My Yorkshire: Geraint Pinches, Lupton Fawcett

Geraint Pinches is a dispute resolution solicitor and partner at commercial law firm Lupton Fawcett, which employs 250 people and has offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York.

Where do you live / where are you from?

I’ve recently moved to Boston Spa, close to Wetherby. I’m originally a Harrogate boy and, apart from time spent away at university and a couple of years working in the City of London, I’ve lived in the Harrogate and north Leeds areas all of my life.

What is your favourite place to visit in Yorkshire, and why?

If you’d asked me that 20 years ago, I would have said Leeds/Bradford Airport because, in my youth, I was a nerdy plane spotter and wannabe airline pilot. My dad used to take me there most weekends. At least I didn’t have the woolly hat and notebook. Having almost, but not quite, got a place on British Airways’ airline pilot cadet scheme in the late 1990s, I took up flying as a hobby instead and turned to law as a career. Nowadays, I’d say any nice country pub with a log fire. If there happens to be a landing strip nearby, then I’m in heaven. You’d be surprised at how many there are in the region.

What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had in Yorkshire?

That’s difficult, as there are so many places to choose from. One of the best places I’ve eaten in recent times has been The Agora which is a Greek / Turkish restaurant in Horsforth. The ambience is smart, yet relaxed, and the souvlaki and Efes beer are delicious. I promise I’m not a shareholder although, after this free advertising for the owner, I’m thinking about asking to be.

What is your most Yorkshire trait?

I don’t suffer fools gladly and can be very straight talking (some might say blunt!). The former can come in handy when dealing with a difficult opponent solicitor in a case I’m working on, and the latter when acting for a client who isn’t thinking commercially or realistically about how to deal with, or settle, a dispute. We sometimes have to give advice which our clients don’t want to hear and that isn’t the time to sit on the fence, or be a shrinking violet. I think most clients appreciate that approach in the end. There’s no point in them spending their hard earned money for me to tell them what they want to hear, rather than telling them what I think is going to happen.

Favourite piece of trivia about the region.

In York, it is lawful to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow, except on Sundays. Apparently. We have a good Criminal Defence team here at Lupton Fawcett if anyone needs representation.

What is your favourite cultural icon to come out of Yorkshire?

Without doubt, The Kaiser Chiefs. Fantastic musicians. I went to school with Ricky Wilson (although he was a few years below me).

Worst experience or thing about Yorkshire?

The roads into Leeds. When I lived in Horsforth, it could take as much as 50 minutes to drive the 5 miles to work. That’s an average of 6 mph! The bus was no quicker. Just think of how much more work you could get done, or relaxation time you could enjoy, if you didn’t have to waste nearly two hours a day driving to and from the office. I am a great believer in flexible working (within reason!). Law firms tend to be rather old fashioned about the hours you keep but, to me, it’s not about how many hours you spend in the office, but how productive you are when you’re there.

What is one thing you’d steal from Lancashire (or other UK regions) if you could?

I don’t suppose I’m really answering the question properly because the Channel Islands aren’t part of the UK, but I’d have to say the views of the sea, the relaxed way of life and the French influence of Guernsey. I have friends there and visit two or three times a year. On a sunny day, the sea is so blue, and the sand so white, that you could almost be in the Bahamas.

What is the most overrated thing about Yorkshire?

With apologies to Samuel Smiths, John Smiths, Black Sheep and others, the most overrated thing for me is probably Yorkshire bitter. I’m more of a G&T / European lager drinker.