The senior partner at international law firm Spencer West shares his passions and interests with The Brief.
How do you like to start the day?
Early rise, grind fresh coffee beans (Italian dark roast) and walk the grounds with our chocolate Labrador. Simple, but isn’t that always best?
What’s your favourite object in your office/home office?
I have a chess set that I can pretend I’m good at but mostly gaze at, wishing I really was.
Who is your closest colleague?
It has to be two: my business partner, Antoine, and my Practice Director, Kate. They are terrific and the pillars of the firm.
Do you have a favourite family heirloom?
It’s not really an heirloom but my mother gave me a commemorative serving plate from the 84/85 miner’s strike and it speaks to my Yorkshire roots and socialist values.
What’s your favourite song of all time?
It’s a slightly weird one, and may even qualify under the question about guilty pleasure, but every time I need a lift and to put a smile on my face I listen to Nancy Sinatra’s version of “Sugar Town”. I challenge anyone not to smile.
What’s your favourite play?
Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.
Who’s your favourite movie star?
Sigourney Weaver. Who could not marvel at her seminal performance in Alien?
What’s your favourite book?
That’s an impossible question. I have to have at least three choices: Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird, Shuggie Bain (there are dozens more).
What book are you reading right now?
Patrick Radden Keefe’s Empire of Pain. It’s got to be the masterclass in thorough research and skilled storytelling in the shape of a non-fiction work. What a story, what corporate avarice. Takes one’s breath away.
What book do you wish you had written?
The one I started 12 years ago and, of course, haven’t finished.
What’s the greatest invention of all time?
The Italian stove top espresso machine (I like coffee) and the sit-harness (my rock-climbing background).
Is there a sport you wish you could play?
No, I’ve already played or pursued every sport I really like in one amateurish way or another. If pushed, I’d love to be able to rack up a century in snooker.
Who inspires you in business?
My first managing partner and mentor, David Warner, who taught me so much about good values in practising law.
In the office do you dress up, dress down or somewhere in between?
Down, as low as it gets (I really should try harder).
Where do you go to relax?
The mountains – any mountains.
What country have you always wanted to visit?
Canada – the biggest and most remote parts.
Besides your phone, what do you always have with you?
My iPad – it’s an office and entertainment system in one; I need to always remind myself that those are two entirely separate functions!
What’s the best part of your job?
The people, who I’m privileged to be able to work with and honoured that they choose to.
How do you unwind after work?
Talking with my wife - it’s the greatest tonic and relaxer I know.
Finally, what’s your guilty pleasure?
Better Call Saul on Netflix. I don’t think it’s necessarily a guilty pleasure, but it is a sublime show.
- Connect with Simeon Spencer via LinkedIn