What was your first-ever job?
A summer job fixing wooden boxes at a greenhouse compound. I was given a lesson in work ethics by being reprimanded for working too intensively.
What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Interviewing suspects in a rundown detention facility as a government-appointed attorney, witnessing the sorrow felt by wretched human beings subsisting in miserable conditions.
Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
Physically, reception. Virtually, internal blog and chatroom.
What time do you usually leave the office?
After business hours.
What do you do at weekends?
Go out of the city. Hiking, biking, sailing or just having fun at the dacha [second home] with my kids.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
A fusion cuisine place called Terrassa in the centre of St Petersburg.
If you weren’t a lawyer what would you have been?
A journalist or writer.
What’s your favourite film?
Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy and Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America, which
I view as a character development story rather than gangster movie. Mediterraneo and Lost in Translation are sitting next to them.
What was the first record you ever bought?
Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd.
Who’s your hero and why?
My great-grandfather, a self-made man, a man of action and a natural leader, but most importantly a caring father of nine. My family began when he stole my great-grandmother out of the window of her maiden chamber and fled to St Petersburg.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Lots of room for improvisation and creativity.
What’s the toughest thing about your job?
To stop thinking about ongoing matters.
What car do you drive?
I’m surrounded by German cars. My family has a VW Passat and an Audi. My office has a BMW and a Mercedes.
What book are you reading?
Short stories by Vasily Shukshin (1929-1974).
What’s your favourite children’s book?
Maugli by Rudyard Kipling. Also short poems by Chukovsky Korney Ivanovich and Daniil Kharms.
What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on?
The contract for a space tourist on a Russian spaceship.
If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?
A lighter and a helicopter.
What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
When we were starting the firm I stayed overnight several times a year, but never two days in a row.
If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
Tom Hanks. Apparently we look alike. When I was in the UK I got asked on the street if I was him.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
The only lift mechanic in town.
Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)
I’m qualified as an electrician. I fix most appliances at home myself. I have a different ringtone assigned to each of my major clients.
Name: Ilya Nikiforov
Firm: Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Title: Managing partner
Lives: St Petersburg, Russia
1985-89: College of Avionics and Automation, St Petersburg
1990-95: School of Law, St Petersburg State University
1992-93: School of Business, St Petersburg State University
1994-95: School of Law, Case Western Reserve University, US
1995-97: Lawyer, Gide Loyrette Nouel, St Petersburg
1997: Visiting foreign lawyer, Fulbright & Jaworski, Washington DC
1997-present: Managing partner, Egorov