Work Life Quiz: Ian Brent, Davies Arnold Cooper

Ian Brent

What was your first-ever job?

Greengrocer’s assistant.

What was your worst ­experience as a trainee?

Coming back after a liquid lunch to find I was late for a (poor) appraisal.

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

My trainee has his ear to the ground.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Later than I told my wife I would be home.

What do you do at weekends?

Very balanced: play ­football (badly), take my kids to Arsenal and watch my son play football.

What’s your favourite ­restaurant?

My father-in-law’s ­restaurant, Manicomio, on King’s Road in London.

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

A top football player, but as I can only do one ‘keep-me-uppy’ I became a lawyer.

What’s your favourite film?

Touching the Void.

What was the first record you ever bought?

I would just put my tape recorder next to the radio (please don’t tell any lawyers).

Who is your hero and why?

My dad, wife and kids. They all have their own great qualities.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Training trainees to become good lawyers.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

Realising that trainees weren’t born when I left university.

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

Making a fuss as a trainee about working until 9pm and then not turning up until 2pm the next day to recover.

What car do you drive?

An uncool seven-seater.

What book are you currently reading?

I can’t remember. I started it 11 years ago and then had kids.

What’s your favourite ­children’s book?

Whichever gives me the most excuse to tickle the kids as I read it to them.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?

The joint venture between Focus and JD Sports, because it was acting for great people and working with a top adviser, Nigel Berger of New World ­Corporate Finance.

If you were stranded on a desert island what two luxury items would you take?

Remote control for Sky Sports and a spare in case I lost it.

What’s the worst partner ­conference location you’ve attended and why?

One that contained ­management consultants who tried to apply business school theory to legal ­practice.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?

Sixty hours.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?

Olly Murs from X Factor, because people say I look like him (but he’s much better looking).

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Anybody from accounts who asks me about my billing predictions for the month.

Tell us two truths and one lie about yourself (in any order)

I have had my nose broken 17 times in karate; I was third this year in the Karate Nationals; I have never hung my sweaty kit up in the office.

Name: Ian Brent

Firm: Davies Arnold Cooper

Title: Head of corporate

Lives: Mill Hill, London


1985-88: MA, Cambridge

1990-91: Law Society finals, City of London ­University

Work history:

1992-94: Trainee, corporate assistant, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

1995-96: Corporate associate, Clifford Chance

1997-98: Corporate associate, Macfarlanes

1998-99: Corporate associate, Paisner & Co

2000-04: Corporate partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner

2004-08: Corporate partner, Halliwells

2008-09: Head of London corporate, Halliwells

2009-present: Head of corporate, Davies Arnold Cooper