Clive Howard: Russell Jones & Walker

What was your first-ever job?
Cleaning up tables in a café. I still remember the rudeness of customers.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Missing out the word “not” in a crucial undertaking.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Anywhere other than a partners’ meeting.

What time do you usually leave the office?
About 7pm.

What do you do at weekends?
I spend time with my family and play poor golf and tennis.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Acorn House, next to our Swinton House office and bizarrely occupying the area of our former IT training department.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
I would have loved to be a journalist.

Who’s your hero and why?
Nelson Mandela, who has lived by his principles.

What’s the best thing about your job?
My colleagues and the occasional realisation that we may have helped improve an individual’s life.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Clients who have been victims of discrimination or who have lost their jobs become very anxious and stressed. Sometimes it’s difficult not to be affected.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Taking on the wrong clients. Lesson: be selective.

What car do you drive?
VW Passat. Can we move on please!

What’s on your iPod?
My eldest daughter has put on SixNationState. Like you, I’ve also never heard of them.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Tintin in Tibet by Herge.

What book are you reading?
Another Tintin, The Castafiore Emerald, with my youngest daughter.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
So often cases are confidential, but a number of high-profile whistleblowing claims have been particularly exciting.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
Ice-cream maker and a lifetime’s supply of Pinot Noir.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
The Slough Marriott (under the M4).

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
We occasionally have mediations that go on to around midnight, which for us employment lawyers is very late.

Which actor would play you in a movie of your life and why?
Pierce Brosnan, as I still remember a very kind elderly lady saying I reminded her of him.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Giant Haystacks or Dick Cheney – he’s George W without the sense of humour.

Name: Clive Howard
Firm: Russell Jones & Walker
Title: Employment partner
Lives: Wimbledon
Education: Kingston Grammar School; Worcester College, Oxford
Work history:1986-89: Trainee and assistant solicitor, Gordon Dadds 1989: Assistant solicitor, Russell Jones & Walker1994-present: Partner, Russell Jones & Walker