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FIONA Kendall is a partner at Leeds-based family law specialist Jones Myers.

Describe yourself in a Tweet

Cheerful, curious, determined and down to earth.

What are your career highlights?

Serendipity has found me working for superb family law teams both north and south of the border. Acting for the wife of an African chief worth £600m was exciting.

The real highlights have been helping ordinary people come through the other end of a difficult divorce with their dignity intact.

What’s on your iPod?

What iPod?

What has been your favourite/worst job?

My favourite job as a student was waitressing in a fantastic Chinese restaurant where all staff were expected to devour a banquet after the Saturday night shift. Learning silver service with chopsticks was among my most challenging tasks!

Who is your ideal dinner guest or which public figure do you admire most and why?

Desmond Tutu has most of the characteristics I’d want in a dinner guest: warmth, humour, spiritual curiosity, a sharp intellect and a lifetime of rich experiences to share.

Are you worth what you’re paid? Why?

Many say I’m worth what I’m paid. I always go the extra mile for my firm and for my clients. I persevere where others don’t.

What has been your biggest business mistake/achievement?

My biggest business mistake was a short spell at a firm whose ethos was the antithesis of my own (I resigned).

My biggest business achievement has been developing a fully-functioning cross-border family law practice in each firm I have worked in since 2001.

What is your pet peeve both in and out of work?

Linguistic lassitude. English has a rich yet under-used vocabulary.
Poor grammar and punctuation lead to confusion. Our use of English should enhance, rather than undermine, effective communication.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

My parents.

What do you enjoy most and least about your role?

I most enjoy helping people to tackle difficult issues in a constructive fashion.

I least enjoy third parties (such as well-meaning friends of clients) undermining that.

What’s the key to managing people?

Effective communication and mutual respect.

What are the biggest barriers to your organisation’s success?

Historically failing to shout loudly enough about our collective talents.

What would make Yorkshire an even better place to live and work?

Better priced and better integrated public transport

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what alternative career would you choose and why?

I would teach. aside from the fact that my parents were teachers, I am passionate about life as an educational journey.

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