Work Life Quiz: Simon Hardwick, Halliwells

What was your first-ever job?
A tyre storeman at the Avon Rubber Company, Wiltshire.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Starting work. My employer had forgotten I was joining so I didn’t have an office. I spent my first week in the basement.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The in-house breakfast in the staff canteen or month-end drinks on the office’s roof terrace to celebrate ‘Ground Hog Day’.

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

What do you do at weekends?
Spend time with my family, ride horses – which enrich my life, while depleting my wallet – and drive my cars, which do the same.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
A little café in the market square of a village in Seville, which we visited on a horse-riding holiday last April – the ultimate in good, simple food in a tranquil setting.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A property developer. Who’s your hero and why?In business, Gerald Ronson for his resilience and determination to recover from adversity. Outside of business, my daughter, who is a darling.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Clients and colleagues – on a good day.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Clients and colleagues on a bad day.

What car do you drive?
A Porsche GT2 for fun, a Mercedes S Class for work and a Smart Car for the environment.

What book are you currently reading?
None – I never find the time to read for pleasure.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
A learn-to-speak-German course by Michael Thomas.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Harry Potter books because they provide happy memories of reading to my daughter.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A case of white Burgundy and a fridge to chill it in.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Three days, although I may have dozed off during a meeting.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Russell Crowe, because he’s handsome, loud and rude.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Russell Crowe, for the same reasons.

CV

Name: Simon Hardwick
Firm: Halliwells
Title: London real estate head
Lives: Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire (at an equestrian centre)
Education: Monkton Coombe School, Bath; Exeter University
Work history:
1978: Trainee, Pellys
1980: Assistant, Pellys
1981: Partner, Pellys
1981: Partner, Tarrant Hardwick
1985: Partner, Hardwick & Company/ Hardwick Stallards (now DMH Stallard)
2002-present: London real estate head, Halliwells
2006-present: London office national network partner, Halliwells