Sacco Mann Talks To… Daniel Robin at Fenchurch Law

5 Minutes

Fenchurch Law was established in London in 2010, as the first law firm in the UK to focus ex...

Fenchurch Law was established in London in 2010, as the first law firm in the UK to focus exclusively on representing claimants in insurance coverage disputes.

A tier one law firm for policy holder insurance litigation with an impressive collection of awards, Fenchurch opened its Leeds office in 2020 under the leadership of Senior Associate Daniel Robin. We caught up with Dan as the Leeds office hits one year in business, in our latest edition of Sacco Mann Talks To…. 

The Legal 500 have commented - 
Fenchurch Law ‘is at the top of its game’ and specialises in acting for policyholders and insurance brokers in multi-million-pound coverage disputes. ‘The ethos of the firm is very client centred’, with high-net-worth individuals and companies from a range of sectors instructing the practice in everything from D&O claims to cross-border work as well as professional indemnity, property damage and Lloyd’s market disputes. Legal, energy and construction companies feature on the practice’s first-rate client roster.
What brought you to Fenchurch Law? 
I had spent over a decade acting on behalf of the insurance market and had become very disillusioned with how it was treating its policyholders and service providers. I had been aware of Fenchurch for some time and I was really impressed with how the firm had not only grown into the leading firm specialising in coverage disputes on behalf of policyholders, but also the more I learnt about it, how it had stayed true to its principles of trying to level the playing field for policyholders while doing really good legal work and just how invested in its people it was.
It seems really cheesy but I was at a huge firm and I just felt like no matter what I contributed, it would never make a difference to the firm. I found Fenchurch to be the exact opposite.  
Once I spoke to the firm, it was clear that not only was it a perfect fit for me but there seemed to be a real opportunity to try and build on the tremendous success the firm had achieved in London and to grow its presence in the North.  
What’s your favourite thing about working for Fenchurch Law? / What do you like about working for Fenchurch Law? 
The firm has really struck the right balance between giving autonomy and trust without leaving the employees feeling isolated and unsupported. You really feel like you can shape your own career here, but with the backing and support of the firm.
You do have to be the right fit to work here because there is no hiding in a smaller firm, but if you are the right fit, the firm will give you all the support and tools you need to make the most out of your career. 
What made you choose to focus on Insurance Law and would you have done so if you had known what you now know?
My dad has been an insurance lawyer for over 40 years so there was probably some nepotism involved! I used to think it was really boring before I started to explore further and discovered that insurance is just so wide ranging as a sector. The legal side throws up so many different interesting and complex technical issues, and although to the outside world it may seem it, it is never dull. The Insurance Market is like its own world and I have always found the whole way it operates really fascinating. 
I would definitely still have done it if I had known what I know now, and although I didn’t want to work for insurers anymore, I wouldn’t change the experience I had, because that knowledge is invaluable in the role that I have now. 
Do you have any advice for new Trainees or Paralegals beginning a career in Law?
No experience is bad experience. You may do tasks that seem really menial and pointless but you will pick up things you didn’t realise. 
The most you learn in a law firm is just by being around people and that is why COVID and remote working have been so challenging for junior lawyers. 
I remember doing an internship at a firm in New York when I was younger and they had me labelling golf bags for the firms golf day and not only am I now really good at labelling my Christmas gifts, but I still’ picked up a lot from just hearing the lawyers interact with clients. 
My other tip is that it is so important to develop your soft skills and in particular people skills. The technical side is of course very important, but fundamentally the job is about understanding people, being able to have empathy with your clients but still advise them objectively, and understanding the people you are up against and what is driving things from their side of the dispute. 
What do you do to relax outside the office?
I have two young kids and I think I feel more like their employee than Fenchurch's, so relaxation time is minimal. Everyone in the office makes fun of me, but my wife has made me partial to a Spa Day a couple of times a year (although I will no doubt regret putting this in writing). I also have a Spurs season ticket but the last few years that has been anything but relaxing…
Tell us about one of your landmark matters - one that really stands out for you in your career. Why was it so significant?
When I was only a couple of years qualified, I was the main fee earner on a large matter which went to trial. Not only was it super interesting for me because it involved football, but it was just such amazing experience to watch a case I had worked on for years play out in Court, and to watch very skilled senior QCs go toe to toe. I picked up so much from that experience and it informs a lot of the work I still do today. 
If you are interested in learning more about Fenchurch Law, please contact Sophie Linley at Sacco Mann on 0113 236 6711 or email Sophie in the first instance.