Work Life Quiz: Matthew Duncan, Kingsley Napley

Matthew Duncan

What was your first-ever job?

Cleaner and general ­dogsbody at a small leather factory.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Attending a post mortem and attempting to take notes while fighting extreme nausea.

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

Wherever any of the ­secretaries or trainees are.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 6.30pm and 7pm, although I usually then go on to a networking event.

What do you do at weekends?

I’m a taxi driver for my two children, who have a far better social life than my own.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

The Fox and Anchor in Smithfield.

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

A property developer.

What’s your favourite film?

Blade Runner.

What was the first record you ever bought?

A greatest hits album by Shakin’ Stevens.

Who’s your hero and why?

Nothing to do with a crush on Meryl Streep, but I’d have to say ­Margaret Thatcher for her sheer determination and conviction.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Having the chance to build a successful team and grow the private client platform at Kingsley Napley.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Constantly fighting the perception that private client lawyers are old, ­boring and slow.

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

Forgetting to ask for a costs order at the conclusion of a successful trial in a magistrates’ court early in my career as a criminal advocate. As a lawyer you always need to know and ensure you’re going to get paid.

What car do you drive?

Ford S-Max.

What book are you currently reading?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling (with my daughter).

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

Stig of the Dump by Clive King.

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

Successfully preventing the Crown receiving an ­inheritance bona vacantia after demonstrating that the Treasury Solicitor had mis-applied the law. As a result the inheritance went to my client, the rightful heir.

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

An iPod with my heavy metal playlists and my wife.

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

There hasn’t been a bad one yet.

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

Eighteen hours.

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

John Cleese. He has the legs for the role.

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

The lift engineer.

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

I used to have long hair and when I had to have it cut I kept it in a bag for four years; I own a share in a racehorse; I love The X Factor.


Name: Matthew Duncan

Firm: Kingsley Napley

Title: Partner and head of private client

Lives: Guildford, Surrey


1992-95: LLB (Hons), University of Reading

1995-96: LPC, College of Law, Guildford

Work history:

1996-98: Trainee, Thompson Leatherdale

1998-2000: Assistant solicitor, Thompson Leatherdale

2000-08: Associate, Charles Russell

2008-10: Partner, Dawsons

2010-present: Partner and head of private client, Kingsley Napley