Lawyer story

Robert Denison

Robert Denison

Name: Robert Denison, Senior Associate, Arbitration practice group, London

Nationality: British

Languages spoken: English, Spanish, French

When did you join LALIVE? October 2019



Why did you join LALIVE?

I wanted to focus on international arbitration and I knew that LALIVE would offer me top-quality international arbitration experience, both investment and commercial. It is one of the few firms in London with a pure arbitration team. Elsewhere there tend to be more general ‘disputes’ teams.

How have you grown and progressed?

LALIVE is a meritocracy. If you want responsibility and demonstrate capability, you will be given opportunities, regardless of seniority. As an example, I was given the opportunity to conduct a cross-examination at an ICSID hearing, even though there were two partners and a counsel on the team. Thanks to opportunities like these, I am confident that I have progressed more quickly than I would have elsewhere.

Can you share one or two highlights of your time here?

The hearings in which I have been involved are obvious highlights. In contrast to many London firms, we do the advocacy ourselves. This makes hearings intense but all the more rewarding. I have also acted as tribunal secretary for a tribunal chaired by one of our most senior partners, enabling me to see an arbitration from the arbitrator’s perspective. On the social side, everyone is invited to Geneva for the firm’s annual party. I am always amazed that despite the international diversity we all get along like family.

How would you describe the environment?

It’s not easy to capture in just a few words, but… progressive, international, professional and respectful. The camaraderie between associates is such an important aspect of the firm’s culture. I have made lifelong friends through being ‘in the trenches’ with team members, including in cases where they work in another office.

Who has helped and supported you to grow and progress?

I have worked in several lean teams, which means working closely with partners – including the firm’s most senior lawyers – from whom I have learned so much. I have also benefitted from mentorship from more experienced associates and counsel, helping me to navigate several complicated situations.

What qualities are needed to thrive here?

Strong technical legal ability is assumed at the outset. You need to be proactive in making the most of the amazing people and opportunities on offer – and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. You also need to be self-aware and confident in your abilities because people are not assessed by number of years of experience, but on merit. However, you also need to be empathetic because there is a strong belief in teamwork. With everyone coming from such different backgrounds, you need to be able to listen and be open to very different perspectives.




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