Work Life Quiz: Stephen Griffiths, SM Commercial Solicitors

Stephen Grifffiths

What was your first-ever job?

I used to babysit a small local petrol station on Sundays. It was one of those rare ones, not self-service. It gave me a taste of how to work in a service industry.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

One particular Sunday afternoon spent photocopying huge bundles for a high-profile transport infrastructure project. I suppose I should really take the tram system it related to.

What time do you usually leave the office? 

Metaphorically, never. Physically, it depends, but usually when the football starts.

What do you do at weekends?

It usually involves seeing friends and family, a round of golf and hopefully a restaurant in the evening. And the usual chores.

What’s your favourite restaurant? 

In Leeds, Sous Le Nez and La Grillade are both fairly good. Further afield, Le Valmont in Versailles is excellent.

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

I’d like to think something in the sporting arena but more likely something in finance.

What’s your favourite film? 

David Lynch’s Lost Highway caught my imagination some years back.

What was the first record you ever bought? 

Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet (cringe).

Who’s your hero and why? 

On recent form, Shane Warne.

What’s the toughest thing about your job? 

Client expectation management and coordinating the team to all deliver on promises together, simultaneously.

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

Keeping your work and private life separate has its advantages.

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

I didn’t find Brussels very inspiring; Lisbon was considerably nicer.

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

An angry Mike Tyson as a first answer.

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

I like cooking; eating; and doing the washing up afterwards.


Name: Stephen Griffiths

Firm: SM Commercial Solicitors

Title: Corporate and commercial partner

Lives: Leeds


1994-98: Law with French, University of Sheffield and Universite de Paris V (Malakoff)

1998-99: LPC, College of Law, Guildford

Work history

1999-2001: Trainee, Garretts (transferred to DLA)

2001-04: Assistant, DLA (now DLA Piper)

2004-05: Assistant, Eversheds

2005-09: Assistant/associate, Lupton Fawcett

2009-11: Associate (partner from 2010), The Needle Partnership

2012-present: Partner, SM Commercial Solicitors