Work Life Quiz: David Carter, Ashurst

David Carter

What was your first job?

I rode around on a milk float as a child but I did not get paid in cash so I suppose working as a temp for an agency which had me stuffing video cases, emptying lorries and cleaning Ealing Town Hall.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Sending a document containing our analysis of a deal and our position on all the material points to the lawyer on the other side among a bundle of disclosed documents. I am still in law so I got away with it. Just.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

That depends: Nando’s – even when my black card arrives. But I also love Le Bel Air in Courchevel because eating there means I’m on holiday. Whenever I celebrate life matters I go to La Gavroche. The punters there seem to be getting younger – they are nearly my age now.

What car do you drive?

If it is sunny, a green one but generally I drive a beaten up black one.

What book are you currently reading?

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon, Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies and Selected Poems by Seamus Heaney (I have attention span issues).

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

Pen and access to t’internet.

What is the worst partner conference location you’ve attended?

Ashurst conferences are the stuff of legend – or the bits that I remember are.

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

I have no issue with long hard periods of work but I do worry about our obsession with an unhealthy and profoundly foolish practice. If this question were changed to how long a person has worked without food or drink it would be looked at more correctly. It is also easier by far to stay up when you have something to do or you are a finance lawyer who seems to be bred for night shift work. Frankly, I dare anyone to tell me that they have done their best work (or even a passable imitation thereof) after several nights with minimal sleep.

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

James Earl Jones for the voice, Roger Rabbit for the clothes.

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

If I am stuck in a lift, claustrophobia is who I will be dealing with.


Name: David Carter

Title: Partner

Firm: Ashurst

Lives: Happily in North London


1982-90: LLB, University of Warwick

1990-91: Law, College of Law, Guildford

Work history:

1991-93: Articled clerk, Wilde Sapte

1993-97: Corporate associate, Wilde Sapte

1997-2000: Corporate associate, Ashurst

2001-present: Partner, Ashurst