The work-life quiz

Tim Taylor, head of corporate, Withers


What was your first ever job?

The morning shift in the confectionery section of a bakery in Stockport.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Going to county court for a landlord and tenant application and being asked by the judge to present the case. It was only after I’d returned to the office that my colleagues told me that you need to be a qualified solicitor to have a right of audience. We won the case regardless.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?

First join the smokers – even though I don’t smoke – or failing that the canteen.

What time do you usually leave the office?

It varies, but on average about 7.30pm.

What do you do at weekends?

It depends on the time of year. In the summer I play cricket. The rest of the year I share the joys of looking after three young children. I sing in my spare time, so I also attend rehearsals and concerts.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

The Red Lion in Shamley Green.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?

Probably a professional cricketer – how long it would have lasted is anyone’s guess.

Who was your mentor or role model?

Withers’ former head of corporate Philip Durrance was a significant influence over many years.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The diversity and the knowledge that every day I’ll learn something new.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Rewarding and tough in equal measure is managing people and their expectations. The fee-earning work can be relatively straightforward in comparison.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?

Making mistakes is an essential part of developing as a lawyer, and when I stop doing that then I’ll probably be retired.

What car(s) do you drive?

A Toyota MR2.

What book are you currently reading?

Pompeii by Robert Harris.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?

Brian Wilson’s Smile.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.