The work-life quiz

Simon Hodson, senior partner, Beachcroft Wansboroughs

What was your first-ever job?

A warehouse assistant in a women’s make-up factory.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Coming to terms with having just four weeks holiday a year.

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

Our Fetter Lane office restaurant, Café 100.

What time do you usually leave the office?

My working life is interestingly varied and I have no standard time.

What do you do at weekends?

Anything outdoors, preferably involving snow.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

There are some excellent restaurants in London these days and I’m fortunate to be able to sample a lot of them. The important thing is who I’m with at the time.

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

A farmer or a doctor.

Who was your mentor or role model?

I actually learn a lot from clients, but probably James Kennedy, my former chief executive officer.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The amazing variety of people I meet and get to work with, and the fact that I’m involved in helping to shape the future of the firm.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Sometimes having to be stern with people I like.

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

At 10 o’clock one evening in my early career I thought I’d forgotten to file some papers. I worried myself silly about it at the time, then later realised they didn’t need to be filed after all. The moral of the tale for me was not to panic – especially if there’s nothing you can do about a situation.

What car(s) do you drive?

An Audi A6 or a Renault Clio.

What book are you currently reading?

Wilt In Nowhere – the new Tom Sharpe.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?

My teenage son puts some scary stuff on my iPod to challenge me. I find the shuffle setting a random voyage of discovery.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Lord of the Flies by William Golding.