Work Life Quiz: Tony Woodcock, Stephenson Harwood

What time do you usually leave the office? Before my associates.

Tony Woodcock
Tony Woodcock

What was your first-ever job?

As a 17-year-old, teaching English to 17-year-old Italian female students.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Bending over in the Court of Appeal to pick up some law reports and hearing my trousers split up the back seam.

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

As a fly on the wall in the wine bar frequented by associates on a Friday evening.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Before my associates.

What do you do at weekends?

Find that I still have a wife and four kids.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Bella Vista in Blackheath.

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

A surgeon.

What’s your favourite film?

The Godfather.

What was the first record you ever bought?

Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.

Who’s your hero and why?

Sir Winston Churchill, for his insight and the courage to tell it how it is, however unpalatable.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Having such terrific and talented colleagues.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Getting in the best work for my team.

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

I wish I had read English at university – do what you enjoy most; the career will always sort itself out.

What car do you drive?


What book are you currently reading?

A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain by Marc Morris.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

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

Everything that’s givena bloody nose to the regulators.

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

My Nespresso coffee maker and a vat full of 16-year-old Lagavulin whisky.

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

The Judge Business School, where we endured three days of being talked at by academics and failed lawyers on how to be a 21st century City and international law firm – my blood still boils.

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

I have four kids, each born within two years of each other – so probably about eight years.

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

Homer Simpson, because he can make even the dullest of lives look funny.

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

Bambi, my next door neighbour’s bull terrier. For obvious reasons.

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

I swam the length of Coniston Water for charity; I was expelled from secondary school for forging a teacher’s signature; the best fish and chips I ever ate was in prison.

Tony Woodcock
Title: Head of regulatory litigation
Firm: Stephenson Harwood
Lives: South East London
Education: Refuses to disclose
Work history: Refuses to ­disclose