The work-life quiz

Simon Rous, senior partner, EPL division of Bevan Ashford

What was your first ever job?
Office boy to the Lonrho board in 1969. Before the days of the computerised registrar function I sealed millions of share certificates.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
A spat with Max Williams (later to be Sir Max Williams, president of the Law Society) over the bulk mailing costs of Roger Parker QC’s (later to be Lord Justice Parker) ‘Flixborough Report’. Neither of us were prepared to confess our ignorance of imperial to metric conversion rates.

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

What time do you usually leave the office?
There is no usual time. It is a mistake, in this post-Blackberry world of mobile email, to be tied to the office. I might be home at 6pm or after midnight.

What do you do at weekends?
With my wife, four children and visiting friends and relations we fish, garden, play tennis, shoot, ride, walk the farm, cook, chat round the kitchen table or slob out in front of the telly.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Brazz in Exeter.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
A failed author.

Who was your mentor or role model?
My uncle, Sir Ian Fraser. Although he was a City grandee, he was happiest farming, fishing, cider making, entertaining with lavish meals cooked by himself and debunking the grammatical solecisms of the younger generation.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Watching the way the firm has steadily developed in quality and range over the years.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Judging when to become personally involved and when to leave things to others.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Leaving it too long before asking someone to leave the firm. I learned to trust my own instincts.

What car(s) do you drive?
2.8 Four-Wheel Drive Estate VW Passat and an old short wheelbase Land Rover.

What book are you currently reading?
The King’s English by Kingsley Amis

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
Harvest by Neil Young

What’s your favourite children’s book?
King Solomon’s Mines by Rider Haggard