Biz Extra

Published: April 8, 2020 | Updated: April 10, 2020

20 Questions: Matt Fretten, Managing Partner, Frettens Solicitors, takes the weekly hotseat

Matt Fretten: “The best bit of my job? Bringing together and developing the right people to excel and develop the firm for the future. It starts and ends with the people.”
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

His childhood hero was footballer Peter Shilton (in a Saints shirt), he loves roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, chooses Hengistbury Head, on a quiet January afternoon, as his favourite place in Dorset and would like to be remembered as a decent commercial solicitor, usually with a smile on his face!

Matt Fretten, Managing Partner, Frettens Solicitors, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing. I am not a fisherman but this is perfect television.

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: Probably the singer/songwriter Billy Bragg (another Dorset resident). I would play his music really loud and encourage him to sing along with me.  He would hate it.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Bringing together and developing the right people to excel and develop the firm for the future. It starts and ends with the people.

Q: And the worst…?

A: Compliance and regulation are crucial to my profession. However, it is not a part of the job I throw myself into with any degree of enthusiasm!

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: Peter Shilton (in a Saints shirt). He was my sporting hero. While unsure that I share many of his more outspoken views today, he will always be England’s No. 1 for me!

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: The sea.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: Hengistbury Head, on a quiet January afternoon as the sun is low in the sky.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: A team player with a ‘can-do’ attitude will always go further and be more valuable to an employer than a lone maverick.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: ‘Absolutely’ by Madness. Still a classic!

Q: What gets you angry?

A: Not much. I do tend to be highly critical, however, of people who do not know what the different lanes on the motorway are for.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: Difficult to pinpoint a favourite – it is true to say though that, in the current climate, I am desperately missing the theme tune to Match of the Day…

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: A positive attitude, a willingness to contribute to the team and a sense of humour. The rest we can help with!

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. Unimaginative but unbeatable.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Is this a real question?  Steamed sponge pudding, of course!

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: Driving to work via the clifftop and glimpsing the sea every day.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Ensure that there was long-term, cross-party planning for sustainable investment and development of the NHS and schools.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: Elements of our benefits system prevent some of our staff from working in the business as much as they would like to. Being penalised for wanting to work (by the loss of benefits) is completely counter-intuitive.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: New York.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: Hopefully doing exactly what I am doing now – albeit perhaps with a few more holidays thrown in!

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: A decent commercial solicitor who helped run a really good business and tried to do the right thing – usually with a smile on his face.