31/5/2021 by Lucy Wickham
In our latest edition of Realm Talks To..., we caught up with Christopher Myles, Head of Family at Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors.
Christopher told us all about the biggest obstacles he’s overcome, explained why he became a solicitor and shared with us the advice he’d give to his teenage self.
Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
I would like to say that I always had a burning desire to be a lawyer from a very early age, but it would not be true. During my A-Level period, I was considering a career either as an estate agent or possibly in banking. I ended up undertaking a combined degree with Law, Computer Studies and Land Use and Development. Having concluded my degree, I realised that my interests lay in law and therefore I went on to qualify as a solicitor.
What do the next 12 months look like for you and your team?
For me, it is likely to look very much like my spare room! Crombie Wilkinson adapted very quickly to the pandemic and we actually had almost 100% of our staff working from home before the very first lockdown came into effect. I would not say the pandemic has been easy, but there are certainly many people who have suffered far worse than Crombie Wilkinson has as a business. It has very much opened the eyes of myself and my co-owners to the realisation that traditional methods of working are perhaps now outdated. Post Covid-19, I anticipate there will be a far greater hybrid model with my members of staff including myself working partly at home and partly from the office.
What's the best part of your job?
Overall, what gives me the most satisfaction in my job is knowing that my team and myself always go out of our way to try and make our client’s lives better or easier than when they first came to see us. As a family lawyer, we often see clients in considerable distress and sometimes quite despondent as to their situation. To try and lighten their load is what makes me continue with my job.
What's the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome in your career so far?
In many respects, I am quite shy and a private person and therefore my role as a solicitor often puts me into situations where I am frequently outside of my comfort zone. Being conscious of this, however, also helps me to better understand that not everyone who looks confident on the outside is actually feeling the same on the inside. Given the obstacles that some people have to overcome in their careers, I certainly would not wish to complain.
Who do you turn to for advice at work?
My fellow directors are always willing to share the burden if there are any troubling matters to deal with at work. In addition, I have an exceptionally good team around me that includes some superb lawyers and the best support mechanism by way of assistants and secretaries that I could ask for. I always considered that my family team at work was close, but I had absolutely no idea how strong and supportive everybody is until I have seen how they have handled this last 12 months or so. I am very proud to be part of that team.
What do you like to do away from the office?
I make considerable noise with my collection of acoustic and electric guitars. I am a lover of music and a huge proportion of my day is spent listening to music at every opportunity I can. I enjoy riding my motorcycle, pedal bike and spending time with my family and newly acquired dog. My great love of travelling has currently been curtailed by the pandemic. Hopefully, that can be back on the agenda at some point sooner rather than later. There are many beautiful places in the world that I would love to see. I mustn’t forget that I am an avid reader (mostly rubbish and nothing high-brow).
Where is your favourite place to eat out?
Yo Sushi with my children and wife or a more grown-up meal at Meltons in York.
What is the last film you saw and what did you think of it?
I watched a film called The Final Stand (2020). The film tells the story of cadets from an artillery school outside of Moscow who are brought out of school to defend against the advancing German army to protect Moscow until reinforcements arrive. It is said approximately 350 out of 3,500 survived. It is a graphic depiction of war and very interesting in that it is seen from the perspective of Russia, a very thought-provoking movie.
Which three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
The singer Ozzy Osbourne (who would have a few tales to tell), the comedian Micky Flannagan and Jennifer Aniston.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
“This life is more than just a read through” (Red Hot Chilli Peppers). For me what the phrase says is this is not a practice run this is the real deal, here and now. Enjoy it every day, take your best shot at everything.
About Christopher Myles
Christopher Myles is the Head of Family at Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors.
Christopher is a highly experienced solicitor who is the head of the family department at Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors. Qualifying as a solicitor in 1993 he has only gone further and further being qualified as a member of the Law Society's Family Law Advanced Accreditation Scheme and he is a Member of the Law Society's Family Mediation Panel.
He is a committed supporter of the York Domestic Violence Forum, a member of Resolution, and is a Specialist Family Lawyer with particular specialisms in advocacy, financial provision, and private children law.