Lessons I Learned in Law

Rohan Paramesh on lawyers as business owners

June 07, 2021 Heriot Brown Season 1 Episode 2
Rohan Paramesh on lawyers as business owners
Lessons I Learned in Law
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Lessons I Learned in Law
Rohan Paramesh on lawyers as business owners
Jun 07, 2021 Season 1 Episode 2
Heriot Brown

In this episode of Lessons I Learned in Law, Scott Brown speaks to Rohan Paramesh.  

Rohan is general counsel for Habito the UK’s leading mortgage company.

Rohan shares the three lessons he has learned in law including:

  • How having the confidence to let your true personality shine through at work can be a huge boost to your career.
  • Always be open minded and don’t be afraid to take risks.
  • Always be an entrepreneur in everything you do. Think of yourself as a business builder first and a lawyer second.

Rohan also talks about becoming a dad, why he thinks he would do a great job as Arsenal Manger and how he came to sing on MTV!

Presented by Scott Brown of Heriot Brown Legal Recruitment.

Follow Heriot Brown:

Twitter | LinkedInFacebook | Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Lessons I Learned in Law, Scott Brown speaks to Rohan Paramesh.  

Rohan is general counsel for Habito the UK’s leading mortgage company.

Rohan shares the three lessons he has learned in law including:

  • How having the confidence to let your true personality shine through at work can be a huge boost to your career.
  • Always be open minded and don’t be afraid to take risks.
  • Always be an entrepreneur in everything you do. Think of yourself as a business builder first and a lawyer second.

Rohan also talks about becoming a dad, why he thinks he would do a great job as Arsenal Manger and how he came to sing on MTV!

Presented by Scott Brown of Heriot Brown Legal Recruitment.

Follow Heriot Brown:

Twitter | LinkedInFacebook | Instagram

Scott Brown  (0:03) 

Hi, and welcome to Lessons I Learned in Law. It’s a new podcast from Heriot Brown In-House Legal Recruitment. I'm Scott Brown, Managing Director and Founder of Heriot Brown. And I used to be a lawyer myself, I'm a recovering lawyer. I worked for probably a little bit longer than I should have in private practice in corporate teams in both the UK and Australia. And it's fair to say I lost my way a little bit in the profession. And after eight years, I didn't really know what direction I was going in. Fast forward 10 years, and having founded Heriot Brown, we specialise in house legal recruitment. And I've learned so much from conversations that I've had with clients and candidates about what helps them succeed. So in this podcast, you're going to hear from people that are really at the top of their game from all across the legal profession, you'll find out what influences them and what's shaped their career, and of course, the lessons that they've learned in law. So today, I'm really excited to sit down and have a chat with a familiar face in Rohan Paramesh. Rohan is currently general counsel for habit to the UK is leading mortgage company, offering services and products as both digital mortgage broker and lender habitable Rohan has built and leads a full service legal function and sits on the company's exec core and senior leadership team. But we're gonna end the formal intros there. And we'll discuss a little bit more general hands career shortly. And but here are three things that you might not know about him. Rohan recently joined the new dad club, he has a seven month old daughter, obviously, this podcast is only on audio, but I can I can assure you all hands, looking impeccable looking very fresh, I'll be keen to know, get to those secrets to that at the same position myself. He genuinely believes he could make and an excellent impact as manager of Arsenal. Well, again, of course, I'm on that one. And many years ago, in 2001. He sang on MTV. So quite a few things to get through. And we'll cover those later on. But welcome to Lessons I Learned in Law, Rohan.


Rohan Paramesh  (2:16)  

Thanks. Thanks for having me.


Scott Brown  (2:17)  

So as I said, the idea is to jump straight into the lesson. So Rohan, if you could, if you could share your first lesson with us, please?


Rohan Paramesh  (2:24)  

Sure, when thinking about it, the first lesson that I've learned, and I think it's been a gradual thing, as I progressed in my career, is having the confidence to let your true personality shine. And, and not just on the side, and not just kind of when having a coffee with someone in between meetings or on the edges of what you do, but actually integrating it into your everyday and to and to kind of feeling free to let your personality be a part of your work persona or not, and not having those split out. And, you know, I think that's, I remember I've heard that I've heard advice along those lines a few times throughout my career and I never really never really took it on board, I always did think heart of hearts that actually you know, kind of a work persona. And the way you operate professionally, does need to be slightly disassociated from, from the real you from the you with your friends in the park and whatever and how you kind of approach things and your thoughts on life. And I think as the slow burn lesson, but probably the number one thing that I would tell anyone now is what I've what's really crystallised in my mind over those years is that really it's okay and positively a good thing, I think, to bring your real personality and mentality and the way you approach problem solving, and your kind of natural charisma and all of that, yeah, your everyday and to blend it with the technical and to blend it with the advice because being a lawyer really, really, really involves human connections, probably more than anything else. And in an in house environment, you know, you're not surrounded by other lawyers. So whereas in private practice, you're already on the same wavelength and speak the same language and jargon and have the same basis to your professional training as your colleagues. And so I think it's a lot easier to kind of dive straight into the technicalities, and, and go deep on something in conversation with someone and when you move in house, you realise Well, you know, I've got to translate all of that stuff into language and into a kind of structure that makes sense to people who are not lawyers, and who have who themselves are actively ignoring all lawyers and everything legal in their lives and have a healthy distrust for all things legal. And so to like navigate that, I think it really helps to just be a normal person first to be a business person operating in the same environment, getting to understand the business and what have you and really kind of allowing that side to dominate and then to then have a way of translating and contextualising legal issues and explaining them in a way that makes sense to people in their jobs in their lives. That human connection in doing so I think is crucial. And just being yourself and letting your natural personality come to the fore, I think is helpful. 


Scott Brown  (5:14) 

Yeah, no, I think that's great. I think it's great advice and something I can personally relate to having. When I was a junior lawyer, I think I didn't, I had definitely had the jewel personality that you that you refer to, as it been a time in your career or life, I guess where you haven't felt you've been able to or you haven't felt encouraged to be your true self?


Rohan Paramesh  (5:34)  

Well, I guess, I guess maybe my first in house experience. That was that was an interesting one for me. And it was there that I really stopped and thought about these things a bit more. Because when I went in private practice, I started I trained and qualified at Linklaters and the corporate team and absolutely loved my time. That's brilliant, firm, brilliant training, really enjoyable, great work. And but I never, I was never really conscious of those of this question at all. And just kind of it all seemed fine. And I think I think as I say, being in an environment where you are all lawyers together on a day to day I think in some way suppresses, suppresses the issue, and you will have absolute immediate common thread there. And there's a similarity in the way people think and approach to problem solving. And I think the issue becomes more you become more conscious of the issue when you move in house I found anyway. And in my first in house environment, which was at Tata Consultancy Services, huge international listed Goliath of a business. Fantastic, fantastic first in house experience for me, I was there for two years in total, both in New York and then back in London, absolutely. loved my time there. But it was a really, like, huge business with a ruptured legal team, small legal team, but very, relative to the size of the overall business, but very structured and had a kind of hierarchy to it, and was, you know, shaped that way. And that was why for the first time, I was like, Okay, well, I was I was encountering all of these points I was talking about in terms of speaking to people in the business, commercial people, product people, tech people, and you're sort of working together and business partnering with different teams. And so you're sort of aware of the fact that's actually now you've got to you've got to bring these legal issues to life, you've got to talk about them in a way that people will engage with, and it will all make sense to them. And they'll realise why, why they should be worried about it or interested in it. And so you kind of kind of formulate that approach to partnering with teams in the business in and around the business in a way that you don't have to think about in private practice. But it was structured environments, and it was a very formal company and company have hundreds of 1000s of employees. And so it's really structured and formal. And that's where for the first time I was a bit unsure really how to how much of my personality was okay to bring too much, you should be quite formal about it. And you're the in house legal team. And people expect a certain thing of their in House lawyers and expect them to approach things in a certain way with a sense of formality, formality that maybe people find reassuring.


Scott Brown  (7:59) 

Yeah, and there's certain there's certain politics at play as well in an organisation like that of that size that is difficult to navigate and get exposed to have those personal bonds with people versus, I guess, a smaller, tighter knit team. Also, also, in my head spinning around the issues of diversity, obviously a very prevalent topic at the moment for a lot of people and conversations that we're having, certainly, I guess that being your true self as well and feeling comfortable is something that should be encouraged across the across the profession.


Rohan Paramesh  (8:34)  

Totally, no, I fully agree in and diversity as you say, it's such an important topic and such a broad topic. And, you know, everyone takes something different in terms of what diversity means to them, and what type of diversity is important to an organisation. And I think that's already an important starting point when thinking about from a business perspective, you know, you want to encourage diversity in all its forms, but actually, if you have to prioritise what you want and make it actionable, you need to really define what diversity means to you and what kind of diversity you think an organisation or group of people within an organisation would benefit from. And, and, you know, diversity of thought and approach to problem solving, I think is so, so important. As much as you know, gender diversity, diversity of educational backgrounds, you know, ethnic, ethnic diversity, and what have you. There's obviously it can take so many different guises. And it's an important issue across the board, of course, but I think, you know, that diversity in the way in which people approach problems and as I said that that has a lot of bringing your personality and your natural, you know, your natural mindset towards things and I think that's very important, and really helps to try and avoid groupthink and people conforming to what they think that organisation or that group of people, you know, the way they behave and think about things I think you need to almost do the opposite in many ways and feel very free to break out from that.


Scott Brown  (9:58)  

Yeah, power and power to this Yeah, no, absolutely. So how did you how did you get into the law?


Rohan Paramesh  (10:03)  

I always kind of figured that it was, would be a career that I'd be interested in everything I understood about law, I did some work experiences it towards the end of school a couple of sort of couple of weeks here a couple weeks there at law firms. And just, it's something that felt natural for me to be honest. I know, I'm friends with a lot of people who say, well, they really didn't see themselves at all working in law. And then suddenly, you know, something happened there came to a juncture in their lives. And somehow it suddenly clicked and made sense. Whereas for me, it was more of a, a slow burn as I go through teen years, I kind of thought that this would be some something that be interesting, and an area a world it's always evolving. And, you know, I'm quite sort of, I think I'm quite logical in the way I think about things I did. I didn't do law as a degree that did philosophy and French as a degree, because I wasn't sure I thought law would be for me, I wasn't 100% Sure. And I thought I had a real interest in philosophy. And I thought, well, there's also something that hopefully is quite transferable. Certainly the logic, and, you know, and sort of critical way of thinking about things and critically assessing stuff I thought I thought would be transferable. If I did still think law was for me at the end of that degree, which, which I did and because you can convert during the GDL, and LPC which is the path I took, you know, it gave that that option, which was which was a nice option to have. So, yeah, it's not something that just sort of dawned on me one day, but more of a more of a slow burn. And, and yeah, I'm glad I really, I really love it. And I'm glad that I kind of had that, you know, that sort of it dawned on me fairly early on. 


Scott Brown  (11:37)

Yeah, yeah, I think that's the that that kind of slow burn is a is a really good way because it's considered and thought and thought out as well.


Scott Brown  (11:50)

So getting onto lesson number two, what's your what's your second,


Rohan Paramesh  (11:54)

my second lesson is, is to always be open minded, and, and also sort of going hand in hand with that, don't be afraid to take risks. So those two things come together. And, you know, in a way, it riffs off what we were just talking about in terms of feeling, feeling the freedom to think differently, to look for solutions in areas that you wouldn't necessarily have, have looked at and kind of veer away from the beaten path where you think that makes sense. And I guess that's something that's the lesson I learned in my most recent two experiences. So I've had three in house roles. After leaving Linklaters TCS, Tata Consultancy Services first, I then joined as general counsel of a private equity backed business and energy and shipping consultants equal loc group, and going in as the first lawyer there, and then equally habitat as the first guy there when I joined almost three and a half years ago. And the last two roles in particular going in as the first lawyer within a business, I think that's great, I think I think it's a really sort of create its opportunity to be really creative, actually, you know, you have a blank canvas in front of you, and you get to kind of, you get to design a legal function that you think will make most sense to you for the business. And you don't necessarily you're not, you know, you're not the 10th GC coming in with a certain set ways of doing things where you have to fight against perceptions of what it means to be the GC and how the legal function should look and operate. And that you know, that there's pros and cons as challenges and opportunities with that, you know, you've got to work harder initially to, you've got to set something up from scratch. So that's obviously has challenges and it's time consuming and difficult in some ways. But I think the real pro is that you get to mould it in the way that you think makes sense. When looking at those roles. It really, really, in my case, I felt gave me a freeing opportunity to be creative. And to be really open minded. There was no set way of it being done in the past, which was brilliant. You look at a blank canvas and say, How does, how should a legal function? Yeah, right, and how can they make most sense and deliver most value? And how can? How can I grow it and build it? What direction should it take? And how should it support the business, the overall evolution of the border business and all that stuff? Open minded to things that aren't the common way of doing things and, and aren't the sort of perceived wisdom, I think is really, really important. And that hasn't been of, you know, let your personality shine and let your natural logic


Scott Brown  (14:25)  

It definitely feeds into Lesson number one, there's a lot of good crossover, crossover there. 


Rohan Paramesh  (14:32)  

But there's risk well, like it feels risky, you know, doing veering away from the beaten path feels risky, why would you not just do the simpler thing? And you know, you know, sometimes it's great to take the path of least resistance, maybe that's what you should be aiming for. And if you genuinely feel it's right, but take the path of least resistance because it's easier, and less hassle is definitely a false economy. I think and I think that you can, I think feeling empowered and free to take risks. until you design that there's so many things behind that it's all well, and good to say, but you also need to be an environment that is supportive of that and, and will back you to do things that you think makes sense, even though everyone's a bit like, Oh, that's a bit strange. And you know, and so you need the environment needs to be right to allow that to flourish. But I think if you have that, if you're lucky enough to have that as a base, then in taking risks and being open minded and taking risks, you know, really going for it things that seem unusual, I think it can really pay dividends. Yeah.


Scott Brown  (15:29)  

And I guess the path of least resistance is, like you said, it's perhaps easier option, we talk a lot, obviously, with around contentment and contentment and being fulfilled in your position. I think there's a there's a strong argument that feeling empowered, and having your own impact on having your own spin on something could definitely, definitely be rewarding for the right person this last year.


Rohan Paramesh  (15:53)  

Yeah. And I think an environment where in a very trusting environment allows you to go and do that someone you know, when you suggest to your boss, there'd be the CEO be whoever it is, you know, you suggest our look on this particular point. Yes. Okay, the majority while doing X, but, you know, maybe we'll just haven't realised that, you know, doing why maybe, that sometimes people don't do it's not that people don't do something for good reason. It's just genuinely no one has thought about it, or no one has joined the dots in the way that you are, just because people don't typically do it doesn't mean everyone has considered it thoroughly. And for good reasons not doing it, sometimes they're no good reasons that people are not doing something. But it feels risky breaking away from that herd group thing, you know, in GC community in any kind of whatever community and to take more risk, but you need to, you need to feel, as you say about contentment, I think something that's really important and rewarding in any job is feeling trusted and supported to do when you make those sorts of bold decisions. Yeah, they will give you the space and times to let you really own it and make it something that's crucial. Yeah.


Scott Brown  (16:59)  

And the fact that they've hired, they've hired you in that position on the back of hopefully having done their due diligence, and that there's an alignment of culture and values that, that there's a trust there that you're going to come in and fulfil that function in the way that they want it or think that it's aligned with their, their business. And I guess there has to be a bit of patience, though, for getting to that position as well. I speak to a lot of junior lawyers, I think don't want to be controversial, but a millennial mindset of looking for the next thing immediately or looking for the next promotion immediately. I think there still has to be an element in the professions that there's a bit of time served to some degree, would you agree?


Rohan Paramesh  (17:41)  

Couldn't be more? Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I moved in house initially in 2012. So yeah, I'm almost 10 years in house. And I would say I wouldn't be able to operate in the way I do now and be effective, as effective in my role. Now, if I hadn't just clocked up certain experiences and spent time learning and developing and going off and trying to kind of figure things out and, and there's sometimes, you know, yes, of course, I definitely don't believe in this whole, in my idea misguided approach of PQ i.e. being everything and you know, you need certain years of experience, or you're entitled to go for things. I don't believe in that at all. I think that's really, it's an antiquated idea. And it's so specific to law, because outside of lawyers, no one really cares how many years specifically, you've been doing certain things like, this is four and a half. People just want good people who have good ideas with good values and what have you. So I don't believe in that. But I do genuinely think that time spent learning absorbing being around other great people, you know, from whom you can learn and sort of having mentors and, and, and those sorts of relationships as well to help guide and steer your path. I do think that's really, really important. And I and I know certainly looking at my own career path between private practice and then these three in house roles Subsequently, I think I'm only able to be as effective as I am now because of all of those experiences and how I wanted to just sort of fast track it and instead of nine or 10 years did this whole thing in three or four it just wouldn't have been possible you know, it would have been I would have done a disservice to myself I think ultimately I think I told you


Scott Brown  (19:22)  

right so just a bit off topic but you're obviously a long, long suffering Arsenal fan from what we said in the in the intro. 


Rohan Paramesh  (19:33)

Yeah, very much so, very much so. I personally have the absolutely misguided and incorrect belief that I would do every job that asked for much better than the incumbents this I mean, I could I could talk for hours and days about my plans as and when I own manage run arsenal.


Scott Brown  (19:53)  

Yeah. Yeah, there's a lot. There's a lot going on around obviously this will go out in a few weeks’ time but there's a semi-final this evening that by the time this goes out, they could be, could have lofted the Europa Cup,


Rohan Paramesh  (20:06)  

absolutely all abject failure be out of it. So anything is possible but no that is that's a career aim that I refuse to let go of I will be involved with Arsenal somehow, hopefully as their manager before I retire,


Scott Brown  (20:22)  

why not? Why not set the bar high? Can't be any worse than the last few. But what are your thoughts on the European Super League? The breakaway?


Rohan Paramesh  (20:34) 

Lots of thoughts. I mean, maybe sounds a bit controversial, but if done well, it feels like just scrapping the whole thing also felt quite extreme. That obviously there was so wrong not to engage with fans and people outside of the tiny little bubble of people that worked on it. So clearly that was wrong, or is nothing that other fans and the first to agree there. But I wonder if they if they did introduce a concept of relegation and promotion and the things that people thought were really lacking from the idea. I wonder if it's worked? Well, I don't think it's gone away. I just don't think it's gone away. And I know, I know. It's it'll be with extreme caution. Anyone suggested again, that's yeah, I just do think I think memories are short. And in two or three years, I think. Yeah. The Financial factors are so important in, in Yeah, sports. In particular, it's in so many people's interest to try and make this happen in some way. But I think the massive unified reaction against it was a really good thing. I do think fan power, being at the very top of things is important. So if it does come back, it'll come back in a much more considered fan led way, I think.


Scott Brown  (21:39)  

Yeah, no, I agree. Yeah. But yeah, I think it's probably kicked down the road slightly with the given the interest from JP Morgan, wasn't it? So yeah, exactly. That one day. But you've never you've been on MTV, never, never on our arsenal, fans, fans TV


Rohan Paramesh  (21:57)  

never. Sadly. I mean, thankfully


Scott Brown  (22:04)  

You mean, this isn’t on YouTube?


Rohan Paramesh  (22:07)  

Thanks. The days before YouTube, it's amazing actually, how you forget how recent in the grand scheme of things the likes of being able to find anything on YouTube is so thankfully, yeah, this was in my penultimate year of school does 17 Or so they did. This isn't the early days of like talent shows so well before X Factor and Pop Idol and all that kind of stuff. It was MTV is first crack at something like that. And it was called MTV on call. And it was on a Saturday morning, live over like hours on a Saturday morning. And it was sort of a mixture of the top 10 or top 20 videos of that week. There's these in the days but everyone's like lose their TVs watching the music video. And so they showed the top 10 I think top 10 or 20 videos over the course of the morning counting down to number one. And in amongst it had this talent show where you had to sing one verse one chorus, acapella of any song you wanted. Yeah. And then the public voted and then you find was whittled down to three I think and then and then someone wins at the end of it. And the prize that week was to get the prize changed every week, the prize that week. So Beverly Knight was the guest so then if you remember Yeah, I did. So she was the guest in the studio that week and the prize was a day in a recording studio with her. Oh wow. What pretty good price i for it. Did you end travesty of justice I came join tops in that so at the end of the show they do so that the final three contestants who were still in it at the end and hadn't been sort of eliminated at the early days where then there was 60 seconds of phone voting so they just went through as many phone votes as possible within 60 seconds and just talking up votes cast and I came joint top and what they decided was the presenter I forget I forget who it was the presenter was like ah hard to tell it's a joy to tie you both come when I don't know you and just pull just the other guy


Scott Brown  (23:59)  

Yeah, yeah, never let down well if anyone out there has access to it these archives or if anyone if anyone has it saved on an old VHS then please, please do get in touch.


Rohan Paramesh  (24:14)  

There's actually a twist to the story which I can't believe I'm admitting now but just in case someone actually doesn't cover I better like anticipate we're getting there with this dress. I mean, just thinking about it. So it there was a live audience it was in the studios in Leicester Square was now the Swiss centre I think. I don't know what that's become known as the m&m shortlist was something Leicester Square. So with all glass walls and you everyone could be a little bit of a crowd on the outside and then a live audience inside where people could ask if you could take like five friends and family with you to the thing and I just bought five mates from school. And one of the friends and family in the in the live audience who was supporting one of the other contestants who got locked out at the first stage. She wanted to be noticed in the audience and so came up with a huge banner for her friend and also wearing this really huge pink wig. This is a woman in the audience I thought nothing of at the time didn't even notice. Then two then I was doing my singing my chorus and verse directly after an ad break. So during the ad break there, were prepping the camera and the presenter was sort of standing next to me tell it you know, telling me the couple of questions he was going to ask me before I went into singing handed me my contesting the sound and stuff. And the producer who was running around the studio throughout the whole show, just making sure everything was in place was like, oh, we need to let's, let's live in the show up. Let's give it a boost. And we are asking me, she took the wig off the woman who's in the front row, put it on me and said, Oh, this is gonna be really fun. This will be great. And then you went straight to like three to one live. So I had I can just imagine I wish I'd been a fly on the wall in my parents’ home, as they like waved me off that morning to be on them to be dressed completely normally. And then the next thing they see me or anyone sees me is singing with an enormous giant pink wig.


Scott Brown  (25:57)  

Great. Such a good story. Did you What did you say?


Rohan Paramesh  (26:01)  

I sang Tracy Chapman they kind of give you a bit of guidance as to what kind of songs I think I sang Tracy Chapman baby can I hold you tonight? Don't you dare ask me to sing anything


Scott Brown  (26:11)  

No, no. That's for another time. Yeah, maybe after a few drinks. I towards the end of uni was I didn't have any excuses. I was working in a I was actually working for my brother's business for a summer. And he I think thought it was going to be good publicity for his for his company but a BBC researcher called for take on take on the takeaway. It was a it was a BBC cooking programme. And me and another guy in the office got chosen to partake in this series of car crash. Car Crash pre ready like Ready Steady Cook style. With Antonio Carluccio came round and cooked. But I mean it has come up a lot of times. So it's been on BBC Worldwide. When I lived in Australia and worked in a law firm. A secretary came in on the Monday morning and had had the TV on waiting for her daughter or young daughter who just started going to nightclubs coming home. And at 3am. She got startled with the door opening and was surprised to see me on the TV eating being spoon fed by Antonio Carluccio at the blind tasting.


Rohan Paramesh  (27:28) 

Does that does that mean this is on YouTube?


Scott Brown  (27:30)  

It's, I don't know, I don't think it's on YouTube, there was a time where you could get it still on iPlayer. Like if you trove through the iPlayer archive and it was getting repeated maybe twice, I would get a text every now and again from people and, God, yeah.


Rohan Paramesh  (27:41)  

I hope you get royalties for all of this.


Scott Brown  (27:43)  

I should probably change the terms and conditions at least. Back to lessons. So final lesson, lesson number three.


Rohan Paramesh  (28:02)  

The final lesson for me and again, it's something that sort of crystallised in my mind over the last few years is to always be an entrepreneur in everything you do. And to think in a business minded way. First, you know, I see myself as a business person, first lawyer, second rider wrongly, that's how I see myself and really immersed in the business. And actually, you know, being it, then you have to now I joined pretty early on I joined a year and a half into the business's existence. And we're now five years old, exactly into the huge amount of growth in that time. And I think, you know, in this role more than ever, but even in even in my previous role, I had a sense of it as well that thinking of yourself as just a business builder, someone who's in the in the core of this business wanting to kind of help grow, develop, make successful the business in all different ways. I think seeing yourself as that person first and then actually the I think that is a built in my mind the analogy I've never I've not heard anyone else say that. So it's not I don't think it's a good analogy. But I think of it as like a building site. And you think of, you know, so many different people come to a construction site on a daily basis, each with a difference toolbox, and each with a different sort of specialism but everyone is just building this tower. I imagined it that way. And everyone is you know, ultimately you're all step back. And you look at this thing as it's growing and growing and growing. And think of it as a sort of a tower with no end and you just keep building it. And you're to me, everyone on that on that construction site is of exactly the same value and everyone in that construction site. It couldn't happen. It couldn't be built as well without PBB took anyone out of that. But everyone's got a very different set of tools in their toolbox and everyone's got a really different specialism and everyone brings something different to it and I kind of think in my mind that's the analogy that I had that I that's sort of context I hold always and I'm not sure where it came from but I think if it that way and I think you know in House lawyers having a certain set of tools in their toolbox some are more specialised some are more generalist. Yeah. But you know, I think of myself as a builder first you're just one of the people on that contract is like that's your primary job and then secondary is what was your specific thing?


Scott Brown  (30:02)  

Yeah, nothing. That's a really good analogy. 


Rohan Paramesh  (30:05)  

And important way to sort of approach problems and be kind of entrepreneurially minded, even in small things in the context of it have an in house legal function that don't seem very entrepreneurial at all. These are like little decisions you're making on a daily basis. But yeah, if you just bring the undercurrent, and overall, a feeling of entrepreneurialism, to everything you do, I think, for me, that's something that I find helps is, I find that effective.


Scott Brown  (30:30)  

Yeah, it's, again, it sort of flows nicely from the previous point, I think, in terms of open to be open minded and not looking at things in a two dimensional way, either. Asking questions and being inquisitive. I think that's that that is part of that mindset. Would you ever see yourself working outside of law to having a role as an entrepreneur where it doesn't? It doesn't touch the law?


Rohan Paramesh  (30:54)  

Yeah, I don't see why not. I don't see why not. I as I say, I think the way I kind of see myself and problem the way I problem solving, what have you, I think that hopefully could be adaptable and useful in in non-legal contexts as well. But that said, I really actually enjoy, I really do enjoy being a general counsel, I would feel sad, I think to give up to give that up entirely. So I can't see that happening. But you know, kind of multifaceted role. My role now I have a toe is not too dissimilar, to be honest, in that sense, in the sense that yet my day job is absolutely being the GC but I like to get involved in different commercial projects and initiatives that we've got on the go and to kind of help lead teams in different areas of the business as well and have an input into what we do. And to me, that's a really rewarding and enjoyable part of the role having that sort of multifaceted environment and what that demands of you on a daily basis in terms of the way you think about things and approach problems. And, and as I say, I do think many of those sorts of traits and, and important attributes, when facing non legal problems are really helpful when you translate that mentality, even within a legal function and kind of thinking in a business entrepreneurial way about stuff is held is a really good way even when making small decisions on a day to day basis within the context of the legal team. So yeah, yeah, yeah, yes.


Scott Brown  (32:16)  

Yeah, bias is also it's great to hear someone that is that enjoys the enjoys the legal aspects of it as well. And being a general counsel, it's pretty inspiring for people as well, in at the start of their profession to know that there's a there is a there is a carrot at the end, as well. And some of those some of those darker times. 


Rohan Paramesh  (32:39)  

And there's something for everyone, I think even in an in house of RBS already, there's, uh, you know, private practice versus being in house, there's, you know, lots of considerations there in terms of where, where people see their, their future in law. But I think even within the in house spectrum, there's something for everyone. There's so many different types of in house opportunity businesses who are really grateful and want to have lawyers with from the inside helping to guide and whoever really intrinsic detailed knowledge of the business. And I think you can just see, you can find legal teams of hundreds of people that are very more kind of structured, hierarchical many law firms in certain ways. And then you have other in house environments where you might be a sole counsel, or in a very small team and different type of businesses. I think there's really such an interesting and broad spectrum, even within the in house world, that there's something for everyone. And as you say, I think it's if you think if you just practice about it, and think try and understand yourself and think about the levers that you that matter to you and the things that you find enjoyable about your job, I think then, you know, being proactive and thinking about it is helpful, because then you can help to accelerate the way in which you find you find that sort of opportunity.


Scott Brown  (33:44)  

Yeah, yeah, great. Just wrapping up, I guess if there's, is there one thing if you could go back and change about your, your career to date?


Rohan Paramesh  (33:56)  

No, to be honest, but not because it's all been perfect, it'll be part of some grand master plan that just because all his different experiences positive and negative help to make you the kind of contributor you are today and help shape the way you look at things and I think going through difficult times and challenging times is so important and the way you bounce back from that and the things you learn from it. And I think just always having a learning mindset throughout means that there's no such thing as a bad experience or it's very, very, you'd be hard pushed to find a bad experience when you have that sort of learning mindset and yeah, growth mindset on a personal level. And so looking for the positives and opportunities in everything you know, I think is important and I think you can only be as effective as you are on your own now because of that whole spectrum of things I've experiences and things you've gone through. So no but for that reason, rather than it's all just been amazing. And part of some grand master plan, which obviously it's not


Scott Brown  (34:52)  

Yeah, no, I think that's a great way of looking at it the rough with the smooth and enjoying the enjoying the journey. As much as anything I think the last year or it's more than a year now, but with COVID as well, even that, at the outset, very scary, but you know that you're going to learn some lessons along the way. Some great opportunities come up it as well. Totally, totally agree.


Scott Brown  (35:13)

Yeah. So that wraps up another episode of Lessons I Learned in Law. Some great nuggets from Rohan and it's excellent to be armed with the fact that he needs a little encouragement to be the first person on stage at a karaoke bar. I'll be keeping that one in my back pocket for a future date. Thank you for listening. If there's a subject or someone that you would like to hear more about on lessons learned in law, please get in touch. You can contact us at hello@heriotbrown.com. Or connect or drop me a message on LinkedIn. If you've enjoyed listening, please rate and review the podcast and maybe even tell a friend if you're feeling kind. And if you'd like to hear more, or find out more about Heriot Brown, head over to heriotbrown.com. Until next time, I'm Scott. Thanks for listening!