Work Life Quiz: Nigel Hewitson, Norton Rose

Nigel Hewitson

What was your first-ever job?

Paper boy, aged 13.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

I once had to sit behind counsel on a hearing to determine whether some children were to be taken into care. I found it harrowing, and I admire lawyers who work in that field – I couldn’t do it.

What do you do at weekends?

Watch Watford FC; do odd jobs around the house; take the dog for long walks; eat out; and generally chill with the family.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Thai Sunset in Bushey.

What’s your favourite film?

Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Bits and Pieces by The Dave Clark Five at the age of four.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake?

As a newly qualified solicitor I had to produce the statutory notices for several public footpath diversion orders. In the pre-internet days I copied the forms set out in the (so I thought) current regulations. But the regulations had changed and they had to be redone.

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

Appearing at the public inquiry into the proposal to put the A303 into a tunnel at Stonehenge. I was legal director at English Heritage and bought into the vision of leaving a tranquil landscape within which the monument could be enjoyed. Although the inspector found in favour, the Government abandoned the project because it decided it was unaffordable.

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

A large boat and a shortwave radio set so I could get off the island and/or raise the alarm.

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

Public inquiries often involve working from 8am until 11pm, but at least it’s long days rather than working through the night.

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

Anyone claustrophobic and prone to aggressive outbursts.

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

My photograph has appeared in OK!; Elton John came to my 50th birthday party; I was once kissed by Honor Blackman.


Name: Nigel Hewitson

Title: Partner

Firm: Norton Rose

Lives: Watford, Herts


1979-82: Philosophy and Politics, University of Manchester

1985-86: CPE, College Of Law (CoL), London

1988-89: Law Society Finals, CoL

2003-05: MBA in Legal Practice Management, Nottingham

Work history

1982-2001: London Borough of Harrow: committee clerk, articled clerk, planning solicitor then property services solicitor 

2001-06: Legal director, English Heritage

2006-07: Head of planning, Howard Kennedy

2007-present: Head of planning, Norton Rose