A keen sportsman, Jonathan Oxley, managing partner of Lupton Fawcett LLP talks to BQ about his experience of being the MD.
What is it the company does?
Full-service law firm with offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
Setting goals for the firm and implementing the strategy to achieve them. Building sustainable profitability, creating a great place to work and making sure we are famous for the great work we do. Managing professional and support department heads to ensure they are performing.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
University and Law School in Nottingham. Trained and worked for seven years in London with Gouldens (now part of Jones Day). Joined Lee & Priestley in Bradford as a partner to lead transformation into a commercial practice based in Leeds. Became managing partner of Lee & Priestley in 2000. Merged Lee & Priestley with Lupton Fawcett in 2012. Became managing partner of Lupton Fawcett in 2018.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
Creating trust so that people will follow you.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Getting a bunch of very bright and very articulate people to go in the same direction at roughly the same speed. The best analogy would be creating the perfect cycling peleton – which is a lot harder than it looks!
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I participate in sports – tennis, golf, cycling and swimming. I also have a very entertaining golden retriever called Ezra.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to own a racehorse, have shares in Rio Tinto and play for Leeds United. I realised racehorses are a bit unreliable, the shares are doing OK and the thrill of the Revie era wore off a while ago.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
I can’t be doing with people chucking their weight about and don’t put up with it.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
In its present shape but even better known for all the really good work we do.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Learn resilience, stick to your principles, and realise that success is usually the sum total of a lot of small things.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
That life is isn’t a straight upward line and that just because you’re on the floor doesn’t mean you can’t get back up.
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