Work Life Quiz: Peter Watson

The work-life quiz Peter Watson
What was your first-ever job?

Washing dishes at a pizza restaurant in Leeds.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?

Having to do my first court appearance in a pair of scruffy trainers and a borrowed suit that was about four sizes too small. The hideous tie I also borrowed topped it off. Long story, but it wasn’t my fault.

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

The IT department.

What time do you usually leave the office?

Around 5.30pm – I prefer to start early and crack on while it’s quiet.

What do you do at weekends?

Gardening, DIY, spend time with the kids and cook in the evenings.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Sjomagasinet in Gothenburg, Sweden – fantastic seafood and perfect location by the water.

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

Airline pilot.

Who’s your hero and why?

Billy Bremner. Captain of the great Leeds United team of the early 1970s, when I started watching football. He was a great competitor and leader.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The flexibility – I have to work from home part of the time.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?

The marketplace we operate in, and unhelpful overregulation.

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

I make mistakes all the time and learn from them, but thankfully I can’t think of one that was such a clanger it stands out. What car do you drive?BMW 3 Series convertible.

What book are you currently reading?

Gordon Ramsay’s autobiography.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?

My 2007 playlist.

What’s your favourite children’s book?

Anything with Tigger in it.

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

A matrimonial property dispute for a Playboy centrefold.

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

A container of champagne and a 42-inch plasma TV with solar-powered generator and subscription to Sky Sports.

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

The boardroom in our old London office. Noisy traffic outside and very uncomfortable antique furniture inside. Thankfully that’s all long gone.

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

If I don’t get sleep I’m grumpy and useless, so I don’t do all-nighters.

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

Bruce Willis. Similar amount of hair and… can’t think of any other reason.

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

Robert Mugabe – if there was any consistency in US-Anglo foreign policy he would no longer be in power. Then again, there’s no oil in Zimbabwe, is there?


Name: Peter Watson

Firm: Simpson Millar Solicitors

Title: Managing partner

Lives: Leeds and Ulricehamn, Sweden

Education: Leeds Grammar School, Durham University (law degree), Queensland University of Technology (second law degree)

Work history:

1985-86: Coopers & Lybrand chartered accountants, Leeds

1986-89: Trainee solicitor, Knell Bottoms Davies Solicitors, Cairns, Australia

1989-92: Assistant solicitor, Watson & Co Solicitors, Maroochydore, Australia

1992-94: Assistant solicitor, Simpson Millar Solicitors, Leeds

1994-95: Salaried partner

1995: Equity partner

1996-present: Managing partner