The work-life quiz crispin rapinet

What was your first-ever job?
Packing frozen beefburgers – an experience that almost turned me vegetarian.


Crispin Rapinet
Firm: Lovells
Title: Asia regional managing partner
Lives: London
Education: Ampleforth College, York; Cambridge University
Work history: 1988-98: Articled clerk and assistant solicitor, Lovells 1998-2003: Commercial litigation partner, Lovells, Hong Kong, and managing partner of the Hong Kong office 2003-present: Commercial litigation partner, Lovells, London 2005-present: Asia regional managing partner

What was your first-ever job?
Packing frozen beefburgers – an experience that almost turned me vegetarian.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Having to explain to my supervisor that a mammoth affidavit, which had just been sworn by the client after three months of intensive work and which had to be filed at court that day, had been chewed so badly overnight by the office mice that the signature had virtually disappeared.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going in the office?
A trainee’s room.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Later than I intend.

What do you do at weekends?
Struggle with helping my kids do their homework.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Bibendum, Fulham Road, London – the chairs are so comfy you have to linger for another Armagnac.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A perpetual student.

Who’s your hero and why?
Shakespeare – for his imagination and his poetry.

What’s the best thing about your job?
The people.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The people.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
No major regrets so far – but tomorrow’s another day.

What car do you drive?
A 1972 Volkswagen Beetle.

What book are you currently reading?
Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters. An eye-opening account of the plight of the homeless in England.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
Bob Marley.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Jeff Brown’s and Scott Nash’s Flat Stanley – the concept of being able to travel by envelope is so appealing.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
A major piece of litigation I undertook in Hong Kong where the client indicated from the beginning that he was determined to pursue the litigation as a matter of principle, irrespective of the fact that there was little prospect of commercial recovery and irrespective of the cost involved. The perfect client.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
Bournemouth. My room was so small the door wouldn’t open wide enough to get my suitcase in.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Four days – the joys of jetlag.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Sacha Baron Cohen – you’ve got to laugh.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Anybody with an overinflated sense of their own importance – or flatulence.