The work-life quiz with Boyan Wells

What was your first-ever job?
Paper boy.

Name: Boyan Wells
Title: Partner
Firm: Allen & Overy
Lives: Dulwich
Education: Oxford University
Work history: 1979: Trainee, Allen & Overy (A&O)
1981: Associate, A&O
1987: Partner, A&O
1998: Global head of international -capital markets, A&O
2006: Global board member, A&O

What was your first-ever job?
Paper boy.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Being given the London Stock Exchange ‘Yellow Book’ on my first day and being told to read it.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
I don’t know. No one tells me anything. I always seem to hear the interesting gossip six months after the event.

What time do you usually leave the office?
As soon as I can in all good conscience.

What do you do at weekends?
Try to have fun.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
There are now so many good ones in London, it depends on my mood.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A DJ.

Who’s your hero and why?
From my childhood, Bobby Charlton – a winner and a gent, and as an adult, Steve Redgrave for his sheer determination, but also for his realisation that only as part of a team could he fulfil his potential.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people – and the money helps.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The hours.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Life’s too short to dwell on the past.

What car do you drive?
A Jaguar, but I hardly drive as everyone tells me I’m a very bad at it.

What book are you currently -reading?
Unnatural Causes by PD James.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
Mostly classics from the 1960s.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you have worked on and why?
As a young associate on secondment I advised Chase as arranger for the funding of Robert Maxwell’s printing presses, with the finance being provided by a Japanese bank and the presses being provided by a German company. The international flavour and the permanent presence of Robert Maxwell made it a white-knuckle ride.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A motor boat and a drinks cabinet.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
36 hours.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Al Pacino. Why not?

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
A small marching band.