Work Life Quiz: John Marshall, Russell Jones & Walker

What was your first-ever job? Working in a dairy making cheese.


What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Having to pull a very drunk colleague out of the office Christmas party while he shouted back at the managing partner’s wife that she didn’t understand drunks like him and me. Fortunately for me, the managing partner did at least understand me,

if not him.

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

My secretary.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 6.30pm and 7pm.

What do you do at weekends?

Apart from ferrying my kids around to all manner of events and watching them, I play cricket, ride motorbikes and socialise with local friends.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Harry’s Bar in Mayfair.

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

An engineer, like my father.

What’s your favourite film?

I don’t really have one.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Part of the Union by The Strawbs.

Who’s your hero and why?

Mike Hailwood – he won nine motorcycle World Championships in seven years, then turned to motor racing. My teenage friends nicknamed me ‘Mike the Bike’, and by chance I met his widow, Pauline, in a piano bar in Puerto Banus and had a fantastic evening reminiscing about Mike and singing Frank Sinatra songs.

What’s the best thing about your job?

My colleagues and their campaigning spirit.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Commuting between Sussex and London.

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

When visiting a client in prison, I naively gave him £5 to buy some cigarettes. When I returned to the office I was hauled before the senior partner, who had been called by the prison governor to explain my actions. I learnt to read the rules in the prison ­visiting rooms.

What car do you drive?

A Land Rover.

What book are you reading?

Public Secret by J Bernlef.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

The Gruffalo by Julia ­Donaldson.

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

I acted for a City trader who was fired for alleged insider dealing. In due course he was prosecuted in a blaze of publicity and we managed to persuade the trial judge to throw the case out at the end of the prosecution case for lack of evidence. A great party ­followed.

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

A sand wedge and a lot of golf balls.

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

When I was in-house the global legal team met in Miami. It was such a fantastic venue, nobody wanted to do any work.

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

Forty-two hours, including a flight to New York.

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

James Nesbitt, for the cool urban chic he could bring to the role that I never could.

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

Boris Johnson, as there would be no room with him, his bike and his ego.

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

I love sport; I’m good at it; seeing England beat Australia in Sydney in the 2003 Rugby World Cup was the most amazing sporting event of my life.




Name: John Marshall

Firm: Russell Jones & Walker

Title: Partner

Lives: Sussex


1981-85: LLB, Leicester Polytechnic

1985-86: Law, College of Law, Chester

Work history:

1988: Articles, Gold Mann & Co, London

1988-93: Litigation associate, Gold Mann

1993-99: Partner and head of litigation, Gold Mann

1999-07: General counsel (Emea), Tullett Prebon

2007-08: Senior employment associate, Russell Jones & Walker (RJW)

2008-present: Employment partner, RJW