Work Life Quiz: Charez Golvala, Chadbourne & Parke

Golvala Charez

What was your first-ever job?

Newspaper boy.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Briefing clients in person, on Jonathan Sumption’s arguments on the law of restitution during the Ferranti litigation, in my first seat, without any time to prepare.

What do you do at weekends?

Talk with my wife, walk the dogs, practise the piano and sleep.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Café Spice Namasté.

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

A fashion photographer by day and a jazz pianist by night.

What’s your favourite film?

The Princess Bride.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Single: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen; album: Time Out by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Who’s your hero and why?

Stephen Sondheim, because he’s both a creative genius and a consummate craftsman.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The fact that I enjoy it so much.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Other people’s egos.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?

I’ve learned a lot about negotiation and drafting from looking back at agreements from the point of view of potential litigation between the parties: in two cases when deals didn’t close and on a warranty claim on another matter. 

What book are you reading?

Pump Six and Other Stories by Paulo Bacigalupi.

What’s the most exciting deal you’ve worked on and why?

The most recent one, because I still get excited about getting the deal done right. In this case, it was a small investment by a Ukrainian private fund in a fast-growing IT outsourcing company.

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

A boat and Dame Ellen MacArthur to take me home safely in it, thanks.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Anyone with fundamentalist views or no sense of humour; funny how often the two go together.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)

I once sported a pony tail; I drink Coca-Cola for breakfast; I was born bearded.


Name: Charez Golvala

Firm: Chadbourne & Parke

Title: Partner

Lives: In a small cottage in Kent, when not in a hotel abroad


1985-88: LLB, London School of Economics

1990-91: Law Society Finals, College of Law, London

Work history

1991-93: Trainee, Ashurst Morris Crisp

1993-2000: Corporate associate, Ashurst Morris Crisp

2000-06: Senior associate, Vinson & Elkins

2006-present: Partner, Chadbourne & Parke