2/6/2021 by Lucy Wickham
In our latest edition of Realm Talks To... , we caught up with Andrew Fox, In-house Barrister at Jones Myers. In the interview, Andrew explains why he became a lawyer, the expansion plans at Jones Myers and the biggest obstacles he's faced in his career.
Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
I initially set out to be a Doctor and studied science A-levels, but soon discovered that mathematics was not my forte.
I immediately swapped to Arts and Humanities A-level subjects and had to consider another career. Law seemed an obvious choice and my mother said it would suit me because I was both dramatic and argumentative!
After studying at the University of Buckingham and the Inns of Court School of Law, the rest, as they say, is history!
What does the next 12 months look like for you and your team?
Extremely positive as this is a particularly formative period in our development as we continue our expansion plans.
We consistently attract the best lawyers in our field whose ethos reflects the firm’s commitment to delivering exceptional levels of care and service to our clients.
Our recruitment drive for talented family lawyers has been prompted by further increased demand for our services both at home and overseas.
I’m extremely proud of Jones Myers reputation as an outstanding niche family law firm which has achieved top rankings in the legal guides for over two decades.
Our reputation was also reflected in us being awarded Family Law Firm of the Year North in the LexisNexis Family Law Awards 2020.
Judges applauded our practice as a ‘Northern powerhouse’, and made particular mention of our expertise in Alternative Dispute Resolution - processes which avoid going to court.
What’s the best thing about your job?
It has to be the satisfaction of developing a strategy with a client and implementing it to achieve the best possible outcome for them.
Recognising that every client is different, our firm delivers bespoke strategic resolutions which exceed financial issues and encompass client’s personal lives, responsibilities and history.
As a Barrister for over three decades, I have experience of dealing with all areas of family law from children cases to complex financial matters. A lot of my cases now have a foreign element - whether relating to families moving abroad or offshore trust structures.
Irrespective of our firm’s global reach, our teams across Leeds, Harrogate and York remain committed to our grass roots - equally delivering the same high standards of service to all clients and balancing the needs of children and their parents.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career so far?
Moving from being a self employed barrister in Chambers to working in house. It is a very different way of working but I thoroughly enjoy being part of a team.
Who do you turn to for advice at work?
One of the great things about being part of a team is that you can bounce ideas of one another. Before COVID it was simply a question of walking to someone else’s desk to ask for their advice, but nowadays we have all adapted to using Microsoft Teams.
What do you like to do away from the office?
Pre-Covid I used to enjoy meeting up with friends for a meal as a relaxing way to switch off and am very much looking forward to be able to do that again as the country emerges from lockdown.
I also enjoy the buzz of the ski slopes and hope to benefit from that experience when it’s safe to travel.
Where’s your favourite place to eat out?
We are spoilt for choice where we live in South Manchester. Our favourite place is GB Pizza in West Didsbury.
What’s the last book you read/film you saw and what did you think of it?
I am currently reading Milton’s Paradise Lost. It is an epic poem and not the lightest of reads after a day in the office!
Which three people would you invite to your dream dinner party?
The first would be the actor, David Niven, for his charm, charisma and his stories of Hollywood. If you have not read his autobiography “The Moon’s A Balloon” I would recommend it.
My next guest would be the author and playwright Noel Coward for his wit and flamboyance. I have always thought his quote “Work hard, do the best you can, don't ever lose faith in yourself and take no notice of what other people say about you.” is an excellent maxim for a lawyer to live by.
The third guest would be Peter O’Toole. One of my favourite films is Lawrence of Arabia and I would love the opportunity to ask him question after question about it.
You will see by now that there is an acting theme going on!
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
Don’t feel under pressure to take a law degree first as there are so many fascinating subjects that will also equip you with the skills to become a lawyer.
About Andrew Fox, Partner and In-house Barrister at Jones Myers Family Law
Andrew is a partner and in-house counsel at Jones Myers and his practice encompasses all aspects of family law. He has considerable experience in dealing with complex children cases, matrimonial finance matters, and trust-related matters. Andrew has a reputation for being firm but fair and getting to the heart of a problem efficiently and with excellent judgement.