In our latest My Life in Law, we speak to employment director, Stephen Mutch, about his career in law and his love of bass playing in indie/alternative group, BC Camplight.
- When did you join Pannone Corporate?
I’m what’s called a ‘one club man’ in football. I joined Pannone Corporate’s predecessor firm as a fresh-faced trainee lawyer back in 2003. This isn’t actually that rare at Pannone Corporate – there are a good handful of people here who joined when I did.
- What was your role/experience prior to joining?
I joined Pannone straight from university, having completed a law degree at the University in Sheffield and a post-graduate in Chester.
- Why did you join Pannone?
They had a great reputation and a very varied portfolio of legal work. Even back then, they prided themselves on having a more human element than most firms – something I still think is true after nearly 20 years.
- Having gone to university, why did you choose this route?
I’m rather ashamed to say that back then it was simply what most people did. Progress has been made, in terms of alternative routes into a career in law, but there’s still a very heavy reliance on a ‘good’ degree from a ‘redbrick’ university to open up doors. Lots more still needs to be done.
- What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
I like the intellectual challenge and getting to speak to and help people run their businesses. Employment lawyers are almost always a ‘distress purchase’, so it’s nice to help people with the problems or challenges their business are facing.
- What does a typical day look like?
I spend most of the day on the phone or emailing clients providing advice, mixed in with a healthy dose of preparing clients’ defences for employment tribunal proceedings.
- What are your career ambitions?
I’ve always enjoyed helping more junior lawyers navigate what can be a very difficult first few years, so more involvement in what I enjoy. That’s on top of the usual partnership, world domination type ambitions of course…
- What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law?
I would be a penniless and struggling musician (please see below)
- What can lawyers / the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change?
I think some lawyers can still be a bit stuffy. Rarer these days, but clients don’t want that kind of lawyer anymore. Being user friendly and pleasant to deal with is top of most client’s priorities.
- What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I play bass in indie/alternative band, BC Camplight, which releases records under the Bella Union label in London, so that takes up a lot of my time. We’ve been on the radio a fair bit and get to do around 30-40 shows a year. We’ve toured in Europe and played some of my favourite venues, such as the Roundhouse in London and the Paradiso in Amsterdam (Nirvana played there!) – there were 3,000 people in the audience, and I turned off my own instrument for our last song. Not cool! Our next record is out in the Spring.
I am also a trustee for a local arts-based charity called Art with Heart. Check them out here https://artwithheart.org.uk/
- Do you have any particular skills/talents that your work colleagues may not know about?
I would say ‘please see above’, but I bore everyone to death with my tales of the (not so) rock ’n’ roll lifestyle!