The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
What was your first-ever job? Flipping burgers at a burger joint. The start of my vegetarian diet.
What was your worst experience as a trainee? Having pointed out to me one afternoon that in my hungover state I’d come to work in halves of two different suits. I don’t know what was worse – that I hadn’t noticed or that they waited all day to tell me.
Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office? I’ve never understood how, but our planning team seems to be uncannily good at getting the gossip.
What time do you usually leave the office? 7:30pm. I try not to work late. I start at 4am when busy, which usually raises eyebrows.
What do you do at weekends? Mostly family time, but occasionally I get to watch AFC Wimbledon with old friends.
What’s your favourite restaurant? J Sheekey in London. Superb.
If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been? A pilot.
Who’s your hero and why? My late grandfather. He saw action on D-Day and led medical teams into Belsen; devoted his civilian life to healing the physical scars of war by pioneering plastic surgery; and loved his family.
What’s the best thing about your job? Variety. Every deal is different and has something to teach.
What’s the toughest thing about your job? Navigating the admin to do the fee-earning.
What’s your biggest work career mistake and what did you learn from it? Relied on a former colleague’s confirmation that all pre-exchange steps had been completed when taking on a file. They hadn’t and the agreement was unenforceable, although the parties honoured it. I learned to check everything.
What car do you drive? BMW 3 series.
What book are you reading? The Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford. I have a nine-week-old daughter and we’ll take any help we can get.
What’s on your iPod? The Gruffalo audio book by Julia Donaldson. My two-year-old’s taste is pervasive – and repetitive.
What’s your favourite children’s book? Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss.
What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why? The most high-profile case recently is the Guestinvest administration – media interest, complex property interests, difficult exit strategies and emotive issues for investors.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take? My piano and a stash of white Toblerone.
What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why? I’ve only been to one, so it’s top and bottom of this list – Vienna. I enjoyed it, to be fair.
What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep? Forty-eight hours. The whole week had only 15 hours’ sleep in it.
If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why? Brad Pitt. It’s the only way I could get my wife to go.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why? My partner Bob Kidby. That much energy and such a small space aren’t safe together.