Andrew Carpenter: Addleshaw Goddard

What was your first-ever job?

Helping on a milk round – by coincidence one customer was a member of a management buyout team that a client backed.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Serving a writ on squatters who had some very large, fierce dogs and finding that the police sergeant who had assured me he would be right behind me had stopped at the garden gate.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
I would search the firm’s document retrieval and indexing software for a set of key words – it’s amazing how many people do not protect sensitive documents.

What time do you usually leave the office?
7.30pm-8.30pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Spend as much time as possible with my two boys.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Aubergine for a quiet night with my wife, Zuma if out with friends and La Famiglia if with the kids.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
More laid-back.

Who’s your hero and why?
Bobby Shaftoe from Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon – all-round cool chap with a can-do attitude and some great lines.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Winning the intellectual battle by finding a solution where others have failed to or outsmarting the other side in negotiations.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Telling someone they’re not going to make it.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
As an articled clerk, assuming that a very plummy caller was a friend making a prank call and suggesting that he go forth in short jerky movements – if in doubt check that your caller is not a close friend of the senior partner.

What car do you drive?
Mercedes ML 350 – you never know when the Thames will flood.

What book are you reading?
Apocalypse: The Great Jewish Revolt Against Rome by Neil Faulkner.

What’s on your iPod?
All sorts of stuff but the last download was Bob the Builder for my son.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
Acting for 3i and Powell Duffryn on the acquisition of Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority. It was our first deal for either client, it was 3i’s biggest deal at that time and we had to cover everything from the corporate structure to old private acts of Parliament, the corporation’s own police force to dredging and navigation rights in the two port areas.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
A fully fuelled Dassault Falcon 50EX and an Acme US Marine Corp instant runway kit.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
Some sort of campus in Warwickshire. Can you imagine a worse combination – middle-aged, badly dressed lawyers, halls of residence and the usual diet of uninspired rhetoric?

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Three nights.

If a movie was made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Johnny Depp – I owe him a favour.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Myself – I know all the punchlines.

Name:Andrew Carpenter
Firm: Addleshaw Goddard
Title: PartnerLives: Chelsea
Education:1980-06: Liverpool University, BSc first class honours, PhD
1886-88: Nottingham Trent, CPE and Law Society Finals, first class honours
Work history:1989-98: Eversheds (articles through to partnership)
1998-2000: Partner, Pinsent Curtis Biddle
2000-04: Partner, DLA
2004-06: Partner, O’Melveny & Myers
2006-present: Partner, Addleshaw Goddard