Work Life Quiz: Alison Wilds, Harbottle & Lewis

What was your first-ever job?

I worked in the greenhouses at a local flower grower’s nursery in the summer holidays. It was very hot as it was all under glass.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Changing my training contract to a different law firm, as I started my career in the law later than people normally did at that time. I hadn’t appreciated that it would be so difficult.

What do you do at weekends?

Relax with my long-suffering partner Cliff, prepare for the week ahead and sometimes work on a transaction for a client.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Any Pizza Express.

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

A university lecturer in the history of art.

What’s your favourite film?

The Go-Between.

What was the first record you ever bought?

I’m a Believer by The Monkees.

Who’s your hero and why?

In her diamond jubilee year, it has to be Her Majesty the Queen. A life of dedication to public duty and she’s still turning out in all weathers at the age of 85.

What book are you reading?

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: The Official Biography by William Shawcross. Yes, I’m an unashamed admirer of our royal family.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Heidi by Johanna Spyri.

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

A certain hotel in West London, which will remain nameless. Let’s just say it was due a revamp.

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

Fifty hours. It wasn’t a good experience.

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

I don’t think any actress would particularly want to act out my life.

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

Any individual who’s either or all of the following: aggressive, drunk, smells or is overly friendly.

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

I’ve parachuted from an aircraft; I’m adopted; I’m a former diving champion.


Name: Alison Wilds
Firm: Harbottle & Lewis
Title: Head of aviation and finance
Lives: Greenhithe, North Kent

1976-77: BA (Hons) History, University of Bristol
1984-86: CPE and solicitors finals, College of Law, London

Work history:
1986-88: Trainee, Alastair Thomson & Partners/Roberts and Richards
1988-92: Associate, SJ Berwin
1992-97: Associate, Theodore Goddard (now Addleshaw Goddard)
1997-99: Senior legal counsel, Bank Austria, London
1999-2002: Associate, Eversheds
2002-04: Senior associate, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw
2004-07: Associate, Harbottle
2007-present: Partner, Harbottle