Work Life Quiz: Clive Seddon, Pinsent Masons

What’s your favourite film? Excalibur, directed by John Boorman.

Clive Seddon
Clive Seddon

What was your first-ever job?

Stacking drinks shelves in a local cash and carry warehouse. Very thirsty work for a student.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Doing a conveyancing seat. I agreed with the property partner that conveyancing was not really for me, and I returned happily to the ­litigation department after only four weeks away.

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

Sadly, email has seen the death of the postroom hub for gossip. I’m usually the last to know things but this is sometimes a blessing.

What do you do at weekends?

I recharge the batteries. I see my wife Emma, catch up with my four children and two dogs, and walk with them all in the lovely countryside surrounding our village. Lots of reading and occasional ‘country pursuits’ in winter. 

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

Moro in Exmouth Market, close to our Aylesbury Street office. The marinated lamb is difficult to avoid and is quite delicious.

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

Sad though this may seem, I wanted to be a solicitor from my early years at school. I have no idea why, but the academic subjects I enjoyed seemed to point me in this direction.

What’s your favourite film?

Excalibur, directed by John Boorman.

What was the first record you ever bought?

I Love to Boogie by T.Rex.

Who’s your hero and why?

Viscount Alanbrooke – the unsung hero behind Churchill

What’s the best thing about your job?

Speaking at events such as our London team’s drinks party at Shoreditch House last week. A great party.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

I don’t think you can describe a solicitor’s work as tough. We’re hugely privileged in many ways and the profession would benefit from a frequent dose of humility that might improve its image.

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

Misaddressing an internal email. I’ve learnt to always type my mail before addressing it and then pause before sending.

What book are you currently reading?

In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India by Edmund Luce.

A great read for pleasure and if you’re doing ­business in India.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

The Hairy Maclary books by Lynley Dodd.

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

My first trial against Lovells before the advent of witness statements. Their client’s witnesses fell apart on cross-examination and were shown to be ­economical with the truth – moments you treasure as a litigation lawyer. We beat a good payment in. The clients didn’t need the money, were pursuing the case on principle and were therefore euphoric.

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

An iPod with a full range of music to suit my change of moods. I’ll listen to most things but love violin and Johnny Cash.

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

My first partners’ conference was held at a Coopers & Lybrand conference ­centre in Bucks. Tales of previous conferences at Gleneagles and Chewton Glen seemed a long way off when we stayed in basic university-style accommodation with shocking food and limited wine. The firm had had a bad year but this was a false economy by the managing partner.

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

It would be a rather dull movie as our office seems to lack the excitement of Allen & Overy’s Moscow office, if you can believe what you read. I’d choose Alec Guinness because he enlivened every role he played with depth, intelligence, humour and style. One is allowed to dream.

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

Any current English footballer. Do they ever have anything interesting to say? 

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

I spent the summer with my family at Southwold, watching cricket at various venues and drinking lager in a crowded pub, wearing an England shirt while watching the World Cup.


Name: Clive Seddon

Firm: Pinsent Masons

Title: Head of strategic ­business services group

Lives: Swineshead, North Beds


1970-75: Chester Cathedral Choir School

1975-80: Wrekin College

1980-83: LLB, University of Exeter

1983-84: College Of Law, Chester


1985-87: Articled clerk, Mason & Moore Dutton, Chester

1987-93: Solicitor, Masons

1993-2004: Partner, Masons

2004-10: Partner and head of outsourcing technology and commercial group, Pinsent Masons

2010-present: Partner and head of strategic business, ­Pinsent Masons