Get to know Robert Head, Senior Associate and general liability specialist

In our next Q&A with our recently promoted senior lawyers, we get to know Robert Head, Sydney Senior Associate and general liability specialist.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a Senior Associate at W+K

I landed my first legal job when I was at University as a debt recovery and family law Paralegal. I lasted six weeks and was left wondering whether my B.A. Arts Hons (in Art History) held more promise. In fairness to myself, I had not yet completed my professional studies, so I arranged for a colourful criminal law Barrister at Forbes Chambers in Sydney to supervise my practical legal training. Charles Waterstreet (the real Rake) ended up moving my Admission in 2011. Charles showed me that the legal fraternity housed a broad church and that the law could be fun. At about that time my fiancé was presented with a lifetime career opportunity, so I accepted a job interstate in project litigation with a large international law firm to be with her.

I started as a Paralegal and by 2014 made Associate, and found that my sense of impact could get lost in the enormous corporate structure generated by that litigation. In hindsight, I learnt that legal practice as an exercise purely in professional skill development was a worthy endeavour, no matter the task. I must have developed sufficiently well because in 2015 I accepted a job with Wotton + Kearney. Since then, I could not have asked for more guidance and opportunity for impact – with a fantastic secondment to a leading global insurer in 2016 and appointment as Senior Associate in 2018.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?

Do you sense from my story that I didn’t set out to become a lawyer? Perhaps the better question for me is Why do I continue to be one? It is an easy answer– because I’m having so much fun at W+K!

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve been given?

“Nothing is hidden that shall not be made manifest.” It’s an old proverb that I find personally comforting and professionally motivating, perhaps in equal measure.

What do you think is a major issue facing your area of insurance law?

As the market for legal services in the insurance sector continues to tighten, fixed fees pose a challenge for practitioners to advance their client’s case robustly, whilst maintaining a sense of commerciality at all levels (and getting the right balance of technology and innovation to drive that outcome).

What do you enjoy most about working at W+K?

The professional growth and opportunity to learn from the best in the business.

What do you get up to outside of law?

When I’m not in the office or spending time with my wife and five year old daughter, I like to run. All my life I have liked running. At lunchtime you might find me in The Domain running like mad. It’s solitary, but precious time that lately I use to clear my head from the ever increasing busyness of life.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…

An art critic (see B.A. Arts Hons above).

03/12/2018