The work-life quiz Marc Israel

What was your first-ever job?
Filing in my dad’s office. It was before the minimum wage – I think I earned £1 a day.

Name: Marc Israel
Title: Partner
Firm: Macfarlanes
Lives: London
Education: City of London Boys’ School; St John’s College, Cambridge; College of Law, London
Work history:1995: Trainee, Slaughter and May
1997: Assistant, Slaughters
2001: Assistant, Macfarlanes2004: Partner, Macfarlanes

What was your first-ever job?
Filing in my dad’s office. It was before the minimum wage – I think I earned £1 a day.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Almost being caught by the police climbing over the railings into Gray’s Inn on a Saturday night to deliver an enclosure that should have been delivered with instructions to counsel the previous day. I was so worried about having failed to deliver the package correctly that I thought risking arrest for trespass was better than having to confess on Monday morning.

Where’s the best place to go if you want to find out what’s really going on in the office?
The Castle, our local opposite the office.

What time do you usually leave the office?
It all depends on workload.

What do you do at weekends?
Mainly family things. If possible I try to avoid working.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Roka, Charlotte Street, London.

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

What’s the best thing about your job?
The fact that every case is different and throws up new issues.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
The unpredictability of the hours.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Relying on spell-check and, having misspelt a word, sending a rude email to a client. It taught me to reread emails very carefully as I don’t want to be in that embarrassing situation again.

What book are you currently reading?
I tend to read more than one book at a time, so at the moment I’m reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka and Balaam’s Prophecy: Eyewitness to History, 1939-1989 by Naphtali Lau-Lavie.

What car do you drive?
VW Golf.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
I don’t have one.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you’ve worked on and why?
IBA Health v The Office of Fair Trading because of its groundbreaking nature: it was the first ever appeal of an Office of Fair Trading merger decision and was all the more fun when we won, given that so many had said we didn’t have a chance.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
My small Swiss Army penknife and a pillow.

What’s the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
So far the ones I’ve gone to have all been pretty good, but I’ve heard that the Abbey National training centre some years ago wasn’t a great success.

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?
I’d have to say Jude Law, but only so my wife would be able to meet him at the premiere.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Anybody who speaks English.