Work Life Quiz: Kit O’Brien, Pardoes Solicitors

What was your first-ever job? Collecting eggs on a ­battery egg farm. It put me off canned chicken soup forever.


Kit O'Brien
Kit O’Brien

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Having to go to court on the back of my principal’s motorbike.

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

I haven’t a clue, which is why I am always the last to know anything interesting.

What time do you usually leave the office?

At the last possible moment that gives me sufficient time to get to school to pick up my daughter before she has to go to boarders’ ­supper and report me to social services.

What do you do at weekends?

Ferry my daughter to and from the stable yard and then freeze while she ­fusses over her pony. If I have any time left over from that clean out the hens. My life is so ­glamorous.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

Anywhere we can get a table on a night when we can also get a babysitter.

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

Probably still looking for a means of utilising my ­original degree in Drama and Theatre Studies, ie ‘resting’.

What’s your favourite film?

The Dino de Laurentiis ­version of Flash Gordon.

I now know the script by heart.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Bye Bye Baby by the Bay City Rollers. I was very unhappy because I’d asked the shop for The Bump by Kenny.

Who’s your hero and why?

My husband because he has survived.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Working with people whose company I enjoy and sharing the challenge of running a legal practice in the current economic climate.

What’s the toughest thing about your job? 

Needing to be in at least eight places at once and trying to juggle being a wife and mother and pulling my weight as a partner.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?

I think my time on the ­battery egg farm taught me early on to take career issues seriously.

What car do you drive?

A Volvo C30 that doubles as a mobile tackroom.

What book are you currently reading? 

Nothing I’m prepared to admit to. I read anything and everything, the more low-brow the better.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

Ginger by Charlotte Voake. Wonderful no matter how many times I have to read it.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?

I’m a family lawyer so ­confidentiality prevents me from revealing it but dealing with a tribal chief from an African state ­created some unique issues.

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

My iPhone and a lifetime supply of good-quality gin.

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

Thank heavens I’ve never had to attend one. If my present partners are ­reading this, Barbados sounds good.

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

If I don’t sleep I don’t ­function so this is not something I’ve put to the test.

If a movie were being made about your life, which actor would play you and why? 

In my dreams, Meryl Streep. In reality, probably Wee Jimmy Krankie.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

They know who they are.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)

My hens wore sweaters when it snowed in ­January; I collect ­handbags; my job is my life.

CV
Name:
Kit O’Brien
Firm: Pardoes Solicitors
Title: Partner and practice head of family
Lives: A small village at the foot of the Quantock Hills
Education:
1983-86: BA (Hons) English/Drama and Theatre Studies, Royal Holloway College, University of London
1987-89: College of Law, ­Guildford
Work history:
1989-91: Trainee, Linnells Solicitors, Oxford
1991-93: Assistant, Linnells
1993-96: Assistant, then partner, Quiney Jaggar Solicitors, Swindon
1996-99: Assistant, Battens Solicitors, Yeovil
1999-2009: Assistant, then partner, Porter Dodson Solicitors, Taunton
2009-present: Partner and head of family team, Pardoes Solicitors, Taunton