This month, we caught up with Chris Longbottom, Partner and Head of the family department at Clarke Wilmott in Manchester. After learning how Chris spent his summer, topics on the agenda included his route into family law, his career highlights and his favourite restaurants in Manchester.
How was your summer?
Lovely – busy but managed to make time to have a break with the family. We went to St Ives at the end of the summer break and had a lovely time!
At what age did you decide you wanted to be a solicitor?
Well…I had no idea what I wanted to do and at school was pushed into a maths and science route when I really wanted to do English/ History and Maths. I actually went to Uni to start an accountancy degree and had a module of law. I then realised a law degree was effectively an interesting history degree and switched quickly to Law with Accounting. After that; long story short is that I realised I was a people person and solicitor (then eventually private client/ family law) was the route I went down.
Why did you decide to specialise in family law?
I was lucky enough to experience many different areas of law in an extended work experience role (3 years during Uni downtime!) and then my training contract with a small firm in Yorkshire. There was a pressing need for me to fill a family role during that time and I ended up as a trainee with my own office full of files. While there was a need that I filled – I quickly realised I preferred meeting and helping client’s personal issues rather than say commercial work where client contact was less prevalent.
What would you say has been your career highlight so far?
A c£350M prenup and a 17-day private law children’s final hearing are incredible work highlights but from a personal perspective – to achieve Partnership at Clarke Willmott and become a member and therefore part of the business is a privilege and honour.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To junior staff to remember that they have a personal life that they cannot let suffer due to work pressures. If they do – it will affect their professional life eventually too.
Where is your favourite place to eat out in Manchester?
There are so many fantastic places to eat! Salvis, Tattu, Wood, Hawksmoor, Dishoom the list goes on and on (sorry if I forgot anyone…!)
How would you spend your perfect day off?
In a dusty old comic shop where no one had been for ages where I can root around in boxes for some old 1960s comics….
About Chris Longbottom
Chris heads the Family Law team at Clarke Wilmott in Manchester. He joined the firm as Partner in January 2018 and advises private clients on a range of family and matrimonial issues, with a focus on complex matters and the high net worth market.
Chris is a member of Resolution and is a regular commentator on divorce separation matters. His comments and legal insights from a divorce perspective on the Ashley Madison data breach were covered in a number of national media outlets, including on the BBC News and Sky News.