Work Life Quiz: Matthew Feargrieve, Appleby

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

What was your first-ever job?

Trainee solicitor.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

No one moment stands out – the entire two years were horrendous.

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

We’re a small office in Zurich, so we have to ­generate the gossip ­ourselves (admittedly in pitifully small amounts).

What time do you usually leave the office?

I normally make a run for it around an hour or so later than I’d planned.

But Friday evenings are sacrosanct.

What do you do at weekends?

If I’m in Switzerland there’s plenty of R&R to be found in the mountains and on the lakes. If I’m in London I get my fix of ­culture and food.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

Tempo on Curzon Street, Mayfair. Zurich can’t compete with London for food, unless you love veal (done every way conceivable).

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


What’s your favourite film?

I’ve got two: Chariots of Fire and Withnail & I.

What was the first record you ever bought?

An LP of John Williams and Julian Bream playing classical guitar music.

Who’s your hero and why?

I don’t have any ­professional heroes, that’s for sure. If I had to identify a truly great, truly ­inspirational British public figure, it would have to be Churchill, every time.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Helping other people make money.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Helping other people make money.

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

I’m not ’fessing up. Sorry.

What car do you drive?

A German car, with ­hankerings after an Italian one; although, in ­Switzerland, I’m ­discovering the pleasures of travel by train (I never thought I’d say that).

What book are you reading?

Lustrum by Robert Harris. Cicero could teach all lawyers a thing or two.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

The Borrowers by Mary Norton.

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

Nothing springs to mind.

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

My Kindle and my iPod.

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

Luxembourg. And Dublin. I shan’t elaborate.

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

Twenty four hours is quite sufficient, thank you.

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

Such madness would require a scriptwriter of immense creative powers, unless it were a Bunuel-esque, arty film in which there’s no discernible plot or action whatsoever.

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

Any member of the shadow cabinet. Self-evidently.

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

I’ve got an Oxford Blue in fencing; I race stock cars; David Niven was my great-uncle.


Name: Matthew Feargrieve

Firm: Appleby

Title: Partner and head of funds and ­investment services

Lives: Switzerland


1994-97: MA, Law, Worcester College, Oxford

1997-98: BVC, Lincoln’s Inn

Work history:

1998-2000: Trainee, Slaughter and May

2000-04: Associate, Slaughters

2004-08: Associate, Maples and Calder, London

2008-10: Partner, Mourant du Feu & Jeune, London

2010-present: Partner and head of funds and investment services, Appleby Europe