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.
Richard Langley, litigation partner, Bircham Dyson Bell
What was your first-ever job? McDonald's in Streatham.
What was your worst experience as a trainee? Trying to engage a client in conversation at court. I discovered she was into 'alternative' healing therapies. To cut a long story short, I more or less told her that if the healing power was not from God, it must be from the Devil. Which was not the right thing to say.
Where's the best place to go if you want to find out what's really going on in the office? My partner Siân Jones knows everything. She has a whole network of informers reporting to her.
What time do you usually leave the office? About 6.30pm if I can.
What do you do at weekends? Saturday is given over to pottering, Sunday is for church, family and friends.
What's your favourite restaurant? The Dining Room in Reigate.
If you weren't a lawyer, what would you have been? A Whitehall mandarin.
Who was your mentor or role model? My father - the most honest person I have ever met. He is exactly the same person in private as he is in public.
What's the best thing about your job? It really is a 'nice' firm. I've been here since articles. Some of the stories I hear about other places are startling - one of my partners says his old firm was a "snakepit".
What's the toughest thing about your job? Delegating. I'm hopeless at it. I pity my poor trainee.
What's your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it? Volunteering to be responsible for marketing litigation - I'm still learning, very slowly.
What car(s) do you drive? The ubiquitous people carrier - a Seat Alhambra.
What book are you currently reading? CS Lewis: A Biography by AN Wilson and Churchill: A Biography by Roy Jenkins.
What's on your CD player at the moment? The Kaiser Chiefs' Employment.
What's your favourite children's book? Watership Down by Richard Adams, although I was always a big Roald Dahl fan.