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When Spear’s meets Rebecca Cockcroft in a book-lined room at Payne Hicks Beach’s offices, it’s a relief that this is an interview and not a negotiation. Cockcroft’s expression remains inscrutable during the early exchanges; one suspects opponents often find themselves giving away rather too much, rather too quickly.
Cockcroft, an alumna of Dawsons and Manches, jointly heads the department that is home to Baroness Shackleton.
‘I think you’ve got to be quite firm with your clients,’ says Cockcroft of her own style. ‘Emotions run very high and you need to persuade a client to focus on the big picture and the end result, not pyrrhic victories along the way.’