AM to PM with James Cleveland, Bower & Bailey

By Ben Carey on 2 February, 2023

AM to PM takes a sneak peek at the daily routine of some of our business community’s top professionals.

James Cleveland is a Partner at the Swindon office of Bower & Bailey Solicitors, specialising in high value and complex property transactions particularly where there is a proposed change of use such as residential development.

From those all-important interactions with family and colleagues through to a good book, we take a look at what James gets up to day-to-day.

What time does your alarm go off?

This morning 6:55am, but it varies.

What’s the most important part of your morning routine?

Interactions with family and colleagues – lockdown highlighted how vital these are!

What tool / gadget /app could you not live without in your working day?

I have a fairly simple and adaptable approach (necessary for working through the pandemic) but I think the Mapsearch facility provided by HM Land Registry is a fantastic innovation for locating title information.

What do you do for lunch?

Usually this is a “meal deal” type salad. I prefer keeping lunch very light and having snacks in the morning and afternoons.

What do you love most about your job?

Being a meaningful contributor to clients’ transactions. If our knowledge and experience improves our clients’ experience and/or business operation, that’s very rewarding.

What’s the worst part of the job?

Some legal work can be fairly repetitive. We try to eliminate as much wasted time as possible but, for example, I suspect I have amended the notice provisions contained in a standard contract over a thousand times in my career so far.

What do you do after work?

I have three children so I am fairly busy with their rugby, swimming and tennis but I do enjoy going to the gym and reading.

If you changed direction, what would be your Plan B?

Whenever I take aptitude tests, they say I should be a lawyer, which is encouraging and limiting at the same time. I will say professional basketball player!