John Seigal

It’s been a long and very fulfilling journey, and it’s still ongoing!

I trained at a small law firm in Mayfair called H Davis & Co. It was a very typical firm back in those days because you did everything. I worked on family, crime, corporate, litigation, and property law, which provided me with a great grounding. After four years, I moved to Clintons.

Founded in London in the 1950s, Clintons rapidly grew into one of the leading music and entertainment firms. The original partners started working for artists at a time when many deals exploited these artists. The firm worked to secure much better terms for them. As these artists required legal assistance in other areas, such as tax, divorce, and property, it expanded into a full-service firm. Clintons has represented household names like Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Michael Jackson, and Paul McCartney, and now has a diverse mix of entertainment and non-entertainment clients.

I joined Clintons in 1987 as a Corporate and Commercial lawyer. Over time, I began to take on responsibilities related to the finances and the overall operations of the business, which I found particularly interesting. I was part of an initial cohort of solicitors who received external training in management techniques, which was incredibly valuable. As I took on more and more of the financial and operational responsibilities, I was eventually made Managing Partner.

I spent 25 years in this role, and it has been a privilege to lead the firm from strength to strength during this time. I am proud of its transformation into the modern and progressive firm that Clintons is today. I have also enjoyed seeing a number of trainees progress through the firm and make partner. One of our major achievements is that our employees and partners tend to stay for a very long time.

I have no plans to retire because I really enjoy my work and it doesn’t feel like a job to me. However, there were some elements of my role that I decided to hand over. I have created a new position that allows me to concentrate on the areas that most fulfil me and are beneficial for the business. As a result, I have been able to transition successfully from the all-encompassing responsibilities of Managing Partner, to a more specific role, assisting and working on the Management Committee.

This enables me to pursue my other passions. And luckily, I have plenty! I enjoy cycling, music, gardening, and Spurs. I am also an enthusiastic collector of memorabilia with a particular interest in items related to Winston Churchill. I conduct my own research, often acquiring objects at auctions and then delving into their history. For instance, I recently obtained a specific Churchill artefact and researched the circumstances surrounding his signature on it. I have a network of contacts in the Churchill community, and often speak to scholars on related topics. My legal background helps me to think creatively and approach the research from different angles.

I am building up an interesting and eclectic collection which I will eventually sell when I run out of space. For now, I am enjoying the buzz of discovering an item at auction that no one knows much about and watching its value increase … if I get it right!

At some point in the future, I will have more time. So, I have a book where I write things down that I would like to do. This includes spending more time exploring London and going off on random tangents. It’s often not the generic history of an area that catches my interest, but a small detail that will lead me into a niche area.

I recently shared the history of the vicinity where Clintons recently moved to with Circle Square members. It’s a fascinating look at an area renowned for music, but I unearthed some very interesting and even sinister facts! For example, our offices are just off Denmark Street, also known as “Tin-Pan Alley”, where many of Britain’s most famous musical artists such as The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Elton John and The Sex Pistols, either lived or recorded many of their most famous hits. But, just a few doors away at 1-3 Denmark Street was Britain’s oldest “job centre” which had opened in 1930. I discovered that in the 1980s, a young man by the name of Dennis Nilsen worked there. Known now as the ‘Muswell Hill Murderer’, he was at that time, committing the serial killings of 12 young men. None of his co-workers ever had a clue that he was one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers… until he was caught.

So, there is plenty in my life to keep me curious, interested and engaged. I might even get a small footnote somewhere for finding out things that no one else did!

Circle Square Member Q&A

What 3 words best describe you? Loyal, dependable, and straight-talking.

If you could offer your younger self one piece of advice, what would that be? Listen more and pay attention to body language. If I had mastered that at a younger age, it would have given me a real advantage.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My marriage. We have been married for a long time and go from strength to strength.

Which person (dead or alive) would you most like to invite to dinner? I didn’t see much of my father growing up, and then he passed away. I’d love to spend an evening with him, to show him what I have achieved.

How has age strengthened your advantage? I have a greater sense of clarity as I can now distil the important things from the less important things.

What inspired you to join Circle Square? I have been involved with Circle Square since its conceptual stage, so I have been on the journey from the outset.

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