Work Life Quiz: James Maxey, Express Solicitors

What was your first-ever job? Summer work organising a nature learning centre.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Including a Part 36 offer in a trial bundle, causing the need for a new judge. ­Fortunately, one was ­available.

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

Take them out for a few beers.

What time do you usually leave the office?

It varies, but normally around 7pm – just in time to put my 21-month-old twins to bed. I have a boy and a girl.

What do you do at weekends?

Life has changed since the arrival of the twins. My weekends used to involve boating and diving. Now they are totally kid-centric.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Near to home for fine steak pie: The Plough pub in Whitegate. Further afield for fine steak: Sarah’s in Portsalon, Donegal.

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

A mariner.

What is your favourite film?

The Big Blue.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits.

Who’s your hero and why?

My father. He’s hard work, with exacting ­standards, but he also works hard to get the job done right.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Seeking rightful ­compensation for injured clients and helping young lawyers turn into effective and competent litigators.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Having to part company with lawyers who aren’t becoming effective and competent litigators.

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

As the business grew I delayed hiring good­ ­managers and more good lawyers. I learnt that you need to delegate, delegate, delegate.

What car do you drive?


What book are you reading?

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I’ve only just got round to reading it but it is as good as they say.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Dig, Dig, Digging by ­Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe.

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

Representing the children of a couple who died in an air accident in their dependency claim. The ­aircraft law and cross-jurisdictional issues were interesting and the ­dependency was ­complicated to calculate because the parents were wealthy and had varied business interests in a number of countries. Of course, the case was tragic and had a big financial impact on the clients. It was pleasing to get appropriate interim ­payments and ultimately a fair settlement.

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

My boat and a full diesel fuel tanker.

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

Never been to one. We get the work done in the office.

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

Only 18 hours or so.

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

Daniel Craig. I like to think that if I went to the gym I could achieve that sort of six-pack.

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

Ken Clarke, Lord Young and Lord Justice Jackson. I think people on the side of claimants know why.

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

I am the only solicitor in Manchester with a third-class law degree and his own law firm; I have invented an infallible ­system for figuring out at the outset whether a claimant’s case will be ­successful or not; I got a grade E in A-level Law.