The work-life quiz monica burch

What was your first-ever job? I had a Saturday job in the local newsagent.

What was your worst experience as a trainee? Walking into a client’s office broom cupboard because I thought it was the exit – actually, the worst moment was having to walk out of it again.

Where is the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office? The bike sheds at the back of the building, but now I’ve stopped smoking, the gym.

What time do you usually leave the office? 6.30pm, providing I have no client or firm functions.

What do you do at weekends? Spend time with my husband, our three children and various animals.

What’s your favourite restaurant? Defune on George Street in London.

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

Who’s your hero and why? John Lomas, who was my mentor, because he was irreverent and taught me never to take anything at face value or accept what I was being told simply because of the status of the teller.

What’s the best thing about your job? Litigation.

What’s the toughest thing about it? Timesheets.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it? Not asking to work flexibly until I had my third child. It would have made such a difference to my life if I had done it with my first two. I learnt that when people come to work they shouldn’t have to deny what’s important to them outside work.

What car do you drive? I’d like to say a Maserati Quattroporte or Land Rover Defender 90 Zambezi, but that’s an ongoing negotiation. At present, a Mercedes A-class.

What book are you currently reading? Imperium by Robert Harris.

What’s on your iPod player at the moment? Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Chaka Khan.

What’s your favourite children’s book? Stig of the Dump by Clive King.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why? My first as a newly qualified when I successfully applied for a sequestration order while the partner in charge of the case was fishing.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take? A huge double bed and white cotton sheets.

What is the worst partner/group conference location you’ve attended and why? A litigation group retreat at St Neots on the A1 in Cambridgeshire – it was all very institutional and noisy.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep? I can’t work without sleep.

If a movie was being made about your life, which an actor would play you and why? A D-list celeb, because no one would go to the movie.

Name: Monica Burch

Firm: Addleshaw Goddard

Title: Commercial litigation partner, member of governance board, training principal

Lives: Hampstead Garden Suburb, North London

Education: Pembroke College Oxford, Guildford College of Law

Work history: 1988-1996: Solicitor, Theodore Goddard; 1996-1997: Solicitor, Dewey Ballantine’s New York office; 1998: Rejoined Theodore Goddard as partner; 1999-to date: Partner, Addleshaw Goddard