Work Life Quiz: Mary Mackintosh, Freeth Cartwright

Mary Mackintosh

What was your first-ever job?

Aged 10 (contract ­prepared by my dad) ­washing his car every weekend for a year in return for a £24 ­skateboard: 46p an hour – harsh lesson in life learnt.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Going on a boat party on the River Trent. Or was that my best experience? I honestly can’t remember.

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

Who cares?

What time do you usually leave the office?

When it’s time to go home.

What do you do at weekends?

In January activities designed to keep me out of bars and restaurants. The rest of the year, bars and restaurants.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?


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

Less obsessively ­compulsive.

Who’s your hero and why?

Nessa from Gavin & Stacey for giving us the phrase ‘What’s Occurin?’

What’s the best thing about your job?

Knowing that being a lawyer is only a very small part of the job and that the legal world is changing.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Saying no.

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

I once got a Companies House form returned because I omitted to fill in the date and stressed about it for a whole week. I learnt that lawyers take themselves far too seriously for their own good.

What car do you drive?

Mercedes SLK. I have nine points on my licence so I crawl everywhere; it’s undriveable in the snow;

I can barely fit a grocery shop in the boot, never mind golf clubs; and the stereo is rubbish.

What book are you currently reading?

The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger. Aside from being a friend and client Kate’s a brilliant author and winner of the 2009 Governor General’s ­Literary Award for Fiction, Canada’s oldest and most prestigious award for ­literature.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?

Day & Age by The Killers.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

Simon’s Cat by Simon Tofield. Google it – the short films are pure genius.

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

Project managing a ­multinational IP and ­contractual dispute. Five lawsuits in two jurisdictions with laid-back Malaysian lawyers, super-efficient lawyers in Singapore and an anxious client was a challenge. Client instructions were “settle and make it painless”. Needless to say we settled and it was ­painless. The great escape comes to mind.

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

My iTouch and Concept2 rowing machine.

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

The Hilton Junction 21 off the M1. No explanation needed.

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

Forty eight hours, during which the female ­managing director of a well-known clothing ­manufacturer actually said, without any attempt at humour, “I’ve been in men’s underpants for years”.

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

She’s a comedian, not an actress, but I don’t think it matters. Rhona Cameron, because I don’t think she’d have to act. Remember her rant in the first series of I’m a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here!? 

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

Sharon Stone, because I think she might make me feel inferior intellectually.