Mark Tooke: Watson Farley & Williams

Mark Tooke: <a class=Watson Farley & Williams” />What was your first-ever job?

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Making an application to strike out a claim brought by a litigant in person against the Home ­Secretary. The claim was totally ill founded and verging on the vexatious.

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

What time do you usually leave the office?
Between 8pm and 9pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Watch rugby, cook, explore the countryside and search for country pubs serving the perfect pint.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Jumbo Seafood, Upper Circular Road, Singapore.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
No idea – I’m still deciding.

Who’s your hero and why?
My dad. If I end up being half the man he is then I will have done well.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Working with interesting, creative, energetic and motivated people.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Occasionally coming across truly unpleasant characters.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Not saying no to non-fee-earning distractions.

What car do you drive?
A 10-year-old Mercedes C-Class.

What book are you currently reading?
Matter by Iain M Banks, and Blood River: A ­Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart by Tim Butcher.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
Lots of ’90s trance on my iPod Shuffle to power me through my early-morning runs.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
The Very Hungry ­Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

What’s the most exciting deal or case you’ve worked on?
A matter relating to an oil facility in a former Soviet state. It made a real ­difference to the quality of life for hundreds of employees of my client and to the economic ­development of the ­country as a whole.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two ­luxury items would you take?
My wife and a case of chilled champagne.

What is the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
Not attended one yet.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
48 hours.

Who would play you in the movie of your life and why?
Danny DeVito – he’s almost as good-looking as me. Or perhaps Ross Kemp.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Michael Moore – he might sometimes have a point, but he annoys the hell out of me.

Mark Tooke
Title: Partner
Firm: Watson Farley & Williams
Lives: Epsom, Surrey
1991-94: LLB, University of ­Manchester
Work history
1996-98: Trainee solicitor, Government Legal Service
1998-2001: Legal adviser, Department of Trade and Industry
2001-08: Assistant solicitor, Watson Farley & Williams
2008-present: Partner, Watson Farley & Williams