Work Life Quiz: Robert Postlethwaite, Postlethwaite

Robert Postlethwaite

What was your first-ever job?

Collecting then washing dirty glasses in a pub. I had to wear a horrible maroon nylon jacket.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

I’d better tread carefully here, so I’ll just mention the winter evening when the senior partner whose room I sat in (he rarely gave me any work) left to go home and turned out all the lights while I was still at my desk.  

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?

We all know (whether we want to or not) as we’re in a single, open-plan office.

What time do you usually leave the office?

It always seems to be about 6.30pm.

What do you do at weekends?

Our children are old enough to get themselves to the places they need to be, leaving me more time to amble around on my bike, buy food at the Ally Pally Farmers’ Market (then sometimes cook it), see a film or play, then take a trip to the local recycling centre to get rid of more building waste from our house.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

Sabor in Islington. ­Beautifully flavoured South American food and dangerous cocktails.

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

I sometimes daydream about being a dry stone waller.

What’s your favourite film?

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

What was the first record you ever bought?

Santana III (out of order, I know, but I bought the first and second albums later on when I’d saved up some more money).  

Who’s your hero and why?

I admire John Spedan Lewis for his vision – he turned the John Lewis business into one owned on behalf of its employees.

What’s the best thing about your job?

My colleagues and our clients – we’re very ­fortunate.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Getting paid.

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

Being distracted away from our core business.

I learnt the importance of focus.

What car do you drive?

Toyota Prius.

What book are you reading?

A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards. It’s enormous fun reading aloud.

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

Starting and then building this firm, which – so far – has brought many stresses but also many rewards.

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

I’d get horribly lonely and would have to try to get away, so it would be a GPS and a boat.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why?

We don’t have partner ­conferences, so I may have had a lucky escape.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?

Thirty seven hours.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?

Obviously George Clooney because we’re the same age and look very similar.

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

Anyone who is loud and wrong (a popular phrase in our family to describe someone who doesn’t let ignorance stop them ­having a strong opinion).

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

I’ve had dinner with the man Ian Fleming used as his model for James Bond; I’ve walked the length of the Pyrenees; I regard sleeping as an utter waste of my time.


Name: Robert Postlethwaite

Firm: Postlethwaite

Title: Founding partner

Lives: North London


1980-83: LLB, University of Bristol

1983-84: Law, College Of Law, Guildford

Work history:

1984-86: Trainee, Edward Lewis

1986-89: Corporate associate, Wansbroughs

1989-90: Corporate associate, Osborne Clarke

1991-95: Corporate associate, then partner, ­Malcolm Lynch

1995-2001: Director, Capital Strategies (corporate finance)

2001-02: Share schemes partner, Pinsent Curtis

2003-present: Partner, Postlethwaite