The work-life quiz

Michael Laver, managing partner, Stevens & Bolton

What was your first ever job?

When I was 16 I sold fruit and veg from a market stall in Guildford.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Taking a statement from an 18-year-old who had just lost both legs in a motorbike accident

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
I like to walk around the office. I think people are used to my wanderings and I find it a good way of keeping up to date.

What time do you usually leave the office?
About 7pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Sailing, woodworking, but mainly acting as a taxi service for the children.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Cambio’s in Guildford – a very popular Italian restaurant.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
An opera singer. Unfortunately I have to make do as a second tenor in various local choirs.

Who was your mentor or role model?
My former senior partner David Wilson. Among many other things, he taught me the benefit of a clear desk policy – a practice I seem to have singularly failed to pass on to a good number of my colleagues in the office.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people (well, most of them), both in the office and the clients. The journey to work isn’t bad. Twenty minutes to Guildford station and 20 seconds from there to my desk.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Trying to provide the work-life balance that we promise.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Being absent from the partners meeting that voted me in as managing partner.

What car(s) do you drive?
BMW 530 and a Land Rover Defender.

What book are you currently reading?
Robbert Goddard’s Play to The End.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
No idea – whatever my daughter left in there last.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.