Work Life Quiz: Marc Hanson, Berwin Leighton Paisner

What was your first-ever job?
After leaving school I worked as an intern with the Ordnance Survey. I spent my time helping prepare coroners’ plans of fatal motoring accidents on the North Circular.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Finishing my training contract in the recession of the early 1990s. Being saddled with debt and not knowing whether I’d have a job at the end of my training contract was not pleasant. While I was lucky and did get a job, most of those I qualified with didn’t. The rush by law firms to shed newly qualified lawyers in the early 1990s lost the profession a generation of good people and led to the spiralling associate wage bills of the following boom. I hope firms have learnt from those mistakes.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
My secretary, but she’ll only tell me things she wants me to know.

What time do you usually leave the office?
It depends on client demands but, on average, 7.15pm.

What do you do at weekends?
I take my girls swimming, ice skating and to an enormous number of parties. About 10 times a year I also race my old MGF.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Drake’s in Ripley, Surrey.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
On graduation I had a job offer as a graduate trainee in the marketing department of Procter & Gamble. I only decided to pursue a career in the law when I realised this meant I could be a student for another two years.

What’s your favourite film?
Star Wars, Episode IV – A New Hope.

What was the first record you ever bought?
I’m embarrassed to say it was You’re the One that I Want from Grease.

Who’s your hero and why?
Winston Churchill, who did more than anyone else to entrench freedom and democracy in Europe.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Working on complex, high-value projects for some of the smartest and most demanding clients.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Working on complex, high-value projects for some of the smartest and most demanding clients.

What’s your biggest work/ career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Not leaving my old firm earlier. Work is such a large part of our lives, it’s important that if you’re not happy you move ­somewhere else sooner rather than later.

What car do you drive?
Apart from my MGF, a Jaguar XKR – it’s a ­beautiful example of British engineering excellence.

What book are you reading?
Mike Hawthorn, Golden Boy: The life and death of Britain’s first world champion driver, by Tony Bailey and Paul Skilleter.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Peepo!, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg – poignant, beautifully illustrated and entertaining.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you have worked on and why?
A small office block at Great St Helens in the City. It’s still there and is a little architectural gem. It was an exciting project for me as it was the first matter I dealt with under minimal supervision after qualifying.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
BlackBerry and sunblock.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you attended and why?
With my former firm, a particularly grim autumn conference in Eastbourne.

What’s the longest you worked without sleep?
Thirty-six hours.

If a movie was made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
I’d like to think Brad Pitt but it’s more likely to be a young Rowan Atkinson.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Stephen Fry, as you’d probably end up appearing in a disparaging cameo on Twitter.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)?
I am a qualified field archaeologist. I am a Tottenham season ticket holder. I was born in Calcutta.