The work-life quiz

Bert Heikens, Netherlands managing partner, AKD Prinsen Van Wijmen

What was your first ever job?


What was your worst experience as a trainee?

After spending hours on my work preparing it really well, I went to the partner I worked for and he returned it with many corrections. It took me hours to correct it and I realised I still had a lot to learn.

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

The Friday drink in our own AKD in-house pub.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Around seven, usually to go to a function or dinner.

What do you do at weekends?

Spend time with my family and a combination of work, golfing, relaxing, gardening and reading. If I really want to get away from it all, we take off to our holiday house in Sweden.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Hostellerie van Gaalen in Heeze in the Netherlands.

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

Leading an Antarctic expedition.

Who was your mentor or role model?

Dirk Prinsen, one of the founders of our firm – a very remarkable and well-known lawyer.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Motivating people, stimulating their professional and personal development; being part of a very eager and motivated firm and creating winning possibilities.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

To make decisions that can have important consequences for people.

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

To have a pending deal drag on for too long so it came apart – act and react fast, and don’t ever lose the momentum.

What car(s) do you drive?

Volvo XC 90.

What book are you currently reading?

Before the Frost by Henning Mankell.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?

Recordings of a live performance of the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, a swinging Dutch big band.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne.