Work Life Quiz: Steven Fox, Ashurst

What was your first-ever job?
I was the junior member and the only man in a large team of women slicing bacon in a meat factory in Wakefield, West Yorks.  I learned everything you need to know about life during that period – as well as more jokes about pork than I’d care to remember.

Steven Fox

Steven Fox

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
In the golden days before mobiles, I urgently needed to call a client from a phone box. In my haste, I dropped all of my papers on the phone box floor. It wasn’t until later when I had presented the forms for stamping that I realised I had picked up some extra unwanted ‘advertising material’. It took me a while to work out why the stern female clerk looked at me so disapprovingly.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
People say my office. It’s a lie.

What time do you usually leave the office?
I typically aim for by or before 7pm.

What do you do at weekends?
Eat, drink and do battle with my five children. Maybe there was a bit more I could have learnt from the bacon-slicing women.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Pretty much anything Spanish but my current favourite is Ibérica in Great Portland Street.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A bullfighter. It’s all in the hips – love it.

What is your favourite film?
The Mask of Zorro – he’s family. Enough said. [Zorro means fox in ­Spanish.]

What was the first record you ever bought?
Bob Dylan’s Desire.

Who’s your hero and why?
Alive: Martin Johnson, man mountain and a ­natural leader. Dead: Duke of Wellington, Mr average at school but a self-taught master tactician and ­inspirational leader.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people. I have worked with and for some cracking characters over the years.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The people. In seriousness, it would have to be the ­relative unpredictability of the hours and the fear of letting down loved ones (for the avoidance of doubt, that term doesn’t refer to clients).

What car do you drive?
A Land Rover Defender.

What book are you reading?
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is a brilliant writer. Being born in Nigeria just before the outbreak of the Biafra war, during which my ­family was displaced, I have always had a ­fascination for the country.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on?
Advising National Express on its acquisition of ALSA and Continental Auto in Spain would rate among the top. Not only were these the first and largest of the client’s acquisitions in Spain but also the first that National Express had undertaken in Europe – and involving some of those ‘cracking characters’. For obvious reasons it would have to be Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl or Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
One would have to be the dart board in my office and my championship darts. If they count as one item, then the other would have to be my ‘Bendy Bully’ from the TV show Bullseye.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
About 12 hours. I’ll always find time to sleep.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Pushing the Zorro theme, I could live with it being a young Antonio Banderas but my colleagues would probably say I’d be lucky to have Danny DeVito.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with why?
If it was a small lift, Andy ‘the Viking’ Fordham.  Even at 10st lighter, ­another ‘heavyweight’ from the darts world.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
I speak Spanish (almost) fluently. I had a pet baby elephant as a child. I was one of the youngest ever contestants on the gameshow Bullseye, and have the ‘Bendy Bully’ to prove it.

CV
Name:
Steven Fox
Title: Partner, equity capital markets
Firm: Ashurst
Lives: Rutland
Education:
1985-88: LLB, University of Northumbria
1989-90: Law Society Finals, College Of Law, Lancaster Gate
Work history:
1991-93: Trainee, Ashurst
1993-2000: Associate, Ashurst
2000 -present: Partner, Ashurst