The work-life quiz

Nick Thomas, senior partner, Kennedys

What was your first ever job?

Cleaning the toilets in the Portland Hotel, Chesterfield; the coolest girls hung out there, so I was able to write good things about me on the walls of the ladies.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Having to formally prove, for the purposes of an appeal to Crown Court, my manuscript notes of proceedings of a Health and Safety Executive prosecution in Magistrates’ Court, while the judge sniggered at my doodles. I’ve never doodled since.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Wherever those with the stamina go after the Christmas party.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Between six and seven. I believe the macho culture of working late for its own sake is self-defeating. That said, you sometimes have to stay until what needs to be done gets done.

What do you do at weekends?
Chauffeur kids, garden, fish, watch rugby and regret that I’m too old and crocked to play any more.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Indochine in Lang Kwai Fong, Hong Kong.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
A lot richer.

Who was your mentor or role model?
Harry Hails, a great lawyer and human being who laid the foundations for all that Kennedys has become in the past 25 years.

What’s the best thing about your job?
You’re learning all the time. When looking at an insurance claim, you can’t ascertain what went wrong and why without mastering to some degree the business of the insured in question.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Telling people they aren’t going to make it in the firm.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I’m still learning how to delegate properly.

What car(s) do you drive?
Landrover Defender, Toyota Amazon.

What book are you currently reading?
Aftermath by Peter Robinson.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
Parallel Lines by Blondie.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Small kids: Prince Cinders by Babette Cole. Older kids: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I don’t know how they’ll film the end without an 18 certificate.