The Managing Partner of Manchester-based Graham Coffey & Co Solicitors, shares his passions and interests...
How do you like to start the day?
As I have got older, I have found that I am largely pleased to just wake up! Beyond that, a bowl of cereal and a cup of tea is a must before leaving the house.
What’s your favourite object in your office/home office?
Up until very recently, an old pair of comfy trainers that I had managed to keep going for years but I finally had to ditch them in the bin. I’ll say the family photograph we had taken a few years ago with both my children, wife and both sets of parents.
Who is your closest colleague?
I would say my fellow senior partners have provided invaluable support for many years – that would also be the answer least likely to cause an uproar in the office.
Do you have a favourite family heirloom?
I genuinely don’t think I have an heirloom – never mind a favourite.
What’s your favourite song of all time?
Bon Jovi – “Livin’ On A Prayer”. As a child growing up in the ’80s, this was the soundtrack of those fun days when the only thing you had to worry about was remembering to get home before it went dark and to put on clean underpants in case you got hit by a car.
What’s your favourite play?
Les Misérables – a musical rather than a play but every song is just fantastically emotional.
Who’s your favourite movie star?
Hugh Jackman – the annoying man can act, sing and is bloody good looking!
What’s your favourite book?
The Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell – historical fiction set in 9th Century Saxon England.
What book are you reading right now?
The Elfor Drop by R.R Haywood. The second of two stories, set aboard a fleet of Worldships carrying the last few remnants of humanity to find a home on a new planet. Sounds deep and meaningful – it’s not. Comedy science fiction at its best.
What book do you wish you had written?
I don’t think I have ever wished I’d written a book I’ve read. Having managed to self-publish a children’s book I’m more hopeful that I will be able to write a novel of my own. I do love the Harry Potter books though, so maybe those just a little bit!
What’s the greatest invention of all time?
So many people would say the internet but there would be no internet without the computer – so the computer for me. When you say “of all time” I am presuming you mean the future as well as the past – and, for me, future evolutions of the computer will be ever-present in some form or another.
Is there a sport you wish you could play?
A number of injuries over the years mean that playing sport now is inevitably followed by weeks of ice and physio, so it would be true to say I wish I could play any sport with the same freedom and intensity that I did in my twenties.
I also wish I could have played more cricket. Watching my son play over recent years reminded me how much I enjoyed it when I was younger. Hopefully, once the kids are old enough there may be a spot on the local village team – the dream is still alive!
Who inspires you in business?
I would love to avoid being predictable, but I am an admirer of Elon Musk – largely because his approach to almost anything is that there has to be a better way of doing things.
In the office do you dress up, dress down or somewhere in between?
Dress up – almost always. Not because I am a fashion leader but because if I dressed down every day my colleagues would soon realise I own one pair of jeans and two reasonably smart t-shirts. If I’m not working, I pretty much spend my time in shorts or a tracksuit.
Where do you go to relax?
I think I am at my most relaxed up a mountain – the views from the top are a great way to get some perspective, or swimming in the sea (by swimming, I mean floating – not crossing the Channel coated in goose fat or Vaseline)
Also, into my own head – I’m a big believer in mindfulness. Spending a few minutes concentrating on the here and now rather than being overwhelmed by past mistakes or future problems.
What country have you always wanted to visit?
China. I have always loved history and if I hadn’t become a lawyer then I would definitely have become a history teacher. Where better to visit than one of the oldest civilisations in the world?
Besides your phone, what do you always have with you?
A sense of humour.
What’s the best part of your job?
I like learning. I like understanding new things and finding solutions. There’s nothing better than finding an answer to a problem that you had struggled to solve.
How do you unwind after work?
I’m Club Secretary at Daisy Hill Junior Football Club, with 11 Junior Teams, and I coach the Under 14s – I genuinely enjoy the work that goes into helping the club and team improve.
Also playing with my son and daughter – we are all addicted to card games which have become an almost nightly event. From Goat Lords to Bears V Babies – priceless times.
Finally, what’s your guilty pleasure?
If it makes me happy, I won’t be feeling guilty!
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