Globe Law and Business takes a stroll through a day in the life of Modern Legal Practice editorial board member Tony King, formerly director of the Clifford Chance Academy.
What do you do?
Since I retired from my learning and development role at Clifford Chance LLP in 2014, I have put together a portfolio career doing a range of things. I am currently a member of committees of both The Law Society of England and Wales and the City of London Law Society as well as chairing the Qualification Working Group, a liaison group between stakeholders in the solicitor’s qualification process and the SRA focusing on the current plans for change. I am a member of the Advisory Boards of a PR agency, a training company and the IBA’s Academic and Professional Development Committee. In addition, I am the vice chair of a charity which gives support on special education needs law to parents and young people and a professional adviser to another charity which places child psychologists into schools. Finally, I am a member of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel and advise law firms in different parts of the world on learning and development issues.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The literal answer is my wife’s radio alarm which goes off between 5.00am and 6.00am depending on where she is travelling to each day. Aside from that, the range of my activities means every day is different and that certainly keeps me both interested and energised.
What does your average day look like?
I don’t really have an average day. Some days I’m travelling, somedays I’m in meetings, some days I’m doing prep of various kinds, some days I’m reviewing QC applications, some days I’m doing admin, some days I relax (whether taking advantage of the benefits of living in London, trying to get fitter or simply ‘vegging out’ – apart from holidays of course).
What do you like best about your work?
The freedom to take on interesting activities and the opportunity to ‘give back’ on a range of fronts, if that isn’t too much of a cliché.
What do you think are the main challenges facing the legal profession today?
The profession is disparate so the challenges will, to some extent, depend on the part of the sector in which lawyers practice. That said (and in no particular order), the main challenges are competition (whether from ‘traditional’ competitors or new entrants such as accountants and alternative legal services providers), the impact of technological developments and the challenges of recruiting, developing and retaining the right ‘talent’.
Is Brexit impacting your work right now?
Keeping track of the development with Brexit is fascinating to follow and that is taking up some of my time so having a consequential impact on my days. However, the nature of what I do means Brexit is currently a background factor rather than a foreground one.
If your career wasn’t in law, what else would you be doing?
Getting fitter on the bike and improving my golf as well as having more holidays – though I don’t do too badly on that front at the moment.