Firm: Simmons & Simmons
Position: Head of international financial markets
Education: High Storrs Comprehensive, Sheffield; Durham University; Nottingham Polytechnic
Lives: Highgate, London
1989: Joined Simmons as a trainee
1997: Made salaried partner
1998: Relocated to Hong Kong to establish the international finance group
2001: Moved back to London as a partner in the capital markets department
2002: Appointed head of capital markets
2004: Appointed head of international financial markets
2005: Appointed to Simmons’ international executive committee
What was your first-ever job?
Frying doughnuts in a bakery in Oxford. I didn’t last very long, not least because, although I started at 1am, the manager insisted I was doing ‘early shifts’ and not night shifts, so I was only paid £1.18 an hour.
What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Attempting to schedule 200 deed boxes relating to a very large estate of pubs. The deeds were all mixed up so I had to attempt to work out whether ‘The Red Lion, London’, referred to in some 16th century deed, was the same as ‘The Red Lion, St Paul’s’, referred to in a 19th century deed. It took me about three months to complete.
Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Our partnership secretary Sarah Keech.
What time do you usually leave the office?
What do you do at weekends?
Much of my free time is spent with my two young children, particularly in parks and putting together the world’s most complicated flat-pack climbing frame.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
At the moment it’s the Japanese restaurant Roka in London.
If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
Midfield general for Sheffield United FC.
Who’s your hero and why?
Neil Warnock, for taking Sheffield United back to where they belong.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing the best associates develop through their careers and being able to support their candidacies for partnership.
What’s the toughest thing about your job?
What car do you drive?
What book are you currently reading?
The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance by Paul Strathern. What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.
What’s the most exciting deal/case you have worked on and why?
Advising Brent Walker on the financing aspects of the sale of the Pubmaster estate. This was the first significant job on which I led a team and was a tremendous experience, if somewhat nerve-wracking.
If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
A set of golf clubs and a lot of balls.
What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
A partners weekend in Macau in 1997. I was somewhat perturbed when the night before we arrived there was a drive-by shooting at the hotel we were staying in. The entire frontage of the hotel was destroyed by a machine pistol wielded from the back of a motorbike. I spent a lot of time in the basement.
If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you?
My personal favourite would be Ricky Gervais.