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ShieldpayJun-23 20223 min read

From stage to corporate law

Adam Thatcher, Senior Associate at global law firm Goodwin shares his success story and connection to music. 


Could Adam Thatcher have been a great jazz trumpeter on the British music scene? We’ll never know, because another industry - one he considers an even greater challenge - got lucky enough to have him: corporate law. “Helping technology and life science companies with their funding, growth and exit strategies and helping investors invest their capital” may seem worlds away from playing trumpet solos and touring with bands, but there is a thread that connects them - both require a certain level of dedication, discipline, and mastery. 


Some of the greatest thinkers in the world have had a musical background. The logic and structure of music and the focus on working as a team (or in a band) have similarities to practising law. Being a musician gives you the ability to see the bigger picture, while at the same time being very aware and intimately involved in the details. 


His ascent to where he is now has been shaped by a few career defining moments. As a trainee at Mayer Brown, he learned that if he worked hard, worked with a varied group of people, and focused on building his internal and external network, he would not only be respected but have more success as a lawyer. “It is about making sure you do the work well. It reinforces that you are a safe pair of hands.” As an associate at Taylor Wessing, he was able to hone his skills as a venture lawyer over several years, before being given the opportunity to move to Goodwin technology and life sciences team and join the firm’s highly ranked corporate team.  


The next 5 years?  

With over 7 years Post-Qualified Experience (PQE), Adam’s eyes are firmly set on building his practice and progressing even further at Goodwin. Making partner may seem like a logical next step, but it is not for everyone. There are lots of different paths as a corporate lawyer. Some people don’t like the management side of things or they have different priorities or career goals. I see partnership as a great opportunity to develop and drive the strategic aims of a law firm and have a deeper relationship with clients,” says Adam. 

 The most challenging aspect of being a lawyer?  

 One of the common traps a lawyer can fall into is responding too quickly. “Yes, responsiveness is key, and it is important to clients, particularly in the work we do, but you do not want to sacrifice accuracy or quality of service. Sometimes as a lawyer you need to pause - and knowing when to do that can be a challenge. Very successful lawyers have nailed that balance.” 


 The role of technology in legal practice?  

 Lawyers with an eye on the future are harnessing the power of legal technology to minimise risk, increase efficiency and improve outcomes for clients.  Adam adds, “we have to be on our toes. We are in a changing market, and we have to react to market conditions. There are lots of things that are impacting the technology and life science sectors, with the public markets, the economy and world events. We have to be nimble and innovative and ensure we are servicing clients in the right way.” 


 Adam recommends:  

Books: The Boy in 7 billion by Callie Blackwell and Karen Hockney 

Music: Hamilton   

Podcast: The Twenty Minute VC   


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