Work Life Quiz: David Stewart, Olswang

What was your first-ever job?
An usher at the Putney ABC Cinema.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Depositing the contents of a full coffee pot on the neatly laid-out (by me) papers for a 2am completion meeting in front of clients, accountants and bankers.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Our restaurant, Ozone.

What time do you usually leave the office?
8pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Manage teenagers, cook and eat large meals with friends and family and try but usually fail to exercise.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Greenhouse, Hays Mews, W1. Okay, it’s owned by a client, but the food is truly stellar.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A restauranteur.

What’s your favourite film?
The Big Lebowski.

What was the first record you ever bought?
I think it was Hunky Dory by David Bowie.

Who’s your hero and why?
All those who dedicate their lives to helping and empowering those who are less fortunate.

What’s the best thing about your job?
I’m never bored and it’s a huge honour and pleasure to work with a much wider range of my incredible and brilliant colleagues at Olswang than was the case when I ran the commercial litigation team. It’s been an eye-opener. In a good way.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Having to deal with this downturn and the incredibly frustrating and delaying effect it’s had on Olswang’s progress.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
There have been so many. I think they all share some central themes (inattention to detail, not listening to the client, persuaded by own advocacy etc), but the key is being humble and confident enough to learn that no question is really a stupid question if you don’t understand something.

What car do you drive?
Mercedes E Class estate.

What book are you currently reading?
Grow Up by Keith Allen.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
The most unusual was acting for Virginia McKenna and the Born Free Foundation in a dispute over the release of captive dolphins from Brighton Aquarium into the Caribbean.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
My partner Gemma and an iPod.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
Big four accountancy firm training college – the heating was stuck to full and the windows didn’t open.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Twenty four hours or so.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Klaus Kinski. Just always liked his craggy, mad face.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Anyone smelly or dull.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
I’m a qualified scuba diver and have over 40 logged open-water dives; I was expelled from public school at 16; I spent four weeks at La Tante Claire under Pierre Koffman before abandoning my plans to be a chef.