The work-life quiz Nick Valner

What was your first-ever job?
As a lawyer, trying to get an injunction for The Beatles to stop the unauthorised sale of their Hamburg performances.


Nick Valner
Title: Head of commercial litigation, London
Firm: Eversheds
Lives: Surrey
Education: Stonyhurst College; Law, Oxford University
Work history:
1977-79: Articled clerk, Frere Cholmeley
1985: Appointed partner
1998: Partner at Eversheds following merger with Frere Cholmeley Bischoff

What was your first-ever job?
As a lawyer, trying to get an injunction for The Beatles to stop the unauthorised sale of their Hamburg performances.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Moving a senior partner’s Mercedes from one parking meter to another. He failed to mention that the car had automatic gears.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The wall of the managing partner’s office, disguised as a fly.

What time do you usually leave the office?

What do you do at weekends?
Garden, fish (in the summer), walk the dogs, read books, have fun, dine with friends.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Rules, Covent Garden.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A pop star – if only I’d had the talent.

Who’s your hero and why?
George Harrison, because he was and did.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The talent of the clients. What’s the toughest thing about your job?Remembering my latest computer password.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Failing to ask a lateral hire ‘with a following’ who was following whom. The lesson learnt is that you should look a gift horse in the mouth because he’ll want feeding.

What car do you drive?
Saab 93 Sportswagon.

What book are you currently reading?
Mao – The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
Not a lot. I don’t have one. I rely on my children.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

What’s the most exciting case you’ve worked on and why?
The Apple Corps (Beatles)/ Cirque du Soleil joint venture, which led to the creation of the LOVE show, which opened in Las Vegas in 2006. This is one of the few occasions that a lawyer can actually see and enjoy the results – the best show in town with stunning music.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A permanently well-stocked drinks trolley with ice and cheese straws and the complete works of Dickens. Am I cheating? I’ve assumed you can get a box set.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
The Belfry. My golf is dangerously bad.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Thirty six hours on a trip to Las Vegas working on The Beatles deal.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
It’s between Clint Eastwood and Ronnie Corbett, because of my obvious similarities to both.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
One of our IT managers, who’d try to explain to me how he’d write the software for a new non-chargeable time-recording code called ‘Stuck in a Lift’.