuring a third party on the street. Is there a regulatory framework that coders would follow in creating the code whichmakes that decision?
Technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) is one of the fastest-developing sectors of the legal market. The constant evolution of technology pushes legal boundaries and begs for the provision of innovative legal advice. In advising their clients, TMT lawyers are required not only to apply black letter law, but also to take into account market developments, regulatory considerations and commercial and technical issues. Outsourcing continues to be a particularly hot topic. Leo Spicer-Phelps settled on the idea of becoming a solicitor after completing his politics degree at the University of Nottingham. This understanding of the machinations of politics has instilled in him an underlying interest in scrutinising the regulation of the ever-changing and evolving world of technology law in which he now practices. While he did not really consider taking the Bar, Leo was immediately drawn to the business-focused world of being a solicitor: “I wanted to work in a broadly commercial space, working directly with companies in a more engaged fashion rather than on an ad hoc basis and being a solicitor seemed like the best way to do that.” Early responsibility During his training contract, Leo appreciated the opportunity to get stuck into all aspects of practising as a solicitor and believes that the on-the-job training and the level of responsibility afforded to him helped him to hone his craft and develop the skills required as a junior and mid-level associate: “I really valued the training experience and think it played in to how I learn best. As a trainee at Cooley, if you demonstrate that you are capable of doing something, you are happy and engaged with that work and you are curious to learn more, there is a huge will to ensure that you get to take on greater responsibilities.”
For more firms that work in this practice area, please use the “Training contract regional indexes” starting on p197.
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