The work-life quiz Keith wilson

Name: Keith Wilson

Name: Keith Wilson
Firm: Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker
Position: Head of asset finance, London
Lives: Harpenden, Hertfordshire
Education: Daniel Stewart’s and Melville College, Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh
Work history:
1985-87: Trainee, J&A Hastie, Edinburgh
1987-88: Commercial property associate, Bird Semple Fyfe Ireland
1989-91: Associate, Johnson Stokes & Master, Hong Kong
1992-94: Senior associate, Richards Butler
1994-95: Senior associate, Sinclair Roche & Temperley
1995-98: Senior associate, Lovells
1998: Promoted to partnership
2006: Joined Paul Hastings as head of asset finance, London

What was your first-ever job?

Working in the mail room of an Edinburgh law firm. Sad to say, but I still know most of the Scottish DX numbers.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Being sent to appear in a trial in the district court on the understanding it would plea bargain. My client, who was accused of road traffic offences, insisted I lead on a Post Office robbery he foiled on an entirely separate occasion. Once the prosecutor had torn me apart, with the approval of the magistrate, I decided court work really wasn’t for me.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 7pm and 9pm.

What do you do at weekends?

Spend time with my kids, run and catch up with my wife.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

The Bleeding Heart in London.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?

Maybe in reinsurance and accounting, but probably a journalist.

Who’s your hero and why?

The mother of one of my daughter’s friends, who has gone through the worst of breast cancer treatment with a humour and vitality that’s admirable.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Successful negotiation.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

The hours. What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Staying too long with a law firm that wasn’t taking my career forward. I learnt that if something isn’t right you can’t wish it better and you need, instead, to make tough decisions.

What car do you drive?

Red BMW convertible, but the battery’s always flat as I cycle more than I drive.

What’s the most recent book you’ve read?

Saturday by Ian McEwan, which was compelling.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?

German lessons, but Springsteen is never far away.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?

An mp3 player and a pair of running shoes.

What is the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?

California earlier this year, but only because of the jetlag.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?

I’ve done more than one double over-nighter.

If a movie was made about your life, which actor would play you?

The Welsh bloke in the underpants in Notting Hill.