Paul Finch: Dickinson Dees

What was your first-ever job?
Postman.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
I was threatened with shooting by a convicted poacher after a Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act prosecution.

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

What time do you usually leave the office?
About 7pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Play hockey in the winter, golf in the summer, and garden all year.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Walloon Saloon in Queensland, Australia.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
A cartographer.

Who’s your hero and why?
My nieces Amanda and Andrea, for reasons too complicated to go into.

What’s the best thing about your job?
I would have picked most of my team as friends if I had not picked them as colleagues.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Financial admin.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I stayed too long in local government because it was an easy option. I learnt that the easiest option is not always the best.

What car do you drive?
An X-Type Jaguar and a Nissan X-Trail. Basically, anything with an X in it.

What book are you reading?
The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by GW Dahlquist.

What’s on your iPod?
It’s my wife’s iPod, so mainly soppy drivel.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Once and Future King by TH White.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on?
The development of a new container port in the Thames estuary. The exciting part was standing in front of a room of 10 different syndicate banks and their legal advisers explaining why the £150m they were about sign off did not have any security.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A very long expanding bridge and a motorbike.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
I’d be sued if I named it, but it had the acoustics of a wet sponge and an impossible golf course (sour grapes).

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
20 hours.

Who would play you in the movie of your life and why?
Gwyneth Paltrow. I’d enjoy the script conferences.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
I once got stuck in a lift with a guy who had a glandular problem. I wouldn’t like to repeat it.

Name: Paul Finch
Firm: Dickinson Dees
Title: Partner, head of planning
Lives: Northumberland
Education: Ormskirk Grammar School and Newcastle University
Work history: 1976-78: Trainee, Northumbrian Water Authority
1979-82: Assistant solicitor, Runnymede Borough Council
1982-86: Assistant solicitor, North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council
1986-90: Solicitor, Clifford Chance
1990-91: Solicitor, Dickinson Dees
1991-present: Partner, Dickinson Dees