Work Life Quiz: Rachel Hutton, Optima Legal

Rachel Hutton

What was your first-ever job?

Waitress at a Little Chef near Scarborough.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Probably suing a dead man. It taught me to check claim forms very carefully.

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

The coffee machine.


What time do you usually leave the office?



What do you do at weekends?

If I’m not travelling I go to the gym and watch sport (well, Leeds United FC if I’m honest, so not sure that counts as sport).


What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

The Moon and Sixpence in Bath.


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

An athlete.


What’s your favourite film?

It’s a Wonderful Life.


What was the first record you ever bought?

I think it was Bye Bye Baby by The Bay City Rollers.

Who’s your hero and why?

Jane Tomlinson, for having the strength not to give up and fighting to achieve so much for others. She was an inspiration.


What’s the best thing about your job?

Not knowing quite what the day will bring.


What’s the toughest thing about your job?

The case management ­systems – I’m a ­technophobe.


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

I don’t see anything in my career as a mistake, but I’ve learnt a lot from the various elements of it. The main thing being, don’t worry about the past or the future, just look at today.


What car do you drive?

An MG.

What book are you currently reading?

Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence. I’m rereading the books from my teenage years.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

Anything by Enid Blyton.


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

The Nationwide professional negligence litigation in the late 1990s.


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

My iPod and suntan lotion.


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

Without a doubt our boardroom in Bradford – not the most stimulating of venues.


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

I can’t work without sleep.


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

Can I portray myself, on the basis that my husband is played by Johnny Depp?


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

Cristiano Ronaldo, because it would be a bit crushed in there given the size of his head.

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

I speak Portuguese; have lived in Brazil; and am good friends with ­Madonna’s new boyfriend.


Name: Rachel Hutton

Firm: Optima Legal

Title: Partner and head

of dispute ­resolution

Lives: Leeds


1984-87: LLB, University of Huddersfield

1987-88: Law, Chester College of Law

Work history:

1988-90: Trainee, Thorpe & Co

1990-94: Solicitor, Hammond Suddards

1994-96: Solicitor, Skipton Building Society

1996-99: Assistant solicitor, Addleshaw Booth & Co

1999-2002: Associate solicitor, DLA

2003-08: Self-employed personal trainer

2008-present: Partner and head of dispute resolution, Optima Legal