Work Life Quiz: Dick Tyler, CMS

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been? A sports journalist.

Dick Tyler
Dick Tyler

What was your first-ever job?

I washed up in a restaurant kitchen with a clear roof during the hottest summer on record. I fried.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Finding out that the name of the US household name company whose UK subsidiary I was setting up belonged to someone else. We got through it, but the partner I was working for was unimpressed I hadn’t found out sooner.

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

In Frankfurt, Vapiano (the restaurant opposite the office). In London, the lift.

What do you do at weekends?

Run, see friends, watch sport, visit my daughters at uni – if it’s not too soon for them since the last time.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

There’s a great choice in Smithfield. Vinoteca’s my current favourite.

What is your favourite film?

Chariots of Fire. While at university, my mates and I got jobs as extras for a fiver a day. It’s fun spotting us with 1920s haircuts when it’s on at Christmas.

Who’s your hero and why?

Bill Clinton. Having his gift as a public speaker would be handy at our partners’ annual meeting.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people, particularly now I’m working with so many nationalities.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

It’s not a popularity contest.

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

I took the CMS Cameron McKenna partners to Eastbourne for a wet weekend in February once.

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

It took a while to work out that running a law firm is about managing people’s emotions, that much of it is about communicating and listening to them. If I can’t get things done, it’s usually because I’ve forgotten this.

What car do you drive?

A Subaru Impreza.

What book are you currently reading?

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

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

A fully loaded e-book and my Lance Armstrong sunglasses.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo. It’s set on Bryher in the Isles of Scilly. I read it to my youngest daughter Laura while on holiday there a few years ago and neither of us could put it down.

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

I can’t recall, but I was so tired I couldn’t tie my tie.

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

Daniel Craig seems to have gone quite a long way playing the part of a bloke who’s a bit more of a doer than a talker.

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

Margaret Thatcher.

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

I’m allergic to mushrooms; I’m not competitive; David Cameron, Barack Obama  and I are all left-handed.



Name: Dick Tyler

Firm: CMS

Title: Executive partner

Lives: London and Frankfurt


1970-77: Cheltenham Grammar School

1978-82: Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

1982-83: College of Law, Guildford

Work history:

1983-85: Articled clerk, McKenna & Co

1985-92: Corporate assistant, McKenna & Co

1992-2000: Partner, McKenna & Co

2000-08: Managing partner, Camerons

2008-present: Executive partner, Camerons