Formerly a corporate lawyer, partner, head of the corporate department and an executive board member at an international law firm, Tim is now a trustee of and advisor to various charities for children and young people including BlueSpark Foundation, The Children’s Trust, Young Enterprise and Altruist Enterprises. Happily for us, he also finds time to judge some of our competitions. Read on to find out more!
How did you become involved with the ESU?
I have known about the activities of the ESU for many years. I became actively involved 10 or 11 years ago when I was asked by the late Paul Holleley to become a judge for the Public Speaking Competition. Since then, I have been a judge for the competition every year and also for five or six years for the International Public Speaking Competition.
How did you become involved in public speaking?
As a lawyer, public speaking has been an important part of my professional life for many years. The ability to present arguments and issues clearly and succinctly, with appropriate emphasis on the salient points, and in a way that retains the attention of your audience is a key skill for lawyers.
What do you enjoy most about judging our competitions?
I have enjoyed my involvement immensely and regard it as a great privilege to be a judge. The skills the competitions help to develop in the participants are incredibly important in a world in which effective communication is so vital. It is also really uplifting to see so much enthusiasm and talent in so many young people. I have seen some truly memorable contributions.
Whom do you admire and why?
Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her service, resilience, leadership by example, determination and respect for others over many years are difficult to match. And, for entirely different reasons, Roger Federer. I am a keen tennis player and follower. The artistry and elegance of Federer’s play, his ability to raise his game at crucial moments and to adapt it according to the strength of his opponents make him an extraordinary player who is rightly popular with the public. His conduct both on and off court make him everything that a sporting role model should be.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Easy…chocolate! But do I feel guilty…not really!
Tell us something surprising about you.
I once appeared live on stage at the Barbican in a musical revue.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I would rather leave that to others to judge but I am proud of setting up BlueSpark Foundation, a charity supporting the education and development of children and young people, and of the individual mentoring that I have undertaken for a number of young people who have told me the impact of that mentoring.
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
There really are so many lessons. I wish I had known them all when I was 18. However, I will single out three. Firstly, follow your dream. Even if you are not successful, it is better to look back and know that you tried rather than to look back and regret that you did not. Secondly, always look for the best qualities in everyone and try to disregard anything that irritates you… life is so much easier that way. Thirdly, do not rush to make adverse judgements about others, particularly if you have never had to stand in their shoes.