Work Life Quiz: Antony Phillips, Field Fisher Waterhouse

What was your worst experience as a trainee? Turning up to my first completion meeting as an M&A trainee wearing a grey suit jacket and blue suit trousers. The meeting lasted all day, all night and most of the following day.


Antony Phillips
Antony Phillips

What was your first-ever job?

My own hedge-cutting and lawn mowing business in the university holidays my first lesson in the benefits of leverage.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Turning up to my first completion meeting as an M&A trainee wearing a grey suit jacket and blue suit trousers. The meeting lasted all day, all night and most of the following day.

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

The pub, when it’s full of trainees.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 8 and 9pm.

What do you do at weekends?

When I’m not playing with my children I eat, drink and exercise (but not generally in that order).

What’s your favourite restaurant?

The Victoria in East Sheen.

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

A property developer or investor, which would have been a good choice if I’d sold up in 2007 and bought back in 2010.

What’s your favourite film?

The Graduate.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Teenage Rampage by The Sweet.

Who’s your hero and why?

Sir Steve Redgrave for his determination and strength of character.

What’s the best thing about your job?

All my colleagues and most of my clients. (The former now owe me a beer.)

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Getting the right balance between the managing bit and client work bit.

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

When issues have arisen it’s generally when I’ve not trusted my instincts enough. Consequently, I now trust my instincts more – if a thing doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

What car do you drive?

A grey people carrier full of little people.

What book are you reading?

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

The Narnia series by CS Lewis.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?

I’m a property litigator and have been fortunate to have been involved in some high-profile property-related injunctions. That sort of action is the best thing about being a lawyer.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?

My running shoes and my bike.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?

Gatwick Airport (and no, I don’t know why it was chosen either).

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?

The 36 hours I spent in the non-matching suit.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?

The bloke who plays Percy in Blackadder – apparently I sound like him.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Lord Prescott – no explanation required.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)

I laugh more than I’m laughed at; I talk more than I’m talked at; I listen more than I’m listened to.

CV

Name: Antony Phillips

Firm: Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW)

Title: Head of real estate

Lives: South West London

Education: Cardiff University, College of Law (Chester and Guildford)

Work history: 

1988-94: Trainee and assistant solicitor, Turner Kenneth Brown (now Nabarro)

1994-98:  Assistant solicitor, Rowe & Maw

1998-2004:  Partner, Rowe & Maw (then Mayer Brown)

2004-10: Partner and head of property litigation, FFW
2010-present: Partner and head of real estate, FFW