Graham Prentice: Dewey & LeBoeuf

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Any of the Blairs: Tony, Cherie or Sir Ian, or anyone smug or full of conceit.

What was your first job?

A milkman at Eastleigh – the same depot as Benny Hill.

What was your worstexperience as a trainee?
Losing an uncontested application at Birmingham County Court. I was always crap at litigation.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The coffee station – or read The Lawyer.

What time do you leave work?
The physical office, about 7pm, but with the advent of the BlackBerry, all too rarely.

What do you do at weekends?
Until 4.50pm Saturday: hope Southampton will finally play to their true potential. Rest of weekend: deal with the realisation that the latest disappointing result is their true potential.

What’s your favouriterestaurant?
Criterion, Piccadilly.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
A travel photographer.

Who’s your hero and why?
Matthew Le Tissier, Southampton and England. Pure genius – when he could be arsed.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Nice colleagues and clients, particularly when we achieve something challenging.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The hours, and not wanting to let anyone down.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Turning up to possession proceedings without a gown. The registrar kindly agreed that he could hear me even though he could not see me. It reinforced that litigation wasn’t for me.

What car do you drive?
Porsche 968.

What book are you reading?
Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers, by Martin Evening (sad, but true).

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
In my car, I have 70s glam rock and other oldies: Blondie, T Rex, Slade, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Brian Ferry and Aerosmith.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
Any of the Narnia books and the very politically incorrect Billy Bunter.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on?
The acquisition and development of Butler’s Wharf, particularly seeing it swarming with Daleks when they were filming Dr Who there. My most amusing job was defending a payment claim made by the supplier of a promotional calendar which included howlers such as 32nd March and 30th February. Even I didn’t manage to lose that one!

If you were on a desert island what two items would you take?
My digital camera and computer.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended?
At Freshfields we went to Paris, Madrid and Barcelona. London real estate got Paddington.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
Twice I’ve worked 72 hours. On one occasion, time was called on the basis that the draft documents were going backwards – bad points were being taken and agreed issues re-opened. The documents were signed as they stood, together with a ‘cock-up letter’ – we all knew what the deal was, and if in the next 14 days we found anything seriously wrong, we would sort it out.

If a movie was made about your life, who would play you?
Hugh Laurie. He gives the impression of bumbling through life with a general air of bemusement at what’s going on around him.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Any of the Blairs: Tony, Cherie or Sir Ian, or anyone smug or full of conceit.

Name: Graham Prentice
Title: Head of European real estate
Firm: Dewey & LeBoeuf
Lives: Woking, Surrey
Education: Peter Symonds, Winchester; Churchill College, Cambridge
Work history: 1978-80: Articled clerk, Wragge & Co, Birmingham
1980-81: Associate, Wragge & Co
1981-86: Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
1986-2006: Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
2006-present: Partner, LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae (now Dewey & LeBoeuf)