Work Life Quiz: Jason Chess, Wiggin

Jason Chess

What was your first-ever job?

I was the ‘lad’ on Dai Morgan’s fishing boat, untangling lines, cutting up bait, unhooking angry fish and swabbing the deck.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Buying a house for a difficult ex-colleague and finding I’d somehow managed to exchange/complete/buy the bloody thing without even seeing the deeds. Don’t ask me how.

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

The post room. They are around eight months ahead of partners in the currency of their intelligence. 

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Roka in Fitzrovia. 

What’s your favourite film?

Babette’s Feast – I can’t forget the  banquet they’re all determined not to enjoy.

Who’s your hero and why?

St Philip Evans, judicially murdered in Cardiff in 1679 and canonised in 1970. He refused to desert his people or faith in the face of appalling punishment.

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

Attempting to be an investment banker. I joined a City firm between stints at university and soon learned I didn’t have what it takes to be a ‘capitaliste sauvage’. 

What’s the most exciting case you’ve ever worked on?

Being a non-contentious lawyer I don’t work on ‘cases’ as such, and indeed I take it rather personally if my clients end up in court, but I’ve done some great jobs including shutting down satellites, launching multiplexes, working for the world’s largest poker company and running around the East End in disguise on the trail of illicit porn filming.

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

A translation of Hans-Urs Von Balthasar’s Theo-Drama trilogy – the solitude would help me start to unpick it – and some music. I’m something of an early music head, so Gustav Leonhardt on the harpsichord or, for thrills and spills, Glenn Gould on the piano.

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

Rob Brydon. He was in my class in school and used to do impressions of me, so he wouldn’t have to act.

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

I always get everything right; one day I will go to my maker; I like seeing Wales win at rugby.


Name: Jason Chess

Title: Head of betting
and gaming group

Firm: Wiggin 

Lives: Brockhampton, Gloucestershire


1983-86: MA, University
College Oxford

1989- 91: MPhil, University College Oxford

1991-93: CoL, Chester 

Work history:

1993-present: Wiggin