The year 2023 is a milestone in the professional life of one of our most experienced and esteemed colleagues at Edmondson Hall, as Mr Michael Drake reaches his fiftieth year practicing as a solicitor.
Fresh faced and newly qualified, he spent the first four years of his career in Kent, but in 1977 he was invited back to Newmarket, to the historic Rustons and Lloyd as an Equity Partner. A significantly different role to his initial employment there as an Articled Clerk at 17 years old, paid £5 per week.
What would that 17 year old think of the career that followed?
Would he believe it would be a career that would involve acting for the Queen of England in matters concerning one of her very favourite racehorses?
Or there would be work that would take him to the heart of a racing scandal that gripped the nation? For the disappearance of Shergar resulted in complex insurance claims spread across several of Michael’s clients.
Could he imagine there would be critically timed bloodstock deals that involved working all night? Difficult motoring matters to be addressed on behalf of the British aristocracy. A loyal and interesting client base, some, who forty years on still consult him today?
It must have been hard for that 17 year old to think what might be – he certainly couldn’t possibly have dreamt how the legal profession would change. Computers, email, the internet were nonexistent, instead, dictation, short hand, type writers and carbon paper.
Today, as Michael is called on to reflect on his lifelong work in the legal field, it’s clear his enthusiasm remains. In his own words, ‘it’s been a varied and challenging career. I have always found the work fascinating, and fifty years on from my first case, its still just as fascinating.’.