Having stumbled into a law degree at Leicester University when other courses I vaguely preferred were not at universities in cities with First Division/Premier League football teams, I stumbled into the College of Law as the next obvious thing and then into a training contract at a large firm in my home town, Southampton. So no obvious sense of vocation in the law!
I then found I really enjoyed the work. On qualification, I did some crime andcivil litigation, some family and even some conveyancing for a while! I felt at home with advocacy and court work, although it was (and still is) nerve racking, competitive and hard work – both in court and in the prep. Losing was dreadful, but winning was really great! So I decided I would do more of the latter for clients and keep the former to a minimum – those were the cases to settle before court!
After a couple of most enjoyable years, in 1980 I moved up to Birmingham with the perverse feeling that one had to move firms to progress. But to Birmingham??!! It was to one of the best law firms around the country, Anthony Collins and Co. They were a terrific example to me of how a good law firm should be run, and especially on Christian principles. I have retained so many lessons from that period for the rest of my career.