Name: Trevor Griffiths
Firm: Sharpe Pritchard
Trained at: Sharpe Pritchard
In Hot 100 for: Isle of Wight Council v Platt, the landmark Supreme Court school attendance case. Read his full Hot 100 profile.
What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee?
I am actually old enough to have done Articles and therefore was an Articled Clerk. On my first day I was sent to the Columbian Consulate to have some documents notarised by the Consular Clerk. A special appointment had been arranged and on my attendance the Consul enquired whether we wanted to pay the expedited fee for the documents. I had no idea and he kindly asked whether I would like to ring my firm pointing to his telephone (remember these were the days before mobiles).
I said yes, but then had to confess I did not know the number. The Consul then offered his Secretary to look up the number and asked for the address, which of course, I did not know. I then impressed him by actually knowing the firm’s name and the Consul then found the number from the Yellow Pages directory he had to hand.
Moral leant: always know for whom and where you work! Also how helpful people can be if you are polite with your ignorance.
Who has been the most influential person in your career? Why, and how have they helped you?
Ashley Badcock the previous senior partner of my firm, now retired, and Roy Richards, a litigation partner sadly no longer with us.
Ashley is one of those rare people who can deal with complex situations down to minor ones like mending my toilet cistern at home. In management it is the smaller things that count and matter. Loyalty cannot be bought, it is earned. Ironically the bigger decisions make themselves.
Roy taught me the fine art of delegation, using common sense and also not to treat yourself too seriously. Also that work and those who you are with should be enjoyable. Remember you are doing it most of your life.
What was the best career decision you ever made, and why?
No contest, being offered Articles at Sharpe Pritchard, being allowed to stay on qualification, becoming a partner and finally becoming an equity partner. Also having the privilege of being surrounded with partners and assistants cleverer than myself. Most of the time they have already thought of and acted on the points I would want to make in any event.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?
Proper and full preparation with hard work will get you so far, sometimes, you have to rely on luck!
What work or career-related project or activity would you really like to do, but don’t have time for?
I once had a summer job as a temporary greensman at a golf course. I never looked so healthy or was fitter in all my years. An alternative would be a Groundsman at a Cricket Club as I was never good enough to have played Test Cricket (some would say I am lucky enough to get selected for the VIth eleven at my local club). However, did I once tell you I was the leading wicket taker on our Somerset Cricket tour…