Andrew Burnette

Andrew Burnette Partner – Dispute Resolution

Overview

After leaving school with plans of flying fast jets in the Royal Air Force (and A Levels in Maths, Physics, History and Spanish), the reality didn’t match up to expectation so I soon found myself reading Law at the University of East Anglia. After graduating with a 2:1, I completed the LPC at Nottingham Law School before joining Burges Salmon as trainee in 2001. I have been with firm ever since, qualifying into Dispute Resolution in 2003 and becoming a Partner in 2012. These days I fly a desk.

I initially chose Burges Salmon for my training contract because I felt my personality and ambition matched those of the firm. Over the years the firm has grown considerably but the culture has remained the same. I have always felt valued, supported and invested in. I was allowed to develop at my own pace and encouraged to take responsibility for my career, cases and clients from an early stage. I have friends in many other firms who constantly tell me how lucky I am to work in a collaborative culture where everyone is pulling in the same direction. It isn’t like that everywhere! Everyone is always jealous of our office environment too.

The best aspect of my job is working on great cases with excellent people. I am lucky to work with a very talented team who make dealing with some very high pressure situations not only interesting, but often fun! Litigators get bad press for being serious and difficult but that could not be further from the truth in reality. I also enjoy the variety of work which comes from being in a firm which has strengths in so many sectors. I could be dealing with a banking fraud one minute and contaminated food the next. When I think about all of the different industries and subjects I have litigated in, I realise that I have covered more ground than more or less any other profession could offer. It has been so absorbing I often wonder where the last 15 years have gone!

I am now a trainee recruitment partner. When looking for new recruits I can sum up what I'm looking for in two words: “future colleagues”. I look for people I would want to work with, who give me confidence that I could trust their judgment and who I could put in front of my most valued client. It goes without saying that every candidate I meet has an excellent academic background, so I need to see more than that. I look for signs of enthusiasm, drive and commitment both in a candidate’s application and how they come across in an interview. That could arise from anything they have done in life – I just want to see evidence of those traits. I also want to know why a candidate wants to work for Burges Salmon, in particular. What is it about the firm which is attractive to them? What research have they done to understand that this is place in which they want to invest their future? The best candidates have a clear understanding of who they are, what they can offer and how they see themselves developing within the environment this firm offers.