Every day is a busy day for our expert serious injury team. Nonetheless, one of our Associate Solicitor’s, Robert Jones, was kind enough to take half an hour out of his day to catch up with us. Armed with coffee, we talk to Rob all about how he came to working at BB, why superpowers might not be a good thing and about…Staffordshire oatcakes.
How did you decide on working in law?
It’s something I thought about when I was at school really. When I left, I did a Law A-Level and I found it interesting that so much of the law is a matter of making black and white out of shades of grey. That really appealed to me. I decided to study law at university and liked it even more – so it all just followed from there really!
Have you always done personal/serious injury? Have you always been on that side of it?
I’ve always done personal injury, but I started with a Defendant firm. After a few years I just wanted to do claimant work. I wanted to be working with individuals rather than companies and to have more control over how I worked. The early experience of working on the Defendants side has been very valuable.
Why Birchall Blackburn Law?
One of the cases I assisted on in my early Defendant days involved a claimant who was represented by Birchall Blackburn Law . It has always stuck in my mind because of my shock at the violence of the accident, the tragic severity of the fellow’s injury and the fact that Birchall Blackburn Law handled it very well. They’re traditional in the way they work and have traditional values. Many firms have become homogenised and process-driven perhaps forgetting that at the centre of its cases are people. Litigation is a people profession – You work with people, against people and for people . I wanted to work at a firm who don’t lose sight of that.
It must be a hard and emotional area of law to work in every day, is there anything you do to switch off at the end of the day?
As a professional I personally wouldn’t describe it as hard or emotional. It certainly is important to remember that it is hard and emotional for clients and do your best to help in any way you can. The job certainly has moments which are pressured and if you are doing the job properly, it should be intense. I suppose I don’t really switch off that much unless I am distracted by other things. Left to my own devices I usually find myself thinking of the best way to tackle a particular issue in a current case.
Have you got any sports or hobbies?
I try to coach a kids football team, under 11s. I’ve coached them since they were about 5 so they’re kind of family outside of the family! That is my main distraction from work.
What’s your favourite food?
Staffordshire oatcakes with bacon and cheese. Food of the gods!
What type of music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot less than I used to as a kid and I find that a bit depressing! I recently tried listening to Radio 1 to update my musical knowledge beyond 1996. It must have been about 10 minutes before I actually heard a song so I gave it up as a bad job. I will stick with my favourite band – The Smiths.
Do you have a favourite book?
I really love books. Although I do not read much fiction my all time favourite book is Animal Farm . To me it is a very sad but witty and accurate comment on human nature . Another personal favourite is The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. It is a laugh out loud funny story of a Swedish Forrest Gump.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by people who do amazing things, particularly when overcoming real adversity. I also really admire people with conviction and those who live life on their own terms. So I suppose, my hero would be a combination of Dennis Skinner, Stephen Hawking and Lemmy out of Motörhead!
What do you want to be remembered for?
Keeping my word. It is a matter of personal pride to do what I say I’m going to do.
What’s something you’re most proud of?
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the training a lot of people. I think there are a good number of solicitors who I’ve helped train to be very good at their job. I like the feeling of having helped people to be better at helping people.
Do you prefer summer or winter?
Summer – I like the light nights. I don’t really mind winter, I actually prefer the food more in winter. I’d rather have roast dinners than salads!
Is there something you can’t live without?
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Well, referring back to Animal Farm…I believe that all power corrupts – so I’d probably be better off not having any superpowers at all. But if you forced me to choose I suppose I could have some fun with Jedi powers.
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