Tom whelan: Lovells

What was your first-ever job?

Stacking shelves at Tesco.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Not recognising and refusing to hand over documents to our client, Lord Hollick, during the middle of MAI’s bid for Anglia Television. (I had been directed by a partner to hand over the documents only to the person specified at Rothschild). Lord Hollick’s words: “But I’m paying your bill!”

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

What time do you usually leave the office?
It varies every day. I would guess somewhere between 7pm and 8pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Spend time with the family.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Don Restaurant and Bistro in London.

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

Who’s your hero and why?
Tony Blair – a brilliant performer and always calm under pressure.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Winning work.

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

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Nothing I regret.

What car do you drive?
A pink Volvo.

What book are you currently reading?
Hannibal, A Novel by Ross Leckie.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
I don’t have an iPod.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
Acting for the Blackstone Group on the sale of the Savoy Group to Quinlan Private. Contracts were drafted, negotiated and exchanged in the space of 18 hours from a standing start.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
My wife and my children.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
The Hilton London Metropole on Edgware Road – Bobby Davro had been hired to entertain all the DLA Piper partners and he was so bad that he had to be escorted off the stage.

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

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
George Clooney – my wife’s choice.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Bobby Davro – it’s no laughing matter.

Name: Tom Whelan
Firm: Lovells
Title: Partner
Lives: Saffron Walden
Education: St Michael’s College, Leeds; Durham University
Work history:1991-93: Trainee, Ashurst
1993-2002: Solicitor, Ashurst
2002-06: Partner, DLA Piper
2006-present: Partner, Lovells