The work-life quiz

Martin Roberts, managing partner, Pinsent Masons London

What was your first-ever job?

Shop assistant at Woolworths. I started out selling fruit and veg and ended up in the record department.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Spilling a mug of coffee all over the only copy of a magnificent critical path diagram prepared with loving care by the client, and watching his face as the colours slowly merged together.

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

Over coffee and a piece of toast at breakfast time in the firm’s restaurant.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Between 7pm and 7.30pm most days, unless I’m going to a do.

What do you do at weekends?

Play tennis with local friends in Sussex every Saturday morning, watch children’s school matches, take the dog for walks, mow the lawn and socialise with friends and family.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

The restaurant at The Griffin Inn in Fletching, East Sussex – the perfect English country pub.

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

A pop record producer or film producer.

Who was you mentor or role model?

A combination of Bill Heys, John Bishop and Neil Biggs, the three partners who I worked most closely with as a trainee and young solicitor.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Managing the relationships with several of the firm’s clients, getting to know them and trying to make sure our service is meeting their particular needs.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Getting the work-life balance right.

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

Sometimes forgetting that the client knows more than we do about his business. Learning to listen more.

What car(s) do you drive?

An old-type Saab 9.3 Convertible.

What book are you currently reading?

Spies by Michael Frayn.

What’s on your CD player at the moment?

Forever Faithless (Faithless’s greatest hits).

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.