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Daphne Robertson

A medical practice

Alumna Daphne Robertson recalls her time as an associate at Freshfields and explains how her early Freshfields experience was a key ingredient in her business success.

I joined Freshfields in 1990, straight from St Andrew’s University and the College of Law. I remember working incredibly hard, frequently right through the night. It certainly meant that I had a more limited social life than many of my friends at the time. Looking back though, it was incredibly good experience and probably the best introduction to the law I could have got. I learnt a huge amount in a very short time from a lot of very bright and experienced people.

The highlight of my time with the firm was my secondment to Moscow shortly after the fall of communism. The Moscow office was newly opened and it was a little like the wild west. The change from the very formal London culture was stark, and I learnt that working with the law can play an important role in the development of a country and its institutions. I still have many friends from my time in both London and Moscow.

As my career developed, I realised that I needed a change of direction. So I decided to shape my own future and set up my own firm, DR Solicitors, in 2003. We specialise in advising medical professionals and I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the years. We have grown into a renowned niche practice, and are now probably the largest provider of legal services to primary care practitioners in the country. We are highly ranked in Chambers, but more importantly are also widely recognised within the Primary Care industry as one of the leading firms of professional advisers.

Building the firm has been hard work, but I enjoy working with my fantastic team (some of whom are also Freshfields alumni). It’s satisfying to help our clients find commercial solutions to the very complex problems they face. I can honestly say that I enjoy going to work every day, and I am acutely aware that this puts me in a very fortunate position. Freshfields certainly instilled in me many of the values which have been critical to my success in business over the years.

Like Freshfields, I am particularly proud of our reputation for client service. Our clients are normally in surgery during the day, so we all make ourselves available at times and in ways that work for them. This can mean conference calls, video conferences/Skype or meetings at the surgery – often in evenings or at weekends. Our technology supports this, so our 'files' are all electronic and available from wherever we happen to be. As a result, we have been working paperless for over fourteen years. We are a modern, specialist and client-focused firm with a team I’m incredibly proud of.