Neurodiversity and Fatherhood: Life as a Young Partner – Phill Bratt  – S8E12

Legal careers can be challenging, especially when you’re first starting out. In this episode we spoke to Phill Bratt, a Partner at Keoghs and Host of the London Insurance Lawyer Podcast, about how young people can make the biggest impact in their careers. He also shared his experience of being neurodivergent and a new dad, shedding light on how these things have impacted his working life.  

So why should you be listening in?  

You can hear Rob and Phill discussing: 

  • Becoming a young partner 
  • Some memorable personal injury cases 
  • The benefits of including neurodiversity in your team 
  • Establishing the London Insurance Lawyer Podcast  
  • The impact of parenthood on your career  


Rob Hanna 00:00 

Welcome to the legally speaking podcast. I’m your host Rob Hanna. This week I’m delighted to be joined by Phil Bratt. Dale is a partner at Chios LLP specialising in defending catastrophic personal injury claims for insurance. He has experience identifying and managing more than 10 experts through the course of multi year litigation. There is an expert in using statutory funding, reverse indemnities and periodical payment orders. Phil recently launched his very own podcast the London insurance lawyer to promote the successes and discussed the legal insurance world. He has recently been featured by the Law Society and been ranked the next generation partner and legal 520 24 and a rising star from 2020 to 2023. Bill is passionate about sharing his knowledge on the personal injury sector and his vocal about working life as a dad utilising the likes of LinkedIn and Tik Tok. So a very big warm welcome, though. 

Phill Bratt 00:58 

Hi, Rob. Nice to be here. 

Rob Hanna 01:01 

Pleasure to have you on the show. Before we dive into all your amazing projects, your experiences to date, we do have a customary icebreaker question here on the legally speaking podcast, which is on a scale of one to 1010 being very real, what would you rate the hit TV series suits in terms of its reality of the law? If you’ve seen it, or I 

Phill Bratt 01:23 

would say that suits is probably four out of 10. For reality, some of its very accurate, but obviously, most of it isn’t.  

Rob Hanna 01:31 

I think you’ve verified your thought very well. And with that, we’re going to move swiftly on to talk quite a lot more detail about what we went through in the introduction. So would you mind telling our listeners a little bit about your background? Right? 

Phill Bratt 01:46 

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I have a slightly unusual career path, I guess. I mean, I mean, it would be more usual now because there are more routes open. But I, I originally, my background science, actually not the traditional legal entry subjects like history and English, and maths, physics, economics, design, subjects at a level, then I moved on to do law, because I didn’t really wanna do engineering. My dad’s an engineer, and I love engineering, but I just didn’t want to do it. And he said, Well, what about law, because I like problem solving and arguing. And so I did law at Southampton University, which I didn’t particularly enjoy the academic study of law. And I said, there’s a lot to a lot of people. It’s got nothing to do with the practical app, the practical practice of law in real life. But it was a gateway that you had to go through. And I didn’t do very well, I only got a to two. And I should have done better, which was down to a couple of factors. One was, I got ill in my final year, I had a damaged kidney, which, in hindsight, what I should have done was delayed that year, and gone back and done it a year later. But I didn’t want to. And the other part was that I absolutely loved playing hockey. And I spent basically all my time playing hockey, rather than studying law. So there’s probably helps me now but but certainly didn’t at the time. And following that I originally wanted to be a barrister. And so I got into the BBC, the bar vocational course, as it once was then in London. And then realised, this is back in 2008, that the recession had happened. And every job on Earth was disappearing. There were no entry level jobs for anybody. And I didn’t have good enough grades academically. To even get interviews for pupilage, I got a couple but nothing, nothing came up for them. And so I sort of had a bit of a rethink. And I quickly realised that working as part of a team was something really important to me. And if you work at the bar, you don’t be doing you do in a way, but you really are out on your own most of the time. paid holidays, is another thing that I quite liked. And so the side of profession was much more attractive, and at the time, it was easier to get into. And I was very fortunate eventually, following a graduate placement at an insurance company, I got a paralegal job at re entry level at DSC beechcroft in Bristol, where I started doing my trip slips and falls, my first claim was worth about 70 pounds. It was an old chap before down some stairs with his broken his glasses. He just wanted his glasses back. That’s what he wanted. I paid that perhaps I didn’t know if that was our fault or not. But it seemed like it was such paid. And it was the right thing to do. If the cost of defending it was way more than the cost of the claim, and he had fallen down the stairs. So the chances I had more of a claim than just the 70 mount of his glasses. And it started from there. And over the years I’ve moved up through the ranks through paralegal through solicitor through the associate, principal associate and nouns partner. Yeah, 

Rob Hanna 04:58 

I mean it has to be said It’s been super fast career progression along with that, particularly within the law. Because I think one thing for sure that to kind of build on from what you said there with my business degree to actually running a degree, would you mind telling our listeners a little bit more about your practice area for those who might be less familiar? And talk us through a little bit more of that in detail? Yeah, 

Phill Bratt 05:24 

so I’m a work, I work in personal injury, that’s the first thing I sometimes vertically is insurance, it’s personal injury insurance, in my mind are the same thing. I defend personal injury claims. So if you were unfortunate enough to get injured, and it was somebody else’s fault, and the person whose fault it was was insured, you would sue them, and visa vie their insurance company. And I would be instructed or someone like me, would be instructed to defend the claim. Now, personal injury claims are very, very diverse. So it could be as simple as Oh, I bruised my arm, in which case it recovers, and it is literally isn’t worth anything, all the way up to what I specialise in, which is catastrophic injuries, which is where you might get a brain injury, or an amputation injury or a spinal injury, which results in you becoming paralysed. And it completely changes your life, or in some situations ends your life. And so there’s a very wide range of potential outcomes on injuries. And because of that, there’s an extraordinarily wide range of values. And set, my very first claim is worth 70 pounds, the highest value claim I’ve been involved with was worth 36 million. And most cases that I deal with are worth 1 million pounds plus, the vast majority are I do with a few sub 4 million pound cases, more because they are interesting, because they’re necessarily my specialty. But I think I add the most value, certainly on the highest value cases, through one that you mentioned in the intro, managing experts and things are multi years and seeing bigger picture. So that’s the sort of it in a nutshell, is the type of injuries that you get. So it’s very serious. And ultimately, it’s for big insurance companies. So I’m you can see it in two ways. One is I’m the person who stops you getting any money. Or you can phrase it as I’m the person who makes sure you get the right amount of money. UK, both are valid in certain cases. Yeah, 

Rob Hanna 07:28 

I’m sure you’ve rehearsed that line many times before, I’m sure, Phil, in terms of who you is, look at trying to have inspirational guests, people who have gone above and beyond within the industry have really fast career progression. You know, we want to talk to those types of people, because you may partner at 37. And of course, you know, I always say to other people who might be listening to this in the same breath, run your own race at your own pace. But as I also say, resilience, tenacity, all of the things that you talked about in terms of climbing the ladder, a super or so how literally young age. 

Phill Bratt 08:07 

I think it’s a mixture of luck and hard work. And that isn’t that exceptional. If I set it just like that, it’s quite simple. I think I’m lucky for a number of factors, probably things that people don’t really realise. But I fell into an area that I happen to be really good at. Legally, I never wanted to be a personal injury lawyer. I never wanted to work in insurance. I happened to start working in that because that was basically the only proper legal job I could get. And it kind of suited my skill set. And I’m lucky that I had the skill set that I do have. And actually, I think I know that we’re going to talk about this later on. I think I’m lucky that I’m dyslexic. Because it suits the type of cases I work on really, really well and in the way I deal with them. So there’s an element of luck. The other element is hard work. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t go to work and work hard, quite frankly. But I was able to spend most of my time and I really got the value of it early on mastering basics. And then once you can master the basics, you can replicate doing well consistently. And I think consistency is by far the most powerful means of succeeding in the long run. And ultimately, if you’re doing something great, what you’re really doing is something good. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots times. 

Rob Hanna 09:53 

I love that absolutely love that. I talk a lot about that in terms of consistency and getting those 1% gains and Every time you’re doing something, you’re doing something over and over again, you kind of get a real high. But people think this happens overnight, and it’s not linear. So please do reflect on that, folks. And when it comes back to this sort of run your own race, at your own pace, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’re going to be consistent. So definitely take a leaf out of your book. But back to you. Yeah. 

Phill Bratt 10:27 

I think it’s probably what we don’t talk about enough consistency. And no one wants to talk about consistency. And I, I recently read Stephen Bartlett’s first book, happy, sexy millionaire. And if you want to book a plug, that’s a book I would recommend to anybody. It’s not very long. And it’s more like an intervention. I think that’s how he describes it. But it spoke to me, because it allowed me to realise some of the things oh, that’s why I did that, or that’s why I was bad at that. And actually, I’d recommend anyone, particularly in any young person, because it’s a bit of a minefield, I grew up with Facebook, from university age, I didn’t grow up with Tiktok, from age seven. And so I am much better placed and equipped to deal with real world because I, my world is not dominated by young social media. And it’s a big issue at the moment. Anyway, that’s about that book. But one of the things he talks about in that book, and it’s one things I’ve always thought is skill stacking. And if you want to do well, in any job, or reach the top, in any job, you’ve got to work hard, and you’ve got to have a bit of luck. But how you apply yourself and particularly how I applied myself for getting to where I am now, it depends on what skills you have, and what skills you’re prepared to develop. Now, you’ve got to be great at something. And in my situation, you’ve got to go deep into a topic. And it happens to be technical, legal knowledge, that’s my product that I sell, I sell legal solutions. Ultimately, that’s what also. And so I’ve got very high levels of technical legal knowledge in the personal injury and the sort of civil litigation sphere. But so loads of people, you can learn that from a book and I went into that over one year, any lawyer could probably learn a completely different area of law, up to 90%, the standard that anyone else could do. And then you spend your for years and years and years getting more experience. But ultimately, I do very little technical law on a day to day basis. It’s a tiny part of my job. It’s what you spend all your time learning at university and all your training, but I don’t do much of it, I probably do five to 10% of it. And so all of my other time is spent doing other things than just the application of technical law. And those things are things like problem solving, analytics, being persuasive, working under pressure. And these are all skills that I’ve developed and worked on. And some things I’m just innately good at, for other reasons, and others that I’m not very good at, but I worked really hard to try and improve. And if you can stack these skills on top of each other, the more you can stack. And if they’re relevant to what you’re doing, the bigger the chances that you will succeed at what you’re doing. So for me personally, I’m, I have the technical ability and knowledge to do my job, but Sodor 2030 other people in my position in exactly what I do, I’m no different to any of them. In fact, I’m probably worse on a on a day to day basis. If we did a head to head knowledge test of me reciting case law, I reckon that I would come in the lower third, definitely of, of my cohort, I’d say, with regards to reciting what the name of a case is. But I know the principle of the cases, and I know how law works. And I would come in the top third or top 10% With regard to application. Because I am inherently built to solve problems. Somehow I have an innate in these sort of problems. And because of being dyslexic, I see big pictures really easily. I might find written words, hard to read. And I find writing quite difficult. But I find solving problems really easy. Really easy, alarmingly. So, so much so that I think I can guess the answer to most problems. And they usually rise. And that’s obviously not what’s happening. What’s happening is my subconscious is working on the answers and weighing up in weighing up information. But it allows me to offset my deficit from reading and writing very easily. So instead of and I’ll make these numbers up. But let’s say an average person in my position would spend 50% of their time reading the information and the 50% the time making the decision. I would spend 97% of the time reading the information and 3% of the time making the decision. And in fact what will happen is I’ll have made the decision before I finished reading the information well before because I can see the patterns and I’m good at pattern spotting So if you can stack some of these skills on top of each other, so technical, new law, legal knowledge is my sort of entry skill. Problem solving, I’m really good at solving problems, and I love doing it. I’m really analytical. But I can take a step back and see big pictures, which again, not everybody can do. I’m persuasive in written and or advocacy, I’m calm, I can work under pressure, the more pressure the better. The harder the problem, the better. And so these are all individual skills that you can improve on. And they then enhance the offering. And so if you want to get to the top, and what you’ll find is that most partners who reached the top who are well known, are find the law really easy. Because they spend their time doing other things. And that’s not just being salesy. That’s part of most partners roles. But what I mean is by having other skills that they’ve developed, such as being really resilient, or solving complex problems, or taking a step back, and these, when you meet lawyers who have these skills, they set them apart from other lawyers. And you can tell instantly, and it’s got nothing to do with what you learned from the book, because you don’t learn those skills from a book, you learn those by doing things or by your personal experiences. And so if you want to get to the top of whatever you’re doing, whether it be law, or any or anything else, you need to have an entry skill, that is a is a gateway that allows you to enter that arena, whatever that is. And then you need to stack the other skills on top of each other six or seven other skills and try and be in the top percent of each of those. Because if you’re in the top 10% of seven or eight of relevant skills in your industry, you’re probably in the top 1%, or half a percent of people in your industry, what you do. And that is what I now am reaping the rewards of, because I’ve spent long time learning the basics. But I also then I was able to develop all these other skills, and I’m good at them. And now I get to spend my time doing things with those other skills rather than just doing technical legal work. 

Rob Hanna 16:58 

So we talked about mastering your craft, because you know, every master was, we’ve all heard about those sorts of Baselayers of entry, because a lot of people don’t get on board with that. And that sort of skill stacking that you reference is great. I always say if I put my legal recruitment hat on when considering a move, hopefully it’s like another building block of your career. So you act as a point of the next job that you take is another building block, and you’re enhancing yours. You so thanks for that. You’ve talked a lot about the things that you get up to and you’ve given that case of that 70 pound case to that elderly gentleman with his glasses up to that 36 million pounds case, you know, hovering around that sort of million pound mark generally. So is there one particular memorable case that you’ve 

Phill Bratt 17:51 

so one of the problems I have, whether all podcasts or any public speaking is talking about cases is quite tricky, because most of them are confidential. But the reality is, is there’s some of them, you can just Google, if I told you enough about them, you can just Google it. And I’ve been involved with film set accidents, high profile ones, I’ve been involved with really difficult children cases, I’ve been involved with multicar pileups, on which close major roads I’ve been involved with building site accidents, which what made me the, the 10 o’clock news. And I have lots of cases that stand out. But the ones that stand out in my mind are the ones where I actually get to make a difference and do the right thing. And that’s slightly perverse coming out of a defendant solicitors mouth in my my area, because doing the right thing isn’t generally what our job is. It is in the sense that you’re trying to get to a fair value. But sometimes you have a judgement call with regards to whether you do something or pay for something or not and doing the right thing. And I have quite a strong sense of right and wrong. And whether your clients prepared to do it or not. It’s personal to them. And so the cases where we were able to make a difference. And I always get asked why I like using the 70 pound glasses one, a joint so don’t know we were at fault in that case, but it didn’t matter. He just he was he was really old. He’s an older gentleman, he just wanted his glasses. And that was my very first cases. More recently, I’ve been involved with extraordinarily high value tetraplegia case. And it took five or six years to comment exactly how long it said to settle. But what we got to at the end, and this was a very young girl who was brain damaged, and tetraplegia, ik and tetraplegia is when you none at all, none of your limbs work and she was ventilated as well. She was incredibly sad and everything that was just horrific. And I met her a lot of times I met her in hospital and I met her our legal team and her treating team a lot of times and we got to the right outcome in the best way we could do. And they’re the cases that actually resonate with me. Sometimes you come up against cases where people are just outright lying and they’re great. I love those cases because there’s nothing bad and catching someone outright lying. But generally speaking, because of the nature of the cases I deal with most people can’t fake having a brain injury at that level or a spinal injury with limbs don’t work or an amputation. Not many people get the legs cut off, or their arms cut off for no reason. So those are the cases. So it’s a little bit woolly. It’s just trying to work out how to say it without letting somebody else down. Given that I have some obligations, about about confidentiality, and actually most of the cases I work on you can’t you could work out which ones they give you too much detail. 

Rob Hanna 20:31 

I think that it’s good that you’ve shown who you are your values as a lawyer, and you know what I want to talk about something it’s also very passionate to be to me and people who follow my journey. My mission is to build a more collaborative, thriving legal community. Today’s episode is brought to you by Clio payments, the ultimate solutions for law firms looking to streamline their billing and payments. Clio payments available in the UK has updated its pricing for pay by bank transfers, allowing you to accept these transfers per person. Yes, that’s right, zero fees on bank transfers. And here’s the cherry on top that till May 31 2024 Clio is offering new customers and incredible 90 days of free card processing on card payments. With Clio payments, which is included in Clio Manage Subscriptions, you can handle all your Billing payments and collections seamlessly right within the Clio platform. No more switching between systems, no more headaches, just pure efficiency, record your time, generate and send bills, accept payments, and automate reminders and reconcile payments all in one place. Even after 90 days, you’ll continue to enjoy free pay by bank transfers. As for card payments, they’ll be charged at standard rates. Don’t miss out on this incredible offer to save money and gain more time for what truly matters, visit forward slash UK forward slash payments today to learn more and start simplifying your law firm billing and payment process that’s forward slash UK forward slash payments offer ends 31st of May 2024 Terms and Conditions apply. Now back to the show. And I know I’ve been keen to share a lot of my knowledge by the time I retire. And I know it’s something you’re passionate about as well. But I’m sad to say I don’t see it enough from partners and people within the legal profession in terms of sharing that knowledge. So why does it matter to you? 

Phill Bratt 22:34 

The first thing if we go back to Otto about the skill stacking. And if everybody has the knowledge in my industry at my level, then there’s no competitive advantage to have it. And so traditionally, my experience of lawyers is that your value comes out of what’s in your head and your knowledge. But my experience with that it’s just not true, and certainly not what I do. Because that is a technical area. But it’s technical in small doses, what’s most of it is factually complex, and Scenario complex. And that’s not knowledge, that skill and to assess that. And so sharing the knowledge that I have with regards to those skills is applicable to in many, many different areas. And I strongly believe that the more people who are better at their jobs or are able to do their jobs or more capability and jobs are the best that word will be. And I suspect there will be out of 100 people 50 You don’t care, probably 30, who do care, but would rather I wasn’t doing it for their own reasons. And then maybe 20, who really appreciate it. And I have chosen to focus on the 20 who’d really appreciate it not least as a two way street. I don’t know everything. And the more knowledge I share, the more I get back. So it’s not entirely altruistic. But I think you can’t be a true leader in today’s world, where you can Google just about anything, if you’re not prepared to share what you already have. And I think that makes it much easier for people to follow you. And I am in a leadership position now. And I’m aware of that. And I’ve also got a relatively high profile position. Compared to certain items that have that have happened to me, I’ve either been talking about neurodiversity or making partner relatively young, I’ve been the leader for 100 a long time. These things help. Make sure that I sort of have a higher profile than necessarily my peers. And I think with that comes responsibility. I’m acutely aware that I want to give back and it sounds a bit more like I’m running a charity which I’m absolutely not. And then I’m not going to prepare, pretend that lawyers are Are charities and we’re incredibly lucky, and an incredibly sought after role, and ultimately, still a career progression that people want. But I want to be part of trying to make that better. And I, I agree completely with what your mentor said, I saw you post about it recently, and I commented is something I’d thought about in my own time, but actually, I must have subconsciously seen it somewhere else. And I would want to give back people gave me loads of time and effort, and I want to do that for other people. I mean, it’s that is, it’s, it’s done in a nutshell, I just, I think the world would be better if we all share a bit more. 

Rob Hanna 25:35 

And you know, that’s why I hope when people let Ernie and think you know, what, actually, I can help people I can share, I do have a value, because I strongly believe that everybody has a value even when people come to me say Robert don’t have much, much to share. I think that’s a limiting belief. Everyone has a value. So bring because you could be helping someone else just get started out in their career or help them at a point where they might be in their career. Okay, so let’s talk about neuro diversity. I’m going to talk about a follow up question about your recent feature you had regarding dyslexia, but chose to be a real huge advocate for neurodiversity. So, you know, we’ve done a lot of episodes in and around this, but it’s something that we’re absolutely supportive of in the show. So would you mind telling us a little bit more your why and how you advocate for it in your own words, within your own professional networks. 

Phill Bratt 26:41 

So I’m gonna preface this with my wife’s also dyslexic. And almost anything smart or sensible, I set about business has probably come out of her mouth first. And she has been banging on to me, since I met her eight years ago. How diverse thinking is important. And she is a woman who works in advertising, and has been very, very successful at the global level. And she’s been in the rooms where all the men don’t want to listen to the little girl. Except she’s been the only one who understood what was really happening. Because she thinks differently, and she couldn’t understand why other people didn’t. And she can see the benefit of it. And it took me a while to really get my head around this, embarrassingly, so I should have caught originally. And I didn’t even think I was neurodiverse. Because I only found out I was dyslexic, back in 2014. So after I’ve done all my training, all my schooling. And so I’m late to the party with how my brain works. But she wasn’t. So she’s got a lot more insight. And I absolutely agree with her that if you don’t have diversity of thought in teams, you’re just leaving options on the table. You’re not even considering things that might be the right answer will probably are the right answer. You’re also going to take longer to get to the right answer. But actually, I think you probably won’t get to the right answer. So whether that be diversity in race, or gender, or whether that be neurodiversity, which one I’m a champion. I’m Kim. I’m a white middle class. Boy, I’m absolutely the wrong stat in every way, about diversity, with the exception, the fact that I’m dyslexic, and I’m a partner at a law firm. So that’s my area of disability, although I refer to it my superpower. But having diverse thoughts allows you to really understand a problem. And then think creatively of the solution. Because the solution might be the opposite to what you all think would what traditional, traditionally we think now, the Internet has changed the world. But it was very different when it first came up. And so if you aren’t going to be surrounded by people who have different views of the world, different experiences, from their upbringing, different life journeys, different priorities, different levels of empathy, then you are less likely to be successful, and I’m pretty sure that data exists. You’ll have to forgive me I cannot remember the name of the study is a very famous study which talks about the profit in companies which are neurodiverse versus not neurodiverse. And how astronomically different is and in favour of neuro diverse teams and diverse teams in general. And so I think those are the core elements. And whether you’re neurodiverse, or just outright diverse in respect of gender or race, age being another, then the more we can encourage it, I think overall, the better we’re going to be in, the more inclusive we are, in my mind, that’s better for the world. 

Rob Hanna 30:17 

Really good point as well, we’re not looking for echo chambers. And again, a mentor once said to me, you don’t know what you don’t know. And ultimately, if you don’t open your horizons to diversity of thought, or other opinions in business, at the end of the day, you know, it’s giving yourself a chance to get access to broader thoughts, better information, and it’s actually good. So mugs and has that sense of belonging. I love that you recently shared a LinkedIn post that you had changed your email signature really, really liked that. And obviously, it did fantastically well. And you do produce lots of really good content on LinkedIn, generally, lots of thought provoking posts out there. So for the view row blog, so they’ve gone back woods, what would be your words of wisdom you have for those? 

Phill Bratt 31:12 

I have had loads of failure in my career. And I think anyone who pretends like they haven’t, in any job is lying, just our failures, what moulds us. And it’s really, really important. But it’s brutal. And it can be really upsetting. And I didn’t get my training, I never got training on directive, and I qualify, becoming a legal exec and then cross qualify into being a solicitor, but I didn’t get my training contracts, when I am going to say should but not an entitled way, I didn’t do well enough, I should have done better. And it was there to be taken both times. And that was a real problem. For me, it was a real setback, it made me cry. I don’t mind saying that. And it spurred me on in two ways. One is it converted me I did want to succeed, and become a solicitor and that became the most important professional thing qualifying and have to qualify to do legal job, you don’t need to be qualified. To me, it became really important. Not at all costs, but it became really important. And it also gave me a chip on my shoulder. And so I fell behind my immediate peer group, who by the way, now work at Apple, Google, their senior directors that big litigation firms, but I was well behind them, they were progressing, and I was well behind. But I’m the first partner out of all of them. And so just because you fall behind, or you think you’ve fallen behind, early on, you shouldn’t worry about it, you should let it affect you. Because it will and accept that it’s going to affect you, and then just reevaluate what your priorities are. And then take some ownership with regards to what you can do about it. You’re the only person who can control how you feel, how you react, and then what you do in a situation, no one else can. And I think certain in today’s world, that people don’t take enough personal responsibility. It’s very easy to blame a wide range of factors. But the people I see who are very successful, and the people I look up to all have extremely high levels of personal responsibility. And if you take personal responsibility, you can do something about it. The flip side of that is that others see you doing something about it, which either inspires other people or gives them confidence in you. And so when I knuckled down, and did it the hard way. People responded to that because I was prepared to do the basics. Well, as I mentioned earlier, and I became the go to person for expert recommendations my like, in not in my firm, but in my in my office. And that’s because I kept an expert database. I just kept a list of them all, because I realised that that was super important to all the cases that I had, and all the pieces that other people worked with. And I develop really good relationships with their set the experts, secretaries. And so if you wanted an expert, for particular medical issue, and the best experts are very long waiting lists, I could get you a quicker appointment because the secretary liked me. And so I turned the fact that I had to spend longer at the bottom. And I’ve been pretty vocal about this and past about my first legal job was was 16 grand a year. I didn’t earn 30 grand a year until I was 30. And I’m 37 now and I’m a partner. So the exponential growth of my salary, and I have a six figure salary now So it’s astronomical and the second half of my career. But the first part, we’re going back to the basics and consistencies and the knockbacks, in the failings, in all fuels, do your basics well. So my advice is to not give up. What you should do is reflect. And if you are lucky enough to have somebody who is in the profession, who you trust, and who likes you, they are almost certainly going to be able to give you honest feedback about areas for improvement. And that might be difficult for you to stomach. But take it on board, and then try and focus on what’s holding you back. Because somebody else will know. And it’s probably one of the skills like working together or, or public speaking, or how you present yourself or internal networking is probably something like that, rather than your innate mental ability to do the job.  

Rob Hanna 35:53 

So again, I mentioned it earlier in the show, you don’t know what you don’t know. But this is failing forward. You know, it’s because if you’re doing something, right, and I read a quote the other week, which I’m probably going to misquote misquote him, but it’s something along the lines of, you know, she can make good decisions. So you’ve got to be allow yourself to fail forward. So I always also say what a great mentor said to me in terms of self accountability, if it’s meant to be, it’s up to me, so you know, things are gonna go wrong, but being able to take that self accountability is so so important. So I want to quickly talk, very exciting that you’ve recently launched during podcast, London insurance lawyer, so what motivated you to start a podcast and what topics do you cover there? 

Phill Bratt 36:43 

So motivation is part of a wider strategy. So I’ve got a problem being a young partner, and people are gonna say, Crimea river here. But in 25 years, I’m still gonna be a partner. Except that I won’t any No, the people who are in starting the profession now entering the profession now. So given the nature of the work I do, which is high end, I deal with claims directors all day every day, and very senior people in insurance, so I have no problem meeting them, because they come with the cases. And I’m gonna keep meeting them for the next 20 years. But I’m not going to be spending time with the junior people who are entering the profession. Now. And I do relatively now, I’m still young, but in 15 years time, if you’re 22, you’re less likely to want to hang out with me when I’m 50. And I might not speak the same way as you, I might not be as clued into what you like. Hopefully, I will be. But that might not be the case. And so I realised I had this problem. And one of the strands to try and help with it was to create some content that would have some longevity, and would allow me to meet lots of different people in lots of different environments. And for me, to get to know them. And for me to share their journeys. So the podcast came out of that. And the idea of it is to make it very personal. Much like this one, actually, if I’m honest, with regards to it’s about the individuals about what they share, but it’s specific to my industry. With regards to insurance, as much as possible. There are some wider gaps. So I’ve I’ve recorded episodes with but I’m sitting on at the moment, but it, what I’d like to do is encourage people to enter the insurance industry. I’m in London insurance lawyer, I’ve literally called London insurance lawyer podcast for a reason. Insurance has a big problem with recruitment. Lawyers have a problem with recruitment, because there’s lots of people but not enough good jobs. But insurance is the exact opposite. There’s loads of amazing jobs, not enough people, because it’s not cool. One of my other mantras is I want to make personal injury cool. Again, sometimes people have haven’t had the best view of personal injury, it’s really cool. And I’m going to say that over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, until people realise it. It’s so diverse with what you do every day is different. It’s, I don’t do a plus b equals c, I rarely do that. I do a plus b minus Zed equals bananas. That’s what I do on a day to day basis. And if you’re if you’re that way minded, it’s great. And so the podcast is to try and get some of those things across. So there’s obviously a bit of personal branding there. But it’s really about me meeting people, either current or prospective clients, but being more of a market leader in the insurance world, and with law, particularly law and insurance. With regards to understanding more about the industry and also encouraging people to succeed in it and being a being a resource. I’d have to say  

Rob Hanna 39:49 

I do love what you produce this our sounds. Garin check that out. So I want to briefly talk about what we talked about off there. which is the life of being a parent, as you know, you’re a partner, which ultimately has, I’m a business owner, whatever it might be, you know, you’re very vocal about working life as a partner on ticks have, in terms of helping others navigate those challenges and the struggles of everyday life. 

Phill Bratt 40:20 

50% of parents adapt, broadly speaking, I mean, I suspect it’s slightly less than that, in reality, due to certain social circumstances, but broadly speaking, yet, I don’t hear 50% of supportive comments for parents being able to dance. And one of the challenges I found over the last I’ve got two children, I’ve got a two and a half year old boy. And I’ve got a five and a half month little girl. And when my two and a half year old was born, my wife and I were actually building our house, we self bought a house, and it was COVID, as well. So it was quite intense. And a lot was going on, and we didn’t get much sleep at all. And I reckon I have reached for about five or six months, during one of the hardest periods of work, professional work, I got promoted, whilst building a house, whilst dealing with a pandemic. And whilst having a baby and getting out of bed, Dad, I reckon I averaged four hours sleep. And that was broken sleep. And that took me not just to the edge, it took me well over the edge. And objectively, you wouldn’t, you’d have known I was tired. But you wouldn’t have known it was really like just how hard it was with when he met me. Other than the fact that I got a call and I never got rid of it. Until eventually my manager at the time said to you need to not come to work for a week, you need to get yourself signed off for a week, so that you can go and get better. Now what she knew I was going to do was go and build my house for a week, it was really stressful. But that’s what she said, You’re stressing me out, because I think you might know something might go wrong at work. And so it being a dad was what the complicating factor on it all of those things would have been manageable had I had some sleep at some mostly. And so talking about these issues. And that’s quite an extreme example, obviously, I was brought in house, it was a pandemic, I knew dad, and I’ve been promoted at work. And I’ve not being a lawyer isn’t a an easy job. But most jobs aren’t easy. But my job is inherently to take on other people’s problems that they can’t solve, and then solve them, some of which are unsolvable, but still get respected to try and solve them. And so dealing with stress, and being a parent is a traditional part of going to work. But nobody really talks about that. And every time I talk to a young guy, you’re a young dad as well, and you’ve got a two and a half year old girl. It impacts you in all of your life. Except I don’t really find many people talk about it. And I really find even fewer people talk about it in what I call high end professional services, such as law, very few people talk about it, yeah, if we go back to the original start 50% of parents or broadly speaking, I’ll be will be going through will have gone through something very similar. And it’s really tricky to go to work, and then come home and be a really engaged parent, because you’re exhausted from work. And I think the more we talk about that being a really positive thing and how we should embrace it, the better. I’ve, I’ve got strong views about parental leave, and maternity leave, I think it should be gender neutral. I think particularly your first child, you should get the dads should get the same amount of time off that women do to learn how to be parents to parents to raise a child. Other people will have may have a different view to that. But I believe that I believe that’s what’s happening in the modern world. And I think that’s where we’re heading. And I think that’s what we should support. That also might help remove some of the stigma for mums returning to work after time off if dads have also done it. And the issues that that causes in their careers. And so being vocal about these issues, and now I’m in a position of power, quote unquote, power. I’ve got a voice. And I think I should use it to promote these things. In fact, my best promote best ever LinkedIn post performing post was just a picture of the crib, next to my bed, the Moses basket next to my desk, and I only looked after it for about an hour that day. And I was getting messages from all over the world. And I still do from that point. It still performs well. But yeah, six months later, five months later, and just talking about those things. I think it’s really good.  

Rob Hanna 44:37 

Yeah, and it is important and you know, it comes down to I can I keep talking about we’re all humans yet. We’re in a world of AI and robots and they’re coming sure they are coming and they’re here. But we are humans, we’re emotional. We have feelings. We can’t you know, just continue the way that years and years and years have gone by where you should hide things. You know, I actually endorse, you know, I talked about not longer b2b b2c, but h to h human to human connection and actually being authentic and, you know, this open leadership that you’re, you’re showing. And for me the other piece that I would link back to people, which is, I couldn’t make it happen in the industry as I was before. So I have my own reasons, one set up my own business, but I wanted to be a present that I wanted to be able to do bath time. So it was up to me right to make a lifestyle that enabled me to do that. So, you know, again, always think about, like, what do you want? And how can you make those circumstances work for you? And Phil, I’ve really enjoyed learning all your insights and you know, learning about your career journey. And if people want to learn more about your sort of career journey, or get access to the content you’re sharing, and what are the best ways for them to find out more feel free chat and your website links social media handles will also make sure we share them with this journey for you, too. 

Phill Bratt 45:46 

So these were getting hold of me, you can either email me at work, that’s no problem. You just go to the kids website, my my emails there, you can just google me it all comes up. The London insurance lawyer podcast or out it’s also on my own website, which is London insurance That’s the sort of fret fledging websites currently as the co host of the podcast, but I think we’re gonna build that out on LinkedIn, which is abbeyfeale brand. Or finally, you can pick me up on top of the insurance lawyer, I’m still working on tick tock, it’s still a sort of fledgling enterprise, I’ll probably measure that over five years. So come and see me on there. I try and do as much content as possible. But being a dad, time isn’t limited to any of those channels would be great for me. 

Rob Hanna 46:30 

Good stuff, we’ll make sure you go and check those out. And I must give you the chance to give one final piece of advice for people who would like to enter the cool area of personal industry or in new injury haven’t got the words out. So for those wanting a career in IT, what would you say the best words of advice, 

Phill Bratt 46:46 

go and get an entry level job. There’s loads of them out there, it won’t be well paying. I’ll tell you that now. But it what it will do is the gateway and it’s self selecting, but you will have real responsibility, about real cases from the beginning of your legal career. You’ll do your own work, you’ll manage your own time. And for most lawyers, that’s what you really want to do. But in personal injury, you can do it from the very beginning. And you don’t need a qualification we can teach you what you need to know 

Rob Hanna 47:13 

they have it folks go and get busy. Thank you so so much, Bill. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the legally speaking podcast from all of us on the show wishing you lots of continued success. All of us over and out. Thank you for listening to this week’s episode. If you liked the content here, why not check out our world leading content and Collaboration Hub the legally speaking club over on Discord goes to our website www dot legally speaking for the link to join our community there. Over and out.

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