Robert Gould career story

Robert joined Portner as a partner in January to head up our Corporate Commercial department. We spoke to him about his career to date.

I really enjoy cooking and initially contemplated a career in hospitality. I opted for the law instead.

What is your role at Portner?

I am a Partner and Head of the Corporate Commercial Department at Portner. My focus is to develop a department of excellence, meeting and exceeding the business requirements of Portner's clients and contacts.

Can you briefly outline your career before you joined Portner and how your previous experience has helped you in your current role?

I trained at a commercial firm in Kent. I moved on qualification to join the commercial contracts department of a large regional firm spanning Kent, Sussex and Surrey. I practised there for 10 years and gained invaluable experience in contractual arrangements for commercial clients and local government institutions. I moved to London to expand my corporate practice 10 years ago and have built a successful career acting for UK and Offshore clients in a variety of property and finance focused arrangements. I have been lucky to have had exposure to a broad spectrum of work and clients, domestically and internationally.

What attracted you to the legal profession?

I was attracted by the challenge, the diversity of work, the ability to build meaningful relationships with clients and ultimately to help people.

What do you most enjoy about being a solicitor?

Being a trusted advisor to clients – the first person a client calls when they need help.

If you hadn't been a lawyer, what path would your career have taken?

I really enjoy cooking and initially contemplated a career in hospitality. I opted for the law instead.

Tell us about some of the most memorable matters you have worked on?

The most challenging and satisfying project I was fortunate to be involved with was a housing development project for a local authority, creating new dwellings for social housing in unusual physical spaces, utilising government and European grant funding. It was enormously complex, but satisfying to see real results for people in real need.

Who has been the most influential person in your career? Why, and how have they helped you?

I was very lucky to work with an exceptional lawyer as a new qualified solicitor who really helped me to define the manner in which I approach and deal with instructions, and develop my relationships with clients.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do? What qualities do they need?

Be patient and open. It takes a lot of time, hard work, exposure to good colleagues and clients, and good work. Be commercial, pragmatic, organised and always remain calm. Read around subjects and look for the angles and pressure points. Own your mistakes and trust your instincts.

What do you most enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy most sports, but have a passion for alpine skiing. Otherwise, spending time with my wife and daughter.

What is your guilty pleasure?

New York cheesecake.

You can read more about Robert here.