Work Life Quiz: Jane Cooper, Russell Jones & Walker

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

Jane Cooper
Jane Cooper

What was your first-ever job?

Working in Poundstretcher in Grimsby as a Saturday cashier followed by a job as a cinema usherette when studying at university.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Having to discontinue a High Court clinical ­negligence claim at trial without instructions from the supervising partner. There was no prospect of success and counsel refused to run into a second day because of the poor merits. The client’s family was incensed and I had to deal with half-a-dozen of them on my own as I couldn’t get hold of the partner dealing with the case.

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

The ladies’ toilets.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Because of childcare ­commitments I now leave at 4.30pm-5pm. Before the kids I usually worked until around 7pm, having got in 12 hours before.

What do you do at weekends?

Washing, ironing, taxiing, baking cakes and gardening. Not time for much else save for watching Total Wipeout with the kids.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

Fischer’s Baslow Hall in Baslow. Not just a meal, it’s an entire experience.

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

A journalist. Although if we’re talking fantasies, an actress.

What’s your favourite film?

Point Break, closely ­followed by Road House.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Don’t Give Up On Us Baby by David Soul.

Who’s your hero and why?

Johnny Morris from ­Animal Magic. I loved this programme as a child and was intrigued by the way he seemed to talk to the animals.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Helping people move ­forwards when they’ve ­suffered nasty injuries and can’t seem to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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

On a work placement I told a young couple buying their first house they’d bought it as seen, without explaining fully what I meant. They thought they were getting not only ­carpets and curtains but also beds, toasters, kettles and even the TV. I learnt there’s no substitute for a thorough explanation followed by the written word.

What car do you drive?

A Citroën Xsara Picasso.

What book are you reading?

The White Queen by ­Phillipa Gregory.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson.

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

Two connected ­occupational stress claims for two women subjected to sexual harassment and bullying. We uncovered a whole culture of ­inappropriate behaviour, which was embarrassing to the employer, and secured significant settlements for both women.

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

Chocolate and a telephone recording of my children telling me they loved me.

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

Only one night. I’m not very good without sleep.

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

I want to be on Masterchef; I aspire to be a hermit; I love being a lawyer.

Only those who know me well will know which one is the lie.


Name: Jane Cooper

Firm: Russell Jones & Walker (RJW)

Title: Partner

Lives: Chesterfield

Education: 1988-92: LLB (Hons), Nottingham Trent ­University

Work history:

1993-95: Trainee, Bridge McFarland, Grimsby

1995-96: Assistant solicitor, Bridge McFarland

1996-2002: Assistant solicitor, Thompsons, Sheffield

2002-05: Assistant solicitor, RJW, Sheffield

2005-present: Partner, RJW, Sheffield