In our latest edition of Realm Talks To..., we caught up with James Brown, Managing Partner of Hall Brown Family Law.
In the interview, James explains why he became a solicitor, what the next 12 months look like at Hall Brown, and who he’d invite to his dream dinner party.
Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
A mate of my dad was a solicitor. He drove a red Jaguar XJS. My dad was a dentist and he had a boring dad estate car. That was the first time I thought maybe I should be a lawyer! Fast forward 30 years and what do I drive? A boring dad estate car. Oh well….
What do the next 12 months look like for you and your team?
We have grown by 20% during lockdown (in terms of staff) and opened a new office in Yorkshire. The primary focus for the next 12 months is getting back to a hybrid way of working and ensuring all those new people feel fully integrated into the team.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing has to be the variety. In the space of a single day, I can be dealing with a divorce worth 10s of millions, agreeing weekend arrangements for a child of a family, finalising a pre-nuptial agreement or carrying out an annual appraisal for a team.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?
Leaving an established practice and striking out on our own was definitely not easy. It is, however, truly enjoyable and I can recommend it.
Who do you turn to for advice at work?
First and last always my business partner, Sam. In between, my Partners/Consultants at work who are some of the best lawyers in the country and, in a number of cases, previously built their own teams. I am also lucky to have acted for some really successful business people and regularly turn to them for guidance where appropriate.
What do you like to do away from the office?
I have an 11-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter so my free time revolves around football, ballet, homework and taxi-ing! In my head, I also do triathlons (although my last one was 2019!).
Where’s your favourite place to eat out?
Rice Bowl on Cross Street. I have been going for years, it is now my children’s favourite and we get takeaway for the team from there on a Friday. Love it.
What’s the last book you read and what did you think of it?
Anarchy by William Dalrymple - an explanation of how a company from London (the East India Company) conquered one of the biggest countries in the world. The book is fascinating but also frightening. It also makes you realise how easy it would be to grow a business if you had three armies and a navy at your disposal.
Which three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
Billy Connolly the comedian – hilarious and completely irreverent; Geraint Thomas the cyclist – seriously impressive work ethic but also very funny; Tony Blair – a lot of people strongly dislike him. I don’t care, I am a fan.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
That the Jaguar XJS is a rubbish car and real men drive dad-estates.
About James Brown
James Brown, is the Managing Partner of Hall Brown Family Law.
He is named as a leading expert in the independent directory Chambers and Partners and a leading individual in the Legal 500. This year’s guide describes him as “winning the confidence of his clients and the respect of his peers. He goes straight to the issues and gives each client 100%”.
James has expertise in all aspects of family law but specialises in divorces involving complex financial issues. He has acted for and advised a wide range of clients from teachers, doctors and lawyers through to celebrities. He has particular expertise advising entrepreneurs and their ex-partners/spouses having acted in cases involving £100,000 up to £100 million at every level from Magistrates Court to Supreme Court.