Work Life Quiz: John Davies, Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons

John Davies
John Davies

What was your first-ever job?

I was an industrial ­decorator, using a wire brush to rub rust off ­factory water tanks. It was a natural progression from my grade C for O-level Art.


What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Being arrested while climbing over the office wall. I was trying to help some desperate insolvency practitioners during a stressful administration.

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

No need. We have a ­number of clients in the defence sector and have each of our offices ­electronically bugged.


What time do you usually leave the office?

Usually timed perfectly to coincide with the end of the kids’ bathtime. At least that’s what my wife thinks.


What do you do at weekends?

Weekends largely involve the family, which is ­fantastic. Post-children’s bedtime I enjoy one of my five-a-day in liquid grape format.


What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

The Vine Tree in Foxley.


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

Magnum PI – what a life he led. Ferrari, moustache, Hawaiian shirt and the occasional helicopter ride.


What’s your favourite film?

Cars or Monsters, Inc. I lost control of the TV years ago.


What was the first record you ever bought?

A Message to You, Rudy by The Specials .


Who’s your hero and why?

My parents. They are ­genuinely great people and I’m very proud of all they’ve achieved.


What’s the best thing about your job?

The office stationery I ­manage to offload at car boot sales on bank holidays.


What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Occasionally not seeing enough of my family.


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

I decided to prioritise the work of a certain partner, ahead of that of our then managing partner. He re-hired me 10 minutes after sacking me on the spot. The lesson was to ask questions to gain the full picture rather than ­jumping in.

What car do you drive?

An Audi A6… with child seats.


What book are you currently reading?

A variety of sporting ­autobiographies.


What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

When I was a child it was an obscure book about a Japanese mouse. Now it’s The Gruffalo by Julia ­Donaldson and Axel ­Scheffler.


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

Most deals carry a certain amount of excitement, but I get as much ­satisfaction from the long-term client relationships that ­develop over time.


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

A hat and a second hat in case the first hat gets lost.


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

It was Dublin. Not because of the city itself, which is wonderful, but the fact that I thought that I and a number of my partners were about to meet our maker on the flight home.


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

I try not to work too long without sleep. Deals need focus and concentration and a lack of sleep doesn’t help that too much.


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

My colleagues suggested Danny DeVito and John Goodman. My choice – Kevin James.


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

Osama Bin Laden because no one can find him and I could be stuck there forever.

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

I can play a tune in the style of a trumpet using only my hands; I was the stunt double for the Milky Bar Kid; my wife is a better lawyer than me.

: John Davies
Firm: Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons
Title: Partner, South West region
Lives: Wiltshire
1990-93: BSc, University of Wales, Swansea
1993-95: PGDip US Foreign Policy, as above
1995-97: PGDip Law, LPC, University of the West of England
Work history:
1998: Trainee, Townsends
2000-02: Assistant, Thring Townsend
2002-03: Associate, Thring Townsend
2003-present: Partner, Thring Townsend