Ed Lewis, Weightmans

What was your first-ever job?

I worked as a farm labourer in the summer following my GCSEs.

What was your first-ever job?

I worked as a farm labourer in the summer following my GCSEs.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

I confronted a client after discovering that he’d forged important documents. He promptly locked me in his office and told me to prepare for a walk in the Thames wearing concrete boots.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?

The secretaries always seem to know the gossip.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 7pm and 8pm.

What do you do at weekends?

I spend quality time with my wife and two sons, either out walking our three dogs or following Aston Villa up and down the country.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

The Boot – it’s a brilliant gastro pub in Lapworth, Warwickshire.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?

A professional skier. We have a small house in Austria where we spend all our holidays and I still take part in regional amateur races from time to time when we’re out there.

Who’s your hero and why?

My father. He nursed my mother through multiple sclerosis for 27 years before she passed away in 2001.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Construction is all about legacy – at least it should be. It’s been a privilege to advise on some major projects, knowing that many of them will be around for centuries long after I’m gone.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

The commute and the hours. I leave the house at 5.30am every morning and rarely get home much before 10pm.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?

Losing contact through pressure of work with my friend and mentor, Court of Appeal Judge Sir Michael Davies QC. Sadly he died in 2005, reminding me of how important it is for us to nurture and inspire future generations of junior lawyers.

What car do you drive?

BMW M3.

What book are you currently reading?

The Appeal by John Grisham.

What’s on your iPod player at the moment?

Radio 1’s Live Lounge. It’s a great compilation of well-known artists performing their favourite tracks originally made famous by other artists, but with a few twists.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Paddington Bear by Michael Bond.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?

Defending a small firm of architects against a claim by a developer and its magic circle advisers – a genuine David versus Goliath scenario. We came out on top, with the result described by one writer as a “proper knee-capping”.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?

A radio (a wind-up one, of course), because I can’t imagine life without music; and a surfboard – obviously essential for anyone who’s going to be spending so much time at the beach.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?

The Dorchester Hotel. The whole thing was so pretentious, unnecessarily extravagant and wasteful (not a venue chosen by my current firm, I hasten to add).

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?

Ninety-six hours on a case where we had witnesses scattered around the world. The run-up to the deadline for exchange was brutal as we fought to get their statements approved and signed off.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Dan Quayle, the former US vice-presidential candidate. He doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.

CV
Name:
Ed Lewis
Firm: Weightmans
Title: Head of construction
Lives: Near Lavenham, Suffolk
Education: 1989-96: The Perse School, Cambridge
1996-99: Aston University
1999-2000: Inns of Court School of Law
Work history: 2001-05: Barrister, Squire & Co
2005-06: Solicitor and partner, Squire & Co
2006-08: Head of construction, Squire & Co
2008-present: Head of construction, Weightmans