Work Life Quiz: Ian Forrest, Hammonds

What was your first-ever job?
At 10 years old, working on a market garden in the Clyde Valley.

What was your worst experience as a trainee?
Having to open the post every morning.

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

What time do you usually leave the office?

What do you do at weekends?
Catch up with my wife and daughters.

What’s your favourite restaurant?
Opus in Birmingham.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what would you have been?
Still a social worker.

Who’s your hero and why?
Abraham Lincoln, the reason being that he stuck by his convictions in the face of huge opposition.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing promising and industrious trainees develop into sophisticated, successful solicitors.

What’s the toughest thing about your job?
Losing a beauty parade. The disappointment after so much preparation and anticipation still goes deep.

What’s your biggest work/career mistake and what did you learn from it?
Not becoming a solicitor until my late 30s. I learnt you shouldn’t look back nor worry about what you cannot put right.

What car do you drive?
A Volvo.

What book are you currently reading?
James Webb’s Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.

What’s on your iPod at the moment?
The Byrds.

What’s your favourite children’s book?
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

What’s the most exciting deal/case you have worked on and why?
A recent restructuring of a group of companies and successfully dealing with the complex pensions issue. The client was satisfied and we were happy at overcoming several technical difficulties.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what two luxury items would you take?
A keg of beer and a beach umbrella.

What is the worst partner conference location you’ve attended and why?
At Milton Keynes. The hotel was like a Nissen hut and was not conducive to achieving anything.

What’s the longest you’ve worked without sleep?
24 hours.

If a movie was being made about your life, which actor would play you and why?
There are not many tall, bald, middle-aged actors with a pronounced Scottish accent, so I guess it would have to be Sean Connery.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
Jeremy Clarkson, because he’s boring and loud.


Name: Ian Forrest
Firm: Hammonds
Title: Head of Birmingham office
Lives: Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
Education: Loughborough University, BSc; University of Central England, LLB; University of Central England, Law Society Finals
Work history:
1971-86: Social worker, Birmingham City Council
1987-89: Trainee, Edge & Ellison (now Hammonds)
1989-95: Solicitor, Edge & Ellison
1996-2004: Partner, Edge & Ellison
2004-present: Birmingham office head, Hammonds