Work Life Quiz: Sean Joyce


What was your first-ever job? 

I had a paper round and a milk round when I was 12. These were closely followed by a dishwashing job in a restaurant at 13. I’m not sure if all this was legal or not, but I don’t think those employers would get away with that sort of child labour nowadays.

What was your worst experience as a trainee? 

Two memories really stand out: first, catching pigeons in the attic of one of our high street offices with a makeshift net and second, carrying buckets of boiling hot bitumen up three flights of stairs during office renovations. This, I might add, was before I had any experience of health & safety law.

Where’s the best place to find out what’s going on in the office? 

The kitchen.

What’s your favourite restaurant? 

San Carlo in Manchester.

What’s the toughest part of your job? 

Accepting the decision of a court or tribunal I disagree with. Yes, I’m a sore loser.

Who’s your hero and why? 

Roberto Martinez. He has brought the FA Cup and stylish football to Wigan Athletic FC.

What was your biggest career mistake and what did you learn from it? 

Appearing as an unprepared advocate before an unforgiving professional tribunal. At least I learned early in my career to always be prepared and know
my cases inside out.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you be? 

Dealing with professional discipline clients has put me off a lot of professions that would once have been on my list. My first choice would have been a professional footballer, but I fear that ship has sailed.

What is the longest you’ve worked without sleep? 

Around 48 hours, but I was much younger then. 

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

I eloped to New York and got married while I was on a football tour of America along with 25 boisterous team-mates; I once spent a night in a motel and the next day discovered the FBI had been staking it out and had arrested America’s most wanted criminal there as soon as I left; I’m outstandingly talented at DIY.


Name: Sean Joyce

Position: Partner and head of business crime, fraud and regulatory, Stephensons Solicitors



1991-94: University of Hull – Law and philosophy BA (Hons)

1994-95: University of Central Lancashire – CPE

1995-96: York College of Law – LPC


Work History (all at Stephensons):

1996-98: Trainee solicitor

1998 : Qualified assistant solicitor

1999: Associate

2003: Partner

2007: Higher rights of audience (criminal)