Firstly, where do you work and what is your role?
Head of Litigation in Manchester, under Richard Leedham as overall Group Head. While my home office is Manchester, I also work extensively in the Middle East.
Why did you choose a career in law?
It was a long time ago now, but at the time I was torn between a career in either medicine or law. I decided a History A level would be easier than a Physics A level!
What attracted you to your particular specialism?
My father is an engineer. Aside from that, Construction law was appealing as it is constantly changing, the majority of new law in this country comes out of Construction & Engineering which keeps the role varied and new. Each project is different in its facts and the effect they have on the outcome.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
When you win. When you’ve just received a Judgment or award and are sitting with your team ringing the client to pass on the good news, whether the reaction is elation or relief it feels great to have achieved a positive outcome.
What particular challenges are you facing in these tougher times?
The economic shrinkage in the Construction field. With less work around and fewer projects everyone in the supply chain is fighting for their share. Pricing is hugely important and in a shrinking market it is important more than ever to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Where do you think the opportunities for growth will be in the legal profession in the next few years?
If you can find a way of doing things differently to set your team apart from the competition opportunities will present themselves.
What’s been your most enjoyable recent piece of work?
The most enjoyable piece of work was an Arbitration on a Magnesium Oxide plant in Jordan. 22 nationalities were involved and every type of legal claim from design faults to unfair and wrongful termination and even the fate of the camp donkey! The most high profile piece of work was the Wembley litigation.
What inspires you when it comes to your work?
When you work as a team very closely and the team bonds with the client team, Counsel and experts. The feeling of togetherness over what you are working to achieve undoubtedly makes the work more inspiring and gives you a buzz.
Do you work by a particular mantra or motto in your business life?
Given the amount of travelling I do internationally…never check in any luggage!
Can you give one piece of professional advice to your peers?
As someone once advised me, never write a letter which you would be unhappy for a Judge to read out in court in two years’ time.