1,826 days, 260 weeks or 5 years at gunnercooke with Suresh Bhatt

January 23, 2023
Suresh Bhatt


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It’s been 1826 days, 260 weeks or 5 years since I started at gunnercooke – so where’s that time gone?!

Most new jobs are a step into the unknown, but moving from an employed role into a self-employed role had a few well-meaning friends taking a sharp intake of breath, with people focussing on the risks of such a step.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a great grounding learning my trade at traditional law firms, built some magical memories and enjoyed some fantastic relationships which still endure today.

However, personally I had reached a point where what I had previously viewed as an environment supporting my ambitions started to feel like it was thwarting them and I was lacking the freedom to develop my business in the way I wanted to.

The beauty of the gunnercooke model was I was supported from day 1 to build my business (guilt-free and chargeable hours target free) in the way I felt best suited my clients at my own pace which was absolutely crucial given my life but not necessarily my sleep was about to be enriched by a second child!

From week one (pre COVID if anyone can remember…) my working life was simplified, and I could help with the school run or go for a run without being concerned about what others would think if I wasn’t in front of a screen at the “expected” times. The overwhelmingly positive reception that my LinkedIn feed received on the day I announced my move (which I was informed at the time had given gunnercooke the highest number of social media interactions on LinkedIn) was a great initial boost and I haven’t looked back since.

One thing I hadn’t fully accounted for when I took the step was the support I would receive from our support team, the leadership team and my pensions and wider lawyer colleagues to ensure working life continued to be fun and my business could continue to grow.

I’m still working on some old habits which focus on number of hours worked rather than quality of hours worked but the nudges from the firm to enhance our overall life through webinars and inspiring speakers at our annual symposiums is refreshing.

This type of model isn’t for every lawyer because everyone is wired differently, have different ingrained beliefs and personalities and long may that be the case. There is also no guarantee of success (in this role or with any other firm) and I truly believe luck plays a huge part in people achieving what society views as “success” and I definitely believe I’ve had my fair share of luck as well as a very supportive family.

However, I personally am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to put the needs of my life, my family and my clients first rather working year after year through the lens of senior management’s annual updated definition of what success meant, which had very little connection with what it meant for me.

I don’t know what the next 5 years will bring (if you do, please drop me a line) but whatever happens my working life will be on my terms and that’s great by me!