David Raff: DLA Piper

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Losing a banker’s draft for a quarter of a million pounds (thank you for your understanding John Cohen).

DLA Piper” />What was your first-ever job?
Serving at Clem Hararai’s deli in West Didsbury, Manchester, for 50p an hour.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Losing a banker’s draft for a quarter of a million pounds (thank you for your understanding John Cohen).

Where is the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Balls Brothers, Carey Lane.

What time do you usually leave the office?

What do you do at weekends?
Opera, classical concerts and experimental theatre. Oh alright, slobbing around watching sport on TV.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
I wouldn’t tell you – it would end up full of lawyers.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
A 5 Live sports reporter.

Who’s your hero and why?
Am I allowed two? Sir Alex Ferguson (no explanation needed) and Arthur Miller (a great man and a great playwright).

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people I work with and the chair of the firm’s remuneration.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Telling some fine lawyers that they might not make partnership.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Losing a banker’s draft of a quarter of a million pounds (see above) – don’t leave a banker’s draft in an unmarked envelope on a table at completion.

What car do you drive?
Toyota Yaris.

What book are you reading?
I’m not very good on names but it’s by Kate Atkinson.

What’s on your iPod player at the moment?
Magic: the Album (I’m sorry to say that’s true).

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Peepo! by Allan Ahlberg.

What’s the most exciting deal you’ve worked on and why?
Michael Knighton’s and Robert Thornton’s abortive takeover of Manchester United.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
Salt beef sandwich and chips.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended?
The East Midlands Hilton takes the biscuit.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
48 hours.

If a movie was made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Woody Allen – you need to see a photo of me in profile.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Nigel Knowles, our managing partner, in the month before our year-end – I just know I would commit to achieving more billings than I ever intended.

Name: David Raff
Title: Head of UK corporate group
Firm: DLA Piper
Lives: London
Education: Manchester Grammar School; UCL
Work history:
1981-84: Trainee and assistant solicitor, Clintons
1984-91: Assistant and partner, Forsyte Kerman
1991-96: Partner, Winward Fearon
1996-2003: Partner, DLA Piper
2002-06: Head of London corporate group, DLA Piper
2007-present: Head of UK corporate group, DLA Piper