What are you doing now?
Trying to keep one step ahead of my five year old and two year old sons, renovating a house in Yealmpton and enjoying a career break before getting back into the legal saddle in Devon.
What route did you take up to this point?
Having left DHS in 1996 I did an LLB law degree at the University of Leeds before venturing to Sydney, Australia, where I completed an LLM (Masters in Law) at the University of New South Wales. In 2000, I started working for a Sydney based commercial and insurance firm of solicitors called Holman Webb where I worked for nearly 15 years, getting admitted as a solicitor in 2004, becoming an Associate in 2006 and a Senior Associate in 2008.
My wife and two kids returned to Devon in late 2014 to live. I was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in May 2016 (having successfully passed the Qualifed Lawyers Transfer Scheme).
What have you learnt most about yourself?
To be yourself in an employment situation. Clients and colleagues enjoy dealing with real people not robots. To treat others how you would like to be treated.
That hard work and being outside your comfort zone does pay off, however difficult that may feel at the time.
Not to take things too seriously.
Respect your mental health and exercise.
What words of wisdom would you give to a student joining DHSB in Year 7?
Be yourself. Surround yourself with people that make you laugh and treat you well. The chances are they will be your best friends in 30 years time.
Embrace where you are in your life and take up as many opportunities that come your way as you can. Read, listen to music, exercise, travel, and listen without judging.
And for a Sixth Former leaving DHSB?
Make the most of all of the opportunities that university presents. Don’t be surprised if you don’t stumble across your perfect career / job immediately. Working full time does get easier than it first seems!
Any fond memories of school you can share?
Trips to Uzel were always very enjoyable and opened our young minds up to travel. Losing Rob Gaffney on Ten Tors after he followed the wrong rucksack at the start still lives long in the memory. Meeting my wife, Catherine Keast, a DHS girl!
Do you have a message for any of your teachers?
I was taught by some of the greats (Mr Burrows, Mr Bowden, Mr Mason) and those and others left a long lasting impression. Genuinely, thank you.