Work Life Quiz: Jo Keddie, Winckworth Sherwood

What was your first-ever job? Hay baling (aged eight). The national minimum wage didn’t apply but my Post Office account started growing.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Suggesting that there be a trainee cabaret at the firm’s Christmas party and then playing a key role in it.

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

Monthly firm drinks and stay the course.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 7pm and 8pm.

What do you do at weekends?

Juggle piles of homework, support junior sporting ­fixtures and chauffeuring duties, alongside making the most of living in ­London.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Galvin at Windows, Oxo Tower and anywhere high with a great view.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?

A farmer.

What’s your favourite film?

Four Weddings and a Funeral.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Parallel Lines by Blondie.

Who’s your hero and why?

Dame Judi Dench – she has style, charisma, staying power and versatility.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Agreeing a strategy and achieving it for my clients. Having the luxury of acting for both individuals and businesses – I’m very much a gamekeeper turned poacher and love getting to the bottom of what both parties want to achieve and making it happen.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Managing expectations and achieving results where feelings on both sides can often run high and resolution may not be the main priority for one of the parties.

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

Believing everyone plays by the same rules. Consider all angles and viewpoints but always follow your principles.

What car do you drive?

I take my life into my own hands and cycle into the office – the views down the Thames can be breathtaking in the morning.

What book are you reading?

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss. Athough yelling the phrase “you’re fired” around the office can be hazardous.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?

In recent years it has been the discrimination cases involving law firms and banks, because they’ve either been landmark cases or complex and challenging to fight and win.

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

A wind-up radio and the complete works of Jane Austen.

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

In recent times, two days and a night on a protracted departure negotiation.

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

In the Territorial Army I jumped out of a Chinook helicopter. I also broke both legs at the same time on exercise. I never take my BlackBerry on holiday. I was 50 minutes late for my wedding and the organist had stopped playing by the time I arrived at the church.
I was so late, in fact, that my veil was back to front and there was no time to change it.


Name: Jo Keddie
Firm: Winckworth Sherwood
Title: Partner
Lives: London

1984-87: LLB, University of Southampton
1987-88: Law, College Of Law, Guildford

Work history:
1988-90: Trainee, Dawsons
1990-95: Solicitor, Dawsons
1995-2010: Partner, Dawsons, latterly head
of employment
2010-present: Partner, Winckworth Sherwood