As a father of three young daughters, my day starts early and whilst breakfast maybe for wimps (!), it is important for me to have this time with the family to help get a little of the work/life balance right. I leave the house by 7.45am and am at my desk, armed with a mug of coffee, for just after 8.30am to deal with the numerous overnight e-mails which are inevitable when dealing with international clients, and to plan the day ahead. As a head of department, fee earner and joint managing partner, this is not always easy and the day always brings unexpected events whether they be client matters or internal administrative and compliance issues. The latter are on the increase so being a juggler is an essential skill for a lawyer today. My aim is to delay any meetings until 9.30am so administrative matters can receive my attention.
This ranges from buffet lunches with departmental groups and at internal seminars to client lunches, the latter being either specific matter related or business development focussed. As we have a large number of restaurateur clients, I try to use one of their venues both to give them the business and to stay in touch. Apart from their food obviously being excellent, the connection usually allows me to get a reservation, even at the last minute! On the odd occasion I have a solitary lunch at my desk (the accompanying silence being golden) with some sushi and catch up on the news at Manchester United. I am one of those rare Manchester United fans who is not from Guildford! I was born and bred in Manchester and am still a season ticket holder.
My afternoons are dedicated to doing what I became a lawyer for i.e. dealing with complex and interesting legal matters. This can include a variety of corporate and commercial client issues including international sportsmen and women, entrepreneurs and small to medium sized enterprises.
Subject to client demands, I try to leave the office by 8.00pm having answered the day’s rush of e-mails and returned any calls.
I often have networking commitments or meetings with a number of charitable institutions where I act as a trustee. Where possible, I try to combine this with a meal at one of our restaurant clients. Otherwise, the evening will be for family time. Unless of course Manchester United is playing that evening! A quick review of the e-mails and it is off to bed and perchance to dream of easy going and satisfied clients who pay in advance.