Name: Tony Harper
Position: Manchester corporate partner and trainee supervisor
Hobbies: Golf, fell walking, cycling, skiing, sailing
Area of practice: Corporate: mid-market M&A for entreprenuers and mid-corporates
When and why did you decide to train as a solicitor?
As a young impressionable teenager I was hooked by a long-running TV drama The Main Chance, depicting the sudden transformation in the life of a solicitor, David Main (played by John Stride) after he moves from London to Leeds.
What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?
- Involvement in the positive yet unpredictable collaboration and team effort necessary to conclude M&A transactions.
- The intellectual stimulation and job-satisfaction from helping clients to find solutions to challenging problems.
- Working with younger irreverent team members.
What are the worst aspects of your job?
Getting up early but still working late!
What’s the main issue that lawyers in your field are thinking about at the moment?
As always, where is the next big job coming from!
If you weren’t in your current field, what other area of law would you like to work in?
I would enjoy being a defamation lawyer for the BBC.
What’s the biggest misconception that students have about life as a lawyer?
That a sound academic knowledge of the law alone makes a good solicitor. Realising that finding work and applying the law in context are skills that will take several years to develop.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order).
- I’ve climbed to Everest Base Camp
- I’ve had dinner with Robbie Coltrane
- I’ve had dinner with the late Tony Benn
In one sentence, what’s the one key thing that students should understand about your firm?
Working hard and having fun providing legal services in an environment where everyone is treated fairly makes for an enjoyable and rewarding career.
What was the oddest thing you were asked to do as a trainee?
Client asking me and my principal to get the deal completed quickly before the over-emotional solicitor on the other side had his heart attack!
What’s your best friend from law school doing now?
Regrettably Martin died tragically in a skiing accident. Our other joint friend is a conveyancing partner in a firm in York.