Work Life Quiz: Paul Johnson, Kings Chambers

What was your first-ever job?

Apprentice pipelayer, Wales Gas.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?
Resolving how to deal with the irascibility of a partner I worked for. It did resolve itself and we got on very well. I should add that I thought he was the best lawyer I ever worked with.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Aside from nattering to the ‘usual suspects’ in any chambers or solicitors, go to the kitchen. A cuppa does wonders for conversation.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Being a full-time mediator means there’s no set finish time.

What do you do at weekends?
When the autumn rugby union internationals are upon us I have to cope with the success or failure of the Welsh team. I usually do so in the pub with my wife and a few friends.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Cnapan in Newport, Pembrokeshire.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
If I hadn’t been a solicitor or barrister I’d have become a teacher.

Who’s your hero and why?
Aneurin Bevan, whose vision and drive created the NHS. The passing of my father after a long spell in intensive care reminded me of the monumental importance of the NHS for all in our society.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Helping shape solutions for all kinds of people and problems.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Mediation is far from easy because of the circumstances leading to my appointment, but that’s part of the positive challenge of being a mediator.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Some readers may remember the automatic striking-out rule in the county court. I missed the dreaded deadline on one case. The lesson has not been forgotten.

What car do you drive?
BMW X6.

What book are you reading?
Noam Chomsky’s Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy.

What’s on your iPod?
Running Times – a collection of social outrage songs written by Christy Moore, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and others.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Asterix the Gaul by René Goscinny.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
The Save Service Stations liquidation/litigation. A combination of great clients, a great legal team and an exceptional case.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A fully stocked drinks fridge together with my hi-fi and music collection.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
They were all superb.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Twenty hours at the most.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
I have no idea so I asked my wife and she said George Clooney.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
The Bruce Willis character in the Die Hard films. He looks like my brother (sorry Viv).