Stuart Whitfield, chief executive, Bevan Ashford
What was your first ever job?
As a student, working in Wilkins Jam Factory in Tiptree. As a trainee solicitor, hay baling on the senior partner’s farm.
What was your worst task as a trainee?
Hay baling on the senior partner’s farm and delivering matrimonial proceedings papers to his wife.
Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
You’re asking the wrong person.
What time do you usually leave the office?
What do you do at weekends?
When not working, spending time with my wife, daughter and twin boys.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny.
If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
Scientist, sportsman, classic car dealer.
Who was your mentor or role model?
My basketball coach Vic Ambler was the closest I had to a mentor.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Receiving great client feedback about a Bevan Ashford colleague.
What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Getting the balance between strategic/tactical and my internal/external-facing roles; and managing change without compromising what’s excellent about Bevan Ashford.
What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Since being a partner, my biggest mistakes have usually centred around not tackling performance issues head on, early and with sensitivity. It’s always better for everyone (not least the underperforming individual) for the situation to be addressed as soon as it arises. That, and falling drunk into my senior partner in a lift when I was a trainee.
What car(s) do you drive?
Porsche 928, Land Rover Discovery.
What book are you currently reading?
The Democratic Enterprise by Lynda Gratton.
What’s on your CD player at the moment?
The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips.
What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Richest Crocodile in the World [by Daniel Postgate].