Work Life Quiz: Alistair Graham, Mayer Brown

Alistair Graham

What was your first-ever job?

A Saturday job in BHS in Belfast when I was 16 where my potential was swiftly recognised to the extent that I was moved from being on security on day one to cleaning out the freezing and bloody meat fridges in the butchery department on day two, where I remained for the next two years. I still don’t know what I did wrong.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Sadly, it was not remembering the banker’s draft at a property closing. I am amazed to find that even now I feel the panic of that moment returning when I think of it.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

La Ferme Ladouceur in Gassin, France. There’s no choice when it comes to food and they make their own wine. I found it because, in my first week as a trainee at Freshfields, my wonderful boss mentioned he had a place in France and said words to the effect that I would love it. I interpreted this as an invitation to stay and came in the next day carrying my holiday diary and promptly booked myself and girlfriend in for a week. It took some time for it to sink in that, in fact, he was merely recommending the south of France as a possible holiday destination.

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

Tennis racquet and balls.

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

Michael Sheen, because people used to say I looked like Tony Blair, as famously portrayed by him.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

My gorgeous wife.

What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without sleep?

48 hours during the negotiation of the Maxwell Global settlement.

What’s the worst partner conference you’ve attended?

It was near Newbury and the involved bonding exercises featuring ‘treasure hunts’ in cars in the pouring rain.

Where’s the best place to go for office gossip?

No idea – I only joined Mayer Brown about six weeks ago, so I rely on my secretary to tell me stuff.