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Q&A with Virginia Clegg

3 April 2017

Virginia Clegg is a senior partner of DAC Beachcroft

You're talking to a friend of a friend at a party. How do describe what you do?

I lead an international law firm. High on my agenda are initiatives that will ensure we attract and retain the very best people.

What are you working on at the moment?

Finalising our new membership agreement as part of the review of our governance structures.

What was your first job?

Switchboard operator in a converted mill in Leeds.

Career highlight?

Being elected as our senior partner.

Share some great advice you've been given.

Believe me, there is no shortage of advice on offer but two I hold dear are: 'never put off until tomorrow what you can do today' (my grandma) and 'leadership is always a choice - you can step in or walk on by' (a dear friend).

What's in your desk drawers?

I gave up my desk a while ago, given the amount of travelling I do, but there are interesting articles in my bag waiting for a spare moment on a train or a plane.

Can you recommend a local lunch or coffee spot?

The Natural Kitchen is for useful breakfast catch-ups with our managing partner - large coffee and porridge with honey, all done before 8am.

How do you relax?

Being outdoors – walking, gardening, cycling and watching red kites and buzzards circling over the Wharfe valley.

What's your pet hate?

People who put off until tomorrow what they could do today.

What's your favourite city?

New York

What book is on your bedside table?

The Shepherd’s Life - A tale of the Lake District by James Rebanks.

What needs to happen to get more women into leadership roles?

There still needs to be proper understanding within businesses as to why this matters (the positive impact on the bottom line), coupled with mindful and inclusive leaders that encourage and support all talented colleagues (not just women) and who welcome the measurement of progress.

If you hadn't become a solicitor, what would you have done?

Opened a shoe shop.