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Robert Kidby, head of internatiol property, Lovells
What was your first ever job?.
A week stacking shelves at the Victor Value supermarket in Worthing. I was staying with a school friend who ran away from home while I was there. He was aiming for Katmandu but ended up in Haywards Heath.
What was your worst experience as a trainee?
I smashed the senior partner's Jaguar on the way back from Cissie Merkin's sweet shop in Maida Vale. The basement of the sweet shop doubled as the firm's deed store.
Where's the best place to go if you want to find out what's really going on in the office?
Dinner after a partnership council meeting.
What time do you usually leave the office?
Around 6.30pm - but I'm usually going on to a client or business-related meeting or reception, or to our monthly gig at Jazz After Dark in Soho.
What do you do at the weekends?
Make the best of London and Suffolk.
What's your favourite restaurant?
Le Caprice and Suruchi, both in London, are equal.
If you weren't a lawyer what would you have been?
A failed pop star.
Who was your mentor or role model?
No one person, but there are plenty of people who have influenced me. As a general rule, Three Men in a Boat is a pretty good code to live your life by.
What's the best thing about your job?
Meeting many different people and occasionally being listened to.
What's the toughest thing about your job?
Trying to remember people's names.
What's your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I know I've made worse mistakes, but at the time, as a newly qualified solicitor, discovering I'd sent a lease containing 32 typographical errors for execution by Ian Henderson of Land Securities seemed the worst. What did it teach me? Detail, my boy, detail.
What car(s) do you drive?
Mercedes Coupe and a 1956 Austin A35 van.
What book are you currently reading?
Rereading Three Comrades by Erich Maria Remarque. All his books except for All Quiet on the Western Front seem to be out of print.
What's on your cd player at the moment?
Careless Love by Madeleine Peyroux and Grant Street (live slide guitar) by Sonny Landreth.
What's your favourite children's book?
Any Just William and the monthly Guitarist magazine.