The work-life quiz

Anthony Barling, managing partner, Finers Stephens Innocent

What was your first ever job?
Selling ladies’ and children’s shoes in a department store in the sales. I was amazed at how often I had to tell customers that the shoes didn’t fit.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Thought I’d lost a banker’s draft on a completion, followed immediately by my best – I found it.

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

What time do you usually leave the office?
7.30pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Some form of do-it-yourself activity, usually involving my children’s flats.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Bar de la Plage, Merlimont – for location and sentiment more than the cuisine.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
Electrician or plumber.

Who was your mentor or role model?
Can’t say I had one.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Creating the environment for colleagues to be very successful.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Discussions with those who would do better at another firm.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Not sure I can be specific, but usually an overoptimistic view of solving problems. The lesson is to recognise when there’s no solution and deal with it early.

What car(s) do you drive?
BMW 3 Series.

What book are you currently reading?
Jessie’s Journey: Autobiography of a Traveller Girl by Jess Smith.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
Shostakovich 1st Violin Concerto.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Robert Westall’s The Machine Gunners, although The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier made a big impact on me as a boy.