David Carter: Ashurst

Ashurst” />What was your first job?
Helping the school milkman. I’m not sure this constitutes a job as I was paid in bread and orange juice.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Start with the trainees then move up to [corporate partner] Stephen Lloyd for verification.

What do you do at weekends?
I reconcile myself to the ingratitude of my dependants and ferry children to child-based events instead of the paper and a pint.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
My wife’s enthusiasm for the cheese soufflé puts Le Gavroche high on the list. However, what is there not to like about Nandos?

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
I would have opened my own organic free range Euro Fried Chicken franchise.

Who’s your hero and why?
With three kids of my own, my mother.

What’s the best thing about your job?
I spend a great deal of my day learning and laughing with colleagues.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Deals can take over your life in an unhealthy way, but unless you’re committed to the deal in the same way as your clients, you’ll be replaced by those who are.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I learned from someone who does this job very well that “every mistake unless fatal eventually goes away”. So far, no one has died at my hands.

What car do you drive?
I’d like to drive my old Aston Martin, which has been in the garage almost continually since I bought it. I should have learned from a Golf GTI I bought at law school. The GTI sticker fell off on the way home and the engine blew up that weekend.

What book are you currently reading?
I have Philip Larkin’s High Windows and Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut in my bag.

What’s on your iPod?
Herman Cattaneo’s Sequential, MF Doom and a Twisted House CD someone sent me.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I have a friend who is the living embodiment of Toad.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked?
The first big deal I did when I joined Ashurst was the management buyout of Unipoly. It had all the elements you would expect in a large cross-border deal except for the suitcase filled with money or being chased down dark alleys by assassins.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
My wife and P Diddy’s yacht (which I assume comes with hot and cold running entourage and a butler called Farnsworth).

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Forty eight hours, but that was stupidity and weakness on my part. Nowadays, I only stay up late for pleasure.

If a movie was made about your life, which actor would play you?
The obvious answer is George Clooney so I can bring him to my places of business and leisure while he researches. With my luck, the screenplay would suggest Jeanette Krankie.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Anyone. My mild claustrophobia would spiral out of control and into a full-blown ‘episode’.

Name: David Carter
Title: Partner
Firm: Ashurst
Lives: Barnet
Education: Sir John Lillie Primary School; St Vedast Independent School; Latymer Upper School; Warwick University
Work history:
1991-93: Trainee, Wilde Sapte
1993-97: Junior assistant, Wilde Sapte
1997-2001: Assistant, Ashurst
2001-present: Partner, Ashurst