Work Life Quiz: Carlos de los Santos, Garrigues

What do you do at weekends? I try to do anything but work.

Carlos De Los Santos
Carlos De Los Santos

What was your first-ever job?

During my years at law school, I home-delivered Loewe’s gifts during Christmas.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

My first-ever trial when I was 23. I never expected a human being could sweat so much under a gown.

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

I’m convinced it’s where the trainee staff get ­together, but I’d have to become a fly on the wall to really pick up anything interesting.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Much, much later than my wife would like.

What do you do at weekends?

I try to do anything but work.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

In the summer, Relais De La Poste in Magescq, the South of France. The rest of the year, El Paraguas in Madrid.

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

A five-star Michelin chef.

What’s your favourite film?

The Usual Suspects.

What was the first record you ever bought?

The River by Bruce ­Springsteen.

Who’s your hero and why?

I don’t believe in heroes; each one of us is hero enough on a daily basis.

What’s the best thing about your job?

To be able to participate in trials and arbitration ­hearings in different parts of the world. It’s everything but boring.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

The fact that it absorbs so much of my time.

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

To think that you’ll always have enough time to finish things before or on deadline.

I still haven’t learnt.

What car do you drive?

An Aston Martin DB9.

What book are you currently reading?

Un Día de Cólera by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

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

An international ­arbitration case in Buenos Aires in the gas sector, resulting from the ­pesificación. The ­coordination of the whole international legal team, the witnesses and the experts in such a unique environment was really exciting. It feels like fun to recall the whole experience after some time.

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

Vega Sicilia Único (Ribera del Duero Red Wine) and Jamón de ­Jabugo.

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

I must say they always take place in wonderful locations. The last one was, let’s say, curious, as we gathered in a fabulous hotel in Benidorm and it looked as if we were in Hong Kong. The contrast was particularly intense after two cigars and some drinks.

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

Two days and one night (the deadline problem). The worst thing was that we almost died from ­intoxication when the cleaning service appeared at dawn.

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

Antonio Resines, a well-known Spanish actor – rough, straightforward and truly funny; or, of course, Harrison Ford for our physical resemblance.

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

With a witness whom I’ve just cross-examined.

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

I have travelled around Thailand and Cambodia with a backpack; I have been arrested for speeding in Mississippi; I drive an Aston Martin DB9.



Name: Carlos de los Santos

Firm: Garrigues

Title: Partner

Lives: Madrid


1984-89: Law degree,

Universidad Pontificia Comillas, ICADE

Work history:

1989-92: Worked at father’s (unnamed) law firm

1992-96: Senior lawyer, Garrigues

1996-2003: Associate, Garrigues

2003-09: Partner, Garrigues

2009-present: Head of litigation and ­arbitration, Garrigues