The work-life quiz

John Lewis, advocate, Collas Day

What was your first-ever job?

Making test tube holders for chemistry sets in the school holidays.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
During induction week at Allen & Overy, I went to a – very tedious – West End play with HR, various partners and the other trainees. I left at the second interval thinking it had finished and was conspicuously absent for the third act.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Guernsey’s a small place – you can usually stay where you are and the gossip will find you.

What time do you usually leave the office?
It varies enormously, but on average between 6pm and 6.30pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Play with my two sons, coach rugby and try to avoid doing the DIY jobs my wife has lined up for me.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Tsunami in Clapham.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
An architect.

Who was your mentor or role model?
Ruth Stringer, a former partner at Minter Ellison in Sydney, for demonstrating that professionalism and a laid-back, friendly attitude are not mutually exclusive.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The variety, the City-type work and the 10-minute drive home.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Not having the resources of a large City firm when things get really busy; but that can also make it fun.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I joined a multidisciplinary practice about six months before Enron exploded. It taught me that there’s no point having regrets, as there are so many things that affect us that are outside our control.

What car(s) do you drive?
An old Vauxhall Corsa to work and a Land Rover Freelander at the weekend.

What book are you currently reading?
The Flaneur by Edmund White – it’s a book about wandering around Paris.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?
Hot Fuss by The Killers.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Mr Tickle by Roger Hargreaves.