The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why? Slough, because it was Slough.
What was your first-ever job? A dehydrator of peas at Batchelors in Sheffield. As the peas lost their will to live, so did I.
What was your worst experience as a trainee? Being sent to buy a cabbage from the local Tesco by my senior partner.
Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office? How would I know?
What time do you usually leave the office? About two hours after I should have done.
What do you do at weekends? Reacquaint myself with the family, play sport, drink wine, study Italiano and chill.
What’s your favourite restaurant? Nobu in Milan, but less dramatically Nonna’s in Sheffield.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been? An astronaut, a dazzling left-winger for Man United, or more realistically (and rather depressingly) an accountant.
Who’s your hero and why? I don’t have any heroes, but I think David Bowie is cool.
What’s the best thing about your job? The people I work with in my office and a sense of helping improve the lives of our clients.
What’s the toughest thing about your job? The distraction of having to deal with some defendants and members of the judiciary who seem clueless as to how to run a PI case.
What’s been your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it? Choosing the law and that dentistry’s more lucrative.
What car do you drive? A BMW 535d.
What book are you currently reading? A Simple Act of Violence by RJ Ellory.
What’s on your iPod at the moment? What’s an iPod?
What’s your favourite children’s book? Peter Pan by JM Barrie – I enjoy his grasp of reality.
What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why? White v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police (1998) – the Hillsborough PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] claims – because it was a life-changing event for so many unfortunate people.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you want to have with you? A large bottle of tranquilisers and a copy of Mozart’s Requiem.
What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why? Slough because it was Slough.
What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep? If I can I like to try to stay awake all the time I’m at work.
If a movie was being made of your life, which actor would you like to play you and why? Jack Nicholson, because it would be a challenge for him.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why? The list is too great to complete here.
CV Name: Simon Allen Firm: Russell Jones & Walker Title: Joint head of personal injury Lives: Ecclesall, Sheffield
Education 1973-77: De La Salle College, Sheffield 1977-80: BA (Hons), Leicester Polytechnic 1981-82: Chester College of Law
Work history 1984-88: Partner, Brian Thompson & Partners 1989-90: Solicitor, Russell Jones & Walker 1990-present: Partner