The LAST WORD: Jane Oakland, partner, Thrings

October 3, 2014

Each week Bristol Business News will give a prominent member of the city’s business community the chance to have the last word on its weekly e-bulletin. Jane Oakland, partner at commercial law firm Thrings, kicks off the series by answering our 10 questions.

What was the LAST:

Film you watched?

I recently watched Overview on Vimeo. It’s a fascinating short film about astronauts’ experiences in space, and includes some astonishing music and visuals of earth from space. The movie, which was crowdfunded, was made by Planetary Collective, while the original score was penned by Human Suits, all of who are from Bristol. Our city is home to some fantastic creative companies, and this added to Bristol’s well-deserved reputation for excellence.

Book you read?

I’m reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I’ve read a few of her other books – ‘The Secret History’ and ‘The Little Friend’ – and I really enjoy the way she constructs her stories and brings the various strands together at the end. I love reading, and am a member of two book clubs. The scope of books we read varies hugely, and I’ve read many novels I wouldn’t ordinarily have chosen.

Music you bought?

My taste in music is pretty broad, and my collection ranges from classical to contemporary. I recently downloaded Martha Wainwright’s most recent album, ‘Come Home to Mama. It’s a blend of folk and rock music; her style is interesting.

Concert or play you went to?

I went to see the Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall at the Aldwych Theatre in London. The Royal Shakespeare Company consistently puts on wonderful plays, and the standard of acting is never anything less than sublime.

Sporting event you attended?

A few members of my family ran in the Bristol Half Marathon in September and I went along to give them some support. The race has grown hugely since it was first run in 1989 – both in terms of popularity and participation – and to see so many people taking to the streets of our beautiful city made me, as a local, feel extremely proud. It was also great to see people pushing themselves to complete the 13-mile course for so many worthwhile causes.

Holiday you went on?

I’ve just returned from Italy. We flew to Siena for a wedding which was absolutely magical and then caught a train up to Florence. It was a real treat to travel through such stunning countryside and see so many small villages. The vineyards, terra cotta roofs and sunflower-filled fields combined to illustrate Italy’s beauty and vibrancy.

Restaurant you ate in?

I recently went to the Grillstock Smokehouse in Clifton and had the beef brisket sandwich – it was absolutely delicious!

Thing that annoyed you?

Like many people, I’ve been frustrated by the seemingly endless roadworks in Bristol. I appreciate the need for repairs, but it feels like work is going on everywhere at the moment. There’s never a good time to dig up the road, and it was a shame that many of the 500,000 visitors to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta didn’t get to see our city at its finest.

Thing that made you laugh out loud?

A couple of weekends ago, I was painting my garden shed. Somehow the ladder I was using moved and I ended up falling off it – with the paint in hot pursuit. I wasn’t hurt but I got a good soaking, as did the lawn. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Fortunately the paint I’d chosen was green, and it matched the grass. It could have been a lot worse!

Piece of good advice you were given?

A friend recently told me something the American poet Maya Angelou once said: “You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights”. I couldn’t agree more.

A partner in Thringscorporate and commercial team, Jane Oakland acts for a wide-range of businesses on acquisitions and disposals, financing, strategic advice on managing change and appropriate structures including joint ventures and partnerships. Jane has lived in Bristol for more than 20 years and is a well-known member of the citys business community: she is currently Chair of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta organising committee, a member of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and the Guild of Guardians, and a trustee of both the Bristol Drugs Project and Bristol Cathedral. Jane is also a regular guest on BBC Radio Bristol.


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