Work Life Quiz: Andrei Baev, Allen & Overy

Andrei Baev

Andrei Baev

What was your first-ever job?
Lathe operator at a metal turning shop in a military plant in the Urals, Russia.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?
One of my first ­assignments was to work on a gas pipeline concession in Kazakhstan and I had to attend a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kazakhstan. Everybody was speaking fast, the ­partner was lost in the translation and I felt I had enough knowledge on the matter and ought to save the situation. Unexpectedly to everybody I stood up and went to the blackboard in the middle of the hall and started explaining how the gas tariffs should be ­structured. The grey-haired partner first went red and then blue, since he had no idea what I was talking about, as my presentation wasn’t being translated, but he didn’t dare interrupt because there was finally silence in the room. After my presentation he took me aside and demanded I report in writing (this time in English) every word that I said and then to pack my bags and immediately return to LA.

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

What time do you usually leave the office?

What do you do at weekends?
My family takes the river boat from Greenwich to a health Club at Canary Wharf, then to Royal China for dim sum. On Sundays we go to church.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?
Chapter One in Blackheath.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
Fund manager or politician.

What’s your favourite film?
Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time in America.

What was the first record you ever bought?
Oceans of Fantasy by Boney M.

Who’s your hero and why?
Nelson Mandela because he was able to leave behind the injustices he suffered to lead in a fair way.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Going to different places and meeting extraordinary people.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Balancing the negotiation of bills with clients while trying to build strong ­relationships with them.

What’s your biggest work/ career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I have sometimes allowed my work to affect my real life with my family and my friends.

What car do you drive?
I don’t have a car.

What book are you reading?
Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air by David JC MacKay.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum and No Matter What by Debi Gliori.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
The current deal is usually the most exciting. I’m presently working with the project company on the construction of a cross-border pipeline in South Eastern Europe.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
An 80mm-range APO ­telescope for ­astrophotography and a small submarine designed for adventure tourism.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Two consecutive days and nights when I was working in New York.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Matt Damon because of his boundless energy, self-motivation, diversity, ­intelligence and social skills – or at least his ability to portray those qualities on screen.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Probably my three-and-a-half-year-old son, who ­cannot sit in one place for longer than one minute. I’d run out of games and ­stories very soon, which may lead to a meltdown
on his part.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)…
(i) I’m the only London-based native Russian ­partner in the magic circle; (ii) I served as an assistant military prosecutor at Kalinin garrison in Tver (Russia); and (iii) I gave an idea to Mikhail Gorbachev about how to name his new party 10 years ago after introducing him to Bill Simon’s article ‘Social-Republican ­Property’, which was ­published in the UCLA Law Review.

: Andrei Baev
Firm: Allen & Overy (A&O)
Title: Partner
Lives: London
1984-89: Jurist, Sverdlovsk Law Institute, Russia
1993-94: LLM, UCLA Law School, Los Angeles, US
1994-96: JSD, Stanford Law School, US
Work history:
1996-99: Associate, Mayer Brown & Platt, Los Angeles, US
1999-2001: Associate, Sullivan & Cromwell, New York, US
2001-03: Associate, A&O, New York
2003-04: Associate, A&O Legal Services, Moscow
2004-06: Partner, A&O, Moscow
2006-present: Partner, global projects, energy and infrastructure group, A&O, London