Michael Stevens: Cripps Harries Hall

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
My wife and a bottle of Chateau Petrus.

What was your first-ever job?
Hotel porter in Cromwell Road, London.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?
My first appearance before a master when counsel didn’t turn up.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Sankey’s, the nearest wine bar.

What time to you usually leave the office?

What do you do at weekends?
Spend time with my family, watch the Gunners, garden and, when time permits, play golf and tennis.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?
Clos Maggiore in King Street, Covent Garden.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
An art dealer.

Who’s your hero and why?
Nelson Mandela for his generosity and compassion after enduring the most extreme conditions.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The variety.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Creating a sense of ­balance.

What’s your biggest career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Not appreciating that there’s life outside the City early enough.

What car do you drive?
Subaru Outback.

What book are you currently reading?
English Passengers by Matthew Kneale.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
If I had an iPod it would be The Way We Walk by ­Genesis.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
The sale of the historic centre of Tunbridge Wells just before the credit crunch started to bite – it embraced just about every textbook legal issue you might care to mention.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
My wife and a bottle of Chateau Petrus.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended?
A windowless room in a local hotel.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Twenty-three hours.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
If you were to ask my ­partners it would be Mike Myers (for the look!), but I would choose Harrison Ford, who continues to go from strength to strength well past pensionable age.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with?
Jonathan Ross – I don’t share his sense of humour.

Michael Stevens
Firm: Cripps Harries Hall
Title: Senior partner
Lives: East Sussex
Education: St Edward’s School Oxford, Exeter University
Work history:
1972-75: Articles, Radcliffes, London
1975-77: Assistant, Radcliffes
1977-80: Assistant solicitor, Herbert Smith
1980-85: Associate, Herbert Smith
1985-86: Solicitor, Cripps ­Harries Hall
1986-06: Partner, Cripps Harries Hall
2006-present: Senior partner, Cripps Harries Hall