Work Life Quiz: Juan Carlos Machuca, Uría Menéndez
1 August 2010
3 June 2013
7 February 2014
6 March 2014
23 December 2013
13 May 2013
What time do you usually leave the office? It’s always dark outside.
What was your first-ever job?
Being a terrible waiter in my parents’ home town, although my friends quite enjoyed having me on the other side of the bar.
What was your worst experience as a trainee?
My worst experience was drafting the minutes for a board of directors’ meeting of a large Spanish insurance company. I was replacing the lead partner, who’d had a heart attack that weekend and was still instructing me from his hospital bed while using an oxygen mask. The relationship between the joint venture partners was far from amicable, and on top of that I had to prove I understood everything that was going on in the room in English. It was a complete nightmare.
Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The IT department without a doubt.
What do you do at weekends?
They’re always too short, but I usually spend them with friends, running in the park, going to exhibitions, discovering new gastro pubs and flower markets, going to a good gig or improving my English with my four-year-old goddaughter Olivia.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
In London, when I feel nostalgic about my mum’s cooking, the best place to go is Cambio de Tercio or its sister tapas bar Tendido Cero. If you’re lucky, you can even bump into Rafa Nadal during Wimbledon.
If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
I always dreamt about being a fashion photographer.
What’s your favourite film?
Out of Africa and Almodovar’s Volver.
What was the first record you ever bought?
One of Dire Straits’ masterpieces, Money for Nothing.
Who’s your hero and why?
His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain. He did so much to transform Spain after the death of Franco in very difficult circumstances.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Although it’s a cliché, I’d say that working with bright people is always very stimulating and the day-to-day intellectual challenge when dealing with clients’ requests.
What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The fact that sometimes you don’t have control of your own time and the frustration of disappointing people when you cancel personal appointments with friends.
What book are you currently reading?
Trois femmes puissantes by Marie NDiaye, The House of Wittgenstein:
A Family at War by Alexander Waugh and Anatomía de un instante by Javier Cercas.
What’s your favourite children’s book?
Imposed by my goddaughter’s dictatorship, the Dora the Explorer books.
What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
Advising Banco Santander and the consortium of banks on the acquisition
of ABN Amro.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A Tom Ford swimming costume and a supply of fresh Pimm’s.
What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
A couple of days, which might not sound very impressive, but is something you never forget.
If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Antonio Banderas, if the movie happens to be in English. After more than
a decade in an English-speaking country both of us still have such strong, sweet Spanish accents.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
Kate Moss used to call me JC and my friends adopted the nickname. It took me a while, but I’m now fluent in Mandarin. I’ll always be grateful to my Margarita, who taught me how to dance flamenco.
Name: Juan Carlos Machuca
Firm: Uría Menéndez
Title: Resident partner
1996: Law degree, Universidad Complutense, Colegio Universitario San Pablo CEU, Spain
1997: EC law degree with honours, Colegio Universitario San Pablo CEU, Spain
1996-2000: Junior associate, Uría Menéndez, Madrid
2000-02: Junior associate, Uría Menéndez, London
2002-07: Senior associate, Uría Menéndez, London
2007-present: Partner, Uría Menéndez, London