The Lawyer Inquiry: Richard Thornely

Richard Thornely was born in Lancaster in 1957. He is a partner and head of the private client division at Thomas Eggar Church Adams.

What subjects did you fail at school?

O Level Greek and Biology (but I have three sons to show for it).

What was your first job?

Groundsman at 20p per hour.

What was you first ever salary as a lawyer?

£3000 pa.

What would you have done if you hadn't been a lawyer?


What was your most satisfying professional moment?

Becoming a partner in my present firm.

What was your most embarrassing professional moment?

After extensive efforts had been made to trace a beneficiary, and having written to her to tell her about her windfall, receiving an abusive call in which she told me that she had "heard about my type on television" and that she would "call the police" if I attempted to contact her again.

What do you least like about being a lawyer?


And the best thing about being a lawyer?

The satisfaction of tailoring an imaginative solution to a client's problem.

What annoys you most about clients?

Bringing me cases that they believe are very simple (and therefore cheap) which are in fact very complicated (and therefore expensive).

Who do you most admire, and why?

Bach, for his mastery of the art of fugue.

Which famous person or historical figure would be your ideal client, and why?

Henry VIII, for his repeat business in the field of probate, and proactive approach to generating legal work.

What is your most annoying habit?

I cannot keep my desk tidy for more than five minutes.

What's your biggest fear?

Being attacked by bears when on innocent walking holidays.

How do you relax?

Mountaineering, piano playing, family life.

What is your most precious possession?

My Bluthner piano.

Where would you most like to be right now?

On the Cuillin ridge, Isle of Skye.

In 10 years' time, where do you see yourself?

A partner in a multidisciplinary practice.

To take part in the Inquiry call Jemma Pearson on 0171 970 461