Work Life Quiz: Stuart Wardlaw, Dickinson Dees


Work-Life Quiz: Stuart Wardlaw, <a class=Dickinson Dees” class=”inline_image inline_image_left” src=”/pictures/web/images/15290_P15_cv.jpg” />What was your first-ever job?
Trainee solicitor.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Leaving a corporate ­completion meeting with the client’s jacket and the consideration cheque for £5m. (Inadvertently – he took my jacket.)

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Jen and Anna’s office, next door.

What time do you usually leave the office?

What do you do at weekends?
Walk in the hills or along the coast. Meet friends for dinner. Swim or cycle.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?
Pani’s, Newcastle’s ­quintessential Italian café.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
Talent aside, an architect, yachtsman or landscape gardener.

Who’s your hero and why?
The Dalai Lama, for his humility and inexhaustible supply of compassion.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Dickinson Dees is a firm full of great people, the work is extremely varied and interesting, and I love living in Newcastle.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Sitting at a desk for too many hours.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Can’t think of any biggies.

What car do you drive?
A red BMW coupé. (I am not, as a friend enquired, having an affair, nor a
mid-life crisis.)

What book are you currently reading?
The Human Touch by Michael Frayn.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
A vast eclectic mix of music, but if I could only have one piece on it, it would be Keith Jarrett’s The Koln Concert. Magical.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
Shel Silverstein’s The ­Giving Tree – a eulogy to ­selflessness.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
Helping a client avoid a vexatious prosecution under the Wildlife & ­Countryside Act.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
Prescription swimming goggles and an iPod.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Two days.

If a movie was being made of your life, which actor would play you and why?
John Travolta, circa 1978. He copied my strut, so he’s halfway there.

Stuart Wardlaw
Firm: Dickinson Dees
Title: Partner
Lives: Cleadon, Tyne and Wear

1992-93: BA Hons Geography, Oxford University
1993-94: CPE, LPC, Northumbria University
Work history:
1994-96: Trainee solicitor, Dickinson Dees
1997: Directory researcher, Chambers and Partners
1997-98: Solicitor, SJ Berwin
1998-2000: Solicitor, Nabarro Nathanson (Sheffield)
2001-06: Associate solicitor/director, ­environment and safety team, ­Dickinson Dees
2007-present: Partner, head of ­environment and safety team, Dickinson Dees