Work Life Quiz: Bill Jones, JMW Solicitors

Work-life Quiz: Bill Jones, <a class=JMW Solicitors” class=”inline_image inline_image_left” src=”/pictures/web/images/14699_P17_jones.jpg” />What was your first-ever job?
Clerical assistant with a small Manchester law firm.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?
Being humiliated by a court registrar – as they were then called – when I was literally unable to “open my case” because I had temporarily forgotten the combination number of my briefcase.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
For office gossip, one of the secretarial pools.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Between 6pm and 7pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Play golf, watch Manchester City, relax with my ­family, enjoy meals out
and walk our dog Oscar.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?
The 25th, overlooking the Palm in Dubai, on the 25th floor of the Habtoor Grand Hotel.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
I always wanted to be a pop star, but was somewhat restricted due to a lack of talent.

Who’s your hero and why?
My dad. He always taught me never to shirk responsibility and to always make decisions based on fairness.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Contributing to the development of the firm and working with a great team.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Making tough and sometimes unpopular decisions.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Trusting a former partner who let me and the firm down badly. I learnt how important the partner relationship was and how vital it was for partners to really buy into the duty of good faith philosophy.

What car do you drive?
Bentley Continental.

What book are you currently reading?
Being a sad person, I’m waiting for the Law ­Society’s latest anti-money laundering handbook.

What’s on your iPod?
About 1,000 songs from the 1960s onwards and about 10 films.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
Watership Down by Richard Adams.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
Going to the House of Lords and winning the civil case that followed. The case brought about fundamental changes to the legal aid system that prevented corporate ­entities from assigning actions to impecunious ­litigants who were financially eligible for legal aid.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two ­luxury items would you take?
A speedboat for a quick getaway (if necessary) and my Panasonic HD plasma 42-inch TV.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why?
In about 1993 I attended a partners meeting that became very aggressive ­following a heated debate about profit-sharing.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
I once worked a whole weekend preparing numerous very complex and lengthy documents for a High Court case.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Richard Gere. I like his style. He looks good, is always very calm, but also comes across as very assertive.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Alistair Darling – I just hate those eyebrows! Not to mention his abysmal performance as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Bill Jones
Firm: JMW Solicitors
Title: Managing partner
Lives: Wilmslow, Cheshire
1965: Left school aged 16 with three O-levels
1974: Qualified via the legal executive route, completing a five-year period of articles
Work history:
1978: Founded JMW Solicitors
1999: Appointed managing partner