Work Life Quiz: Mike Pullen, DLA Piper

What was your first-ever job?
Working on the waltzers at my parents’ travelling fair when I was 12.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Spending an afternoon serving writs on the majority of the cast members of a BBC series.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Our local wine bar, particularly on team drinks evenings.

What time do you usually leave the office?
Around 7pm. However, I have a BlackBerry and a mobile, which are always on, so these hours tend to be a bit of an irrelevance.

What do you do at weekends?
At least two weekends a month are devoted to shooting. I also tend to do a lot of walking and try to read as much as possible.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Boisdale of Belgravia, London.

If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
If it was 100 years ago, I’d probably have been the district commissioner for Matabeleland. However, I think my best bet now would be a professional hunter.

Who’s your hero and why?
The Duke of Wellington, who saved Europe from being dominated by a French dictator despite massive opposition from Bonapartist politicians at home.

What’s the best thing about your job?
My team.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
It interferes with my hunting trips.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
I probably spent too long in Brussels before I moved to DLA in London.

What car do you drive?
Mitsubishi Shogun Warrior – plenty of room in the back for deer carcasses.

What are you currently reading?
Selous Scouts – Top Secret War by Lt Col Ron Reid Daly. This is the history of the Rhodesian army’s counter insurgency unit.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
Kaiser Chiefs, as only a bunch of fellow Leeds fans could write a song called I Predict A Riot.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Sharpe’s Rifles by Bernard Cornwell.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
The Havana Club case, where we appealed the Office of Fair Trading’s decision to accept undertakings from Barcadi not to abuse its dominant position. The case led to changes of the law and plaintiff rights.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A rifle and Elle McPherson.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended?
A really cheesy hotel complex in Florida for DLA Piper’s first combined partner conference.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
36 hours.

If a movie was being made about your life, which an actor would play you and why?
Ray Winstone – providing he could get the Yorkshire accent right – because he’s another working class boy made good.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Robert Mugabe, because he ruined a great country.


Name: Mike Pullen
Firm: DLA Piper UK
Title: Head of EU competition and trade
Lives: Rotherhithe, London Education: University of Lancaster; University of Limburg, Maastrict; University of Brussels
Work history:
1992-94: Trainee, Olswang
1994-99: Associate, Eversheds, Brussels
1999-2001: Associate, DLA Piper UK 2001-present: Partner, DLA Piper UK
2004-present: Head of EU competition and trade, DLA Piper UK