02 October 2015
Andrew Smith is the new Chair of Coventry & Warwickshire First. We put him in the spotlight – read on to find out why he was on the radio when at school!
Role: Partner in the Stratford office of Shakespeare Martineau.
Formed in June 2015 through the merger of Shakespeares and SGH Martineau, Shakespeare Martineau is driven by a shared ambition. Combining exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge the firm works alongside its clients to achieve their goals.
Who has inspired you and why?
Good question! In a work context it would be the first corporate partner I worked with when I was a trainee in London. We worked incredibly hard and he gave me plenty of responsibility; I learned a lot. And we could play pretty hard too!
What’s your role at Shakespeare Martineau?
I’m a corporate lawyer, so I deal with everything from company start-ups and fundraisings to mergers and acquisitions.
What do you love about your work?
The variety, the work itself and more importantly the wide variety of businesses and people I have met. I’ve worked with some big FTSE companies but I get a bigger buzz dealing with SMEs and family businesses where I know my advice can really make a difference.
Why did you get involved with Coventry & Warwickshire First?
I started working in Stratford about six years ago. I’d lived in the area but not worked here so didn’t know the business community. Through Coventry & Warwickshire First I’ve built a strong professional network and found at first hand the calibre of the region’s professionals. We don’t shout about this enough and in my year as Chair I want to make sure the quality of our sector is fully understood by the public and private sectors.
Can you tell us a little about your family?
I am married to fellow-Scot Judith and we have two boys, Angus (15) and Finlay (13). Judith juggles part time work at Warwick Hospital and a local GP practice with providing what seems like a full time taxi service for the boys. They are both keen rugby players; I was too at their age but unlike me they are both quite good.
Where’s your favourite holiday destination?
Can I cheat and have two? Spain for the sunshine, food and laid-back lifestyle. The Scottish Highlands to get away from it all – it’s peaceful and the scenery is stunning. But I don’t go for the weather!
What would surprise us about you?
I used to play the bassoon, which is quite unusual. When I was at school we had a bassoon trio, which is even more unusual. We were good enough to get on the radio though! The other members of the trio went on to become a professional cricketer and a professional snooker referee respectively!