The work-life quiz: Ruth Grant

What was your first-ever job?

Working as a Saturday girl in Boots in Woodbridge,Suffolk.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Having to apply to have judgment in default on a counterclaim set aside – I had miscalculated by one day.

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

What time do you usually leave the office?
Around 9pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Spend as much time as possible with my family.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Le Flâneur in Clerkenwell – although you’d think Pizza Express if you were looking at my credit card bill.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A doctor.

Who’s your hero and why?
Elizabeth I – her life is a fantastic example of a woman coping at the top in a man’s world.

What’s the best thing about your job?
As a litigator, becoming a complete expert in something for a year or two and then moving on; in management I enjoy the challenge of carrying people with you.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The hours: not seeing my family during the week.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Doing things because other people think you should. You should always trust your instincts and do want you think is best.

What car do you drive?
Mini Cooper.

What book are you currently reading?
Berlin: The Downfall 1945 by Antony Beevor.

What’s on your iPod player at the moment?
I’m more of a Radio 4/World Service sort of person.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Smoke and Fluff by AJ Macgregor.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
A Commercial Court case to recover funds paid to a Nigerian businessman in relation to an oil contract involving multiple Mareva injunctions and Anton Piller orders, as they were called in those days. The excitement of the chase and the team spirit were both fantastic.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
A decent coffee-making machine and unlimited Sudoku puzzles.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
Bournemouth. I was a new partner and my room must have been at least a mile’s walk from where all the action actually took place.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Not long enough to impress a corporate or finance lawyer.

If a movie was being made about your life, which an actor would play you and why?
Meryl Streep, because she’s the best.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Ken Livingstone – I can’t tell you why.

Name: Ruth Grant
Firm: Lovells
Title: London regional managing partner
Lives: Pinner, Middlesex
Gordonstoun School, Scotland; University of Bristol
Work history:
1981: Lovells, articled clerk
1983: Lovells, associate
1992: Lovells, partner
2005: Lovells, London regional managing partner