Here at WBW, we value every one of our team members. Each member of staff has their own stories, motivations and reasons why they enjoy working for WBW.
Today we talk to Thomas Lewis. Tom specialises in Dispute Resolution and Litigation and is based out of our Exeter office.
Whereabouts do you live and what makes it special?
I have recently moved from Dartmoor to Exeter. Exeter is a wonderfully vibrant city, with a great deal of investment and development ongoing. Exciting times! On a more practical note, I am currently particularly enjoying the proximity to work, but I miss Dartmoor for its unique wildness. It has few equals for rugged beauty.
What made you decide to go into law?
I came to law having previously had a career in acting. The training was great (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff and then the Central School of Speech and Drama, London, where I met my wife, so my acting career was not wasted!), and I had some wonderful opportunities and experiences, but I was not entirely fulfilled. Law was always in my background. My father (now retired) was a Barrister in Exeter. I was therefore always associated with law from a young age and had considered pursuing it. I wanted a career that was intellectually stimulating, meaningful and fulfilling and involved working with and helping people/businesses. I became increasingly motivated, then took the plunge and started a law degree. I loved it from day one.
Describe your specialism/s?
I work in Dispute Resolution and Litigation. I have always had a broad range of work, but over the years (I have 6 ½ years professionally qualified experience) my work has been weighted towards property disputes, though I also deal with many commercial disputes involving all manner of issue with contracts and civil wrongs.
Why do you enjoy your particular field?
Unequivocally the intellectual challenge, but also the variety of the work. No two days or matters are the same. It is a tremendous privilege and responsibility to be asked to manage a client’s legal matters. There is huge satisfaction when it goes well and you get a good result for a client.
What have been the most interesting recent developments in your industry?
The Disclosure Pilot Scheme in the Business and Property Courts presents a very significant reform of one of the most important steps in litigation. The excessive costs and extent of disclosure, the latter of which often leads to voluminous bundles at trial with reams of documents that neither party refer to, led to widespread dissatisfaction. A principled, modernised approach to disclosure, based on cooperation and tailored to the issues in dispute, is to be welcomed.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about your profession?
Recently I have been surprised by the number of people that believe that the life of a lawyer bears even the slightest resemblance to that portrayed in the popular Netflix series ‘Suits’. More generally, there remains a misconception that lawyers get paid excessively well to do a dull job.
What do you do to relax?
Running and reading. I run most days. I have enjoyed races of different lengths including an ultra, marathons, half-marathons and triathlons. Otherwise I read: currently I am enjoying ‘Napoleon the Great’ by Andrew Roberts, having just finished his recent book ‘Churchill: Walking with Destiny’. So, historical biography is my current theme. Last year I obsessively read John le Carré, for no other reason than his mastery of the English language. A fine wordsmith and unsurpassed storyteller. Particular favourites are ‘Smiley’s People’, ‘The Perfect Spy’ and ‘The Honourable Schoolboy’. I also play the guitar.
I am a lieutenant in the Royal Navy Reserve, currently concerned with assisting in delivering training to Officer Cadets and Young Officers at HMS Raleigh and Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.
If you are interested in joining the WBW Team, please visit our careers page for our current list of vacancies.