Chris Bishop

Chris Bishop

Managing Partner at Slater Heelis

The managing partner at the 250-year-old firm Slater Heelis shares his passions and interests with The Brief.

How do you like to start the day?

A cold bath. Weird, I know, but the secret of eternal youth. In my dreams I’d have a lake nearby and go wild swimming every morning.

What’s your favourite object in your office?

As my agile WFH office is also my living room that question feels very 2019. Probably my Bose mini-speaker, which has become the background soundtrack to my life.

Who is your closest colleague?

I’m lucky that one of my oldest and closest friends Simon Adamson is also a Partner and Head of our Personal Injury team. We studied Law at Sheffield University 1985-88, house-shared for a few years and remained very close until, in 2013, his PI practice amalgamated with Slater Heelis.

Do you have a favourite family heirloom?

Nothing of financial value but I do sometimes drink my night-time herbal tea out of a large china cup with saucer that was my mum’s wedding present to my dad way back in 1958. They have both passed away some years ago and I’d be very upset if it ever broke, but such things still have to be used in my view.

What’s your favourite song of all time?

Impossible question. I’m a complete music obsessive with eclectic taste, so a favourite record varies depending on mood. If I’m forced to name a song I’ll go with Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, as I played it at my brother’s funeral. There’s a thread here about death and sentimentality!

What’s your favourite play?

In 1984, when I studied English Lit A-Level at Loreto 6th Form College, I saw a relatively young Robert Lindsay do an iconic performance of Hamlet at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. That was pretty special.

Who’s your favourite movie star?

Frances McDormand is amazing in everything she ever does.

What’s your favourite book?

Tough to pick a favourite but The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell was probably the most influential, as I read it on the recommendation of my A-Level Politics teacher. It helped shape my views.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m just about to start Summer, the last of Ali Smith’s quartet. She’s an amazing writer.

What book do you wish you had written?

Not sure I ever wished I’d written someone else’s book. It’s taking pleasure in the creative imagination of others that makes reading such a treat. If I have to pick one, I’ll go for The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates which I read last year. Every sentence, page, chapter is beautifully crafted. It’s a brilliant, exciting and moving story.

What’s the greatest invention of all time?

Such a tough question but I’ll go for the football. So many people get so much pleasure from a simple object, and you don’t need money to play. It can be the stimulus for connecting people anywhere, despite cultural and language barriers. I love watching (Man City) and playing football.

Is there a sport that you wish you could play?

Chess (ever since I watched The Queens Gambit on Netflix).

Who inspires you in business?

The third sector, all those amazing charitable organisations that work miracles without profit motive.

Dress up, dress down or somewhere in between?

Dress down every-time. I like to think I’m stylistically scruffy. My Partners would say I manage to look dressed down even when I wear a suit and tie!

Where do you go to relax?

Weekends I often get a train into Derbyshire and head out on 4-hour walks on my lonesome, sometimes treating myself to a pint and chips in a pub at the end, which is great therapy.

What country have you always wanted to visit?

Chile. I’ve never been to South America, but would love to.

Besides your phone, what do you always have with you?

I like to travel light so nowadays I need nothing other than the iPhone now it has the Wallet App. I need my keys, I guess.

What’s the best part of your job?

Interacting with colleagues and clients. I’m a very social and verbal person.

What’s your favourite post-work tipple?

Glass of pale ale on a warm summer evening. Nice glass of Merlot on a cold, dark winter night.

Finally, what’s your guilty pleasure?

Looking at pics and little video clips of my beautiful one-year old granddaughter. My son and his partner live in London so the pandemic has limited the times I’ve seen them, but the Facetime calls are great.